A’ll My Sons,’ an enduring drama, screening at Sierra Cinemas | TheUnion.com

A’ll My Sons,’ an enduring drama, screening at Sierra Cinemas

John Deaderick
and Sandra Rockman
Special to Prospector
ALL MY SONS by Miller, , Writer - Author Miller, Director - Jeremy Herrin, Set and Costume design - Max Jones, Lighting - Richard Howell, The Old Vic Theatre, London, 2019, Credit: Johan Persson

Know & Go

WHO: Sierra Cinemas Presents National Theatre Live

WHAT: “All My Sons”

WHEN: Thursday, Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. and Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 3:30 p.m.

WHERE: Sierra Cinemas, E. Main Street Grass Valley

TICKETS: $18 Adults, $15 Seniors, Children 12 and under & students with ID; Available online at http://www.sierratheaters.com or at the Sierra Cinemas Box Office

INFO: http://www.sierratheaters.com, 530-477-9000

“For murder, though it have no tongue, will speak with most miraculous organ.”

— Hamlet, II, ii

This Thursday’s National Theatre of London Live (NTL) theatrical performance of Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” is a timeless drama not to be missed. Based on a true story and written in 1947 just after WWII, the script is amazingly relevant to our current times and headlines. Miller, through the specific lens of Joe Keller and his family, focuses on the larger issue of the criminal culpability of war profiteers.

Two of our finest American actors are cast in this Old Vic production – Sally Fields and Bill Pullman as Kate and Joe Keller. Directed by Jeremy Herrin, we spend an afternoon and an evening in the Kellers’ backyard after a disturbingly windy night before and learn what the war has wrought on two families, their neighbors and on the American psyche.

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Keller is a thriving businessman who escaped a wartime charge of having shipped defective hardware to the U.S. armed forces, causing the deaths of 21 airmen. Exonerated in a trial appeal, Joe let his partner take a guilty plea and wind up in prison, shunned by his son and daughter. Bill Pullman’s raspy portrayal of a man covering over his accountability with bluster, bravado, brashness and lies reverberates in our ambivalent feelings toward his character.

Kate Keller, in an astoundingly moving performance by Sally Fields, is stubbornly convinced that their son, Larry, a pilot missing in action, is still alive three years later. The Kellers are suddenly confronted by the consequences of Joe’s actions when their other son, Chris, (Colin Morgan) decides to marry Larry’s former fiancée, Annie, (Jenna Coleman) the daughter of Joe’s ex-partner.

The story, then, takes on aspects of a Greek tragedy when the actions and plot twists of Miller’s brilliant play force Joe and Kate, the young adults and close neighbors, all to realize that the pretenses by which they have lived these past three years must be unveiled, confronted and paid for.

Sadly relevant, we read each day of the ongoing Boeing 737 Max controversy in which automated system design oversights resulted in two crashes last year killing nearly 350 people. Profit before safety? We shudder to think it.

Special kudos to all the minor characters actors who bring clarity and depth to the scenes and setting, especially Bessie Carter, Oliver Johnstone, Kayla Meikle and Sule Rimi.

Don’t miss this poignant, classic American drama. It shows at our local Sierra Cinemas at 840 E Main St, Grass Valley on Thursday evening Jan. 16 at 6:30 p.m. and again at a matinee performance on Wednesday, Jan. 22 at 3:30 p.m. For tickets and information, visit http://www.sierratheaters.com.

John Deaderick and Sandra Rockman are local theatre artists.

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