TampaRep has created many fine shows in its 12 years of theater productions, and their current offering of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons offers the most apparent evidence of why this region needs Tampa Repertory Theatre. Every element of this production fires on all cylinders: the cast, the direction, the tech, and the masterful words of the iconic American playwright Arthur Miller. This production has not a single weak link.
About the Play
All My Sons first got produced in 1947. Arthur Miller drew from news events concerning overlooked defective aircraft engines commissioned for military use during World War II. These events, though, tell only one part of a larger, more tragic story. The play takes place in 1946 in the backyard home of Joe and Kate Keller. The evening before the main action of the play, a storm passes through and knocks down a memorial tree planted for their son Larry. Larry disappeared in an aircraft accident during the war three years prior; he’s presumed dead. Kate gets haunted by dreams of Larry flying over their home and believes her son lives.
Her husband, Joe, and their other son, Chris, placate her beliefs. But it’s not only Kate who holds onto a fantasy; the following story shows an unraveling of illusions, family secrets, lies, and deception that tears everyone apart.
All My Sons Cast is Flawless
Each actor astonishes with complex levels of nuanced and crisp delivery. The actors’ chemistry is on point.
Ned Averill-Snell embodies the role of patriarchal Joe Keller so well; it is as if this role came to him at the perfect time in his life. He is Joe.
Emilia Sargent’s performance is devastatingly beautiful as the mother, Kate Keller, holding on by her fingers to the only world she knows.
Harrison Baxley is transformative as Chris Keller, their son. His strength of presence onstage is at a stratospheric level; he gives a Master Class with his performance.
Pauline Lara plays Ann Deever, Larry’s former girlfriend. Lara creates this outstanding balance by playing Ann. One moment she is soft and sweet, and at a turn, she becomes powerful and commanding in defending the life she wants.
James Putnam explodes on stage with the force of a freight train as George Deevers; he plays a man on the verge of a breakdown while demanding answers, a deft task well executed.
Rounding out this excellent cast is Calee Gardner as the subtly vicious neighbor, Sue Bayliss. Drew Brown plays her pining husband, Dr. Jim Bayliss, who once speaks of being resigned to his life, knowing he wanted more. Brown plays this moment with great finesse.
Noa Friedman plays the giddy Lydia Lubey nicely, even when you see flickers of regret flash on the character’s face. Jonathan O’Brien enthusiastically plays Frank Lubey, as he is the only other character who shares Kate’s belief that Larry is still alive. Even young Jacob Pham, who plays Bert, gives us the excellent quality of childhood innocence of the time.
Behind the Scenes with All My Sons
Steven K. Mitchell’s gorgeous set design completely transformed the theater into the idyllic backyard of 1940s America. Meli Mossey’s costume design enhances the details and story of the characters’ lives. Jayce Bertucelli’s lighting design and Chris Wallace’s sound design allow a sharper focus and direction for the story. With great skill, Christopher Marshall enhances the world that Arthur Miller gives us with his direction.
This magnificently heartbreaking production moved me to tears. Bravo, Tampa Repertory Theatre.
See the Show
About The Gabber Newspaper’s Arts Coverage
The Gabber Newspaper covers live theater and art across South Pinellas and, when we think something’s worth the drive, in the Tampa Bay and Sarasota area.