Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

Theater Review: "All My Sons" at Actors Theatre 

Wednesday, Jun 9 2010

Arthur Miller's 1947 breakthrough play was a sort of proto–Law and Order episode. It was ripped from the headlines and elaborated into an existentially suspenseful and socially critical whodunit, complete with riveting last-act confession, subsequent emotional wallop, and sudden final curtain. But as its central figure insists, presumably on the playwright's behalf, "I want ya to see it human. Human! Ya know?" Actors Theatre's production makes good strides toward that end. The action takes place over the course of an August day in a Midwestern backyard. It involves an industrialist (Randy Hurst) alleged to have knowingly supplied defective engine parts to American planes in World War II, with his pilot son long missing and presumed killed; his wife (director Joyce Henderson), deep in denial; and their other son (Nicholas Russell), more comfortable inheriting his brother's fiancée (Nahry Tak) than dad's prosperous business. That the play looks so good for its age is a credit to its author and to actors who inflect their characters with just enough contemporary-seeming intangibles. With heaps of humanity provided by Henderson's wounded matriarch and Russell's disheartened scion especially, it's a lived-in and long-lasting parable of greed, guilt, and the ceaseless burdens of filial responsibility.

About The Author

Jonathan Kiefer

SF Weekly movie critic Jonathan Kiefer is on Twitter: @kieferama and of course @sfweeklyfilm.


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed


  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"