alibi online
Free Will AstrologyAlibi's Personals



 
 V.22 No.9 | February 28 - March 6, 2013 

Arts Feature

All My Sons: For the Love of Man

OSSY WERNER
“Everything was destroyed, see?” says Chris Keller, the protagonist of Arthur Miller’s All My Sons, as he recalls to his fiancee, Ann, his experiences in World War II. “But it seems to me, that one new thing was made. A kind of ... responsibility. Man for man.”

This responsibility of man for man, this “love,” as Keller calls it later “that man can have for a man,” lies at the heart of the play. Themes of sacrifice run deep throughout All My Sons. Nothing can be gotten for one without another's loss. But Miller points out how those sacrifices must be appreciated and acknowledged in the attention he places on his characters’ losses and gains.

OSSY WERNER
As the story begins, we find Chris, a young man, returned from the war and working with this father, Joe Keller, at his airplane-manufacturing business. Joe’s business does well during the war, except for the fact the company knowingly sent out faulty parts, which caused the deaths of 21 pilots. While Joe is exonerated of all charges, his business partner is imprisoned, keeping with the theme of sacrifice in that his partner forfeited his freedom for manufacturing woes.

Chris reveals his intentions to marry the neighbor girl from his childhood, Ann Deever, much to the dismay of his mother, a woman slowly withering from a poisonous mix of grief and denial. Adding to the drama, Ann's father is the aforementioned business partner, still tucked away behind bars.

This makes up the basic premise of the Adobe's production of All My Sons, which is directed by Jim Cady and stars Philip J. Shortell and Lorri Oliver as Joe and Kate Keller. Utilizing the same director-actor team that helmed the stunning production of Death of a Salesman at the Vortex earlier this year, Miller’s work parallels many of the themes touched upon in Salesman.

OSSY WERNER
Both plays focus on a kind of American idyll and the attributes that make said idyll attainable—money, comfort and respect. Joe Keller and Willy Loman—Salesman's iconic titular character—both played by Mr. Shortell, are willing to do anything to preserve those three attributes. But while Willy spends his whole life scraping and struggling to have that dream, Joe actually achieves it. He has plenty of money, a successful business, a beautiful home, an easy life and the respect of his neighbors. The very men who used to judge him, he plays cards with. And Miller outlines this certain ruthlessness in his character with a poignant tenacity.

If Death of A Salesman is about the tragedy of pursuing, at the expense of all else, something so ephemeral and meaningless as the “American Dream,” then All My Sons asks, at what cost is it attained?

Miller further examines the cost of comfort in All My Sons, particularly of the lives of soldiers lost in World War II. But the powerful message of the play is no less relevant today than it was 65 years ago. Miller asserts that with the passage of time, we have only become even more disconnected from the cost of building our lives. Rather, he points out how we turn a blind eye toward the things that encompass who we are as Americans—wealth, security, and most of all, convenience.

It is human nature to consider the well-being of ourselves and our family above all else. But what Miller teaches in his play is that this is not a sustainable mode of living for society to progress. What Miller imparts is that familial integrity must remain intact, but only for the betterment of the community. Otherwise, planes fall out of the sky. All good intentions and blissful ignorance can’t change the consequences of Keller’s actions, except to say that no one meant to be a murderer. “When you drive that car ... ” says Chris, wise beyond his years, “you've got be be a little better for it. Otherwise what you have is really loot, and there's blood on it.” To Miller, the point is simple. We are all one another's fathers and sons.

Adobe Theater Presents Arthur Miller’s All My Sons

Runs through March 17
Fridays and Saturdays at 8 p.m.
Sundays at 2 p.m.

Adobe Theater
9813 4th St. NW
505-898-9222
General tickets are $15, seniors and students $13
adobetheater.org
View in Alibi calendar calendar
 

Today's Events

Stand-Up Comedy Thursday at The Stage @ Santa Ana Star

Featuring three of the country’s best stand-up comedians: Jose Sarduy, Jessica Michelle Singleton and Wolfman.

New Works Opening Reception at Patina Gallery

Holiday Story Time at Bookworks

More Recommented Events ››
Join our mailing list for exclusive info, the week's events and free stuff!

 

  • Select sidebar boxes to add below. You can also click and drag to rearrange the boxes; close using the little X icons on each box. To re-add a box you closed, return to this menu.
  • Because you are not logged in, any changes you make to these boxes will vanish as soon as you click to another page. If you log in, the boxes will stick.
  • alibi.com
  • Web Exclusives
  • Recent Rocksquawk Discussions
  • Recent Classifieds
  • Most Active Users
  • Most Active Stories
  • Calendar Comments
  • Albuquerque
  • Duke City Fix
  • Albuquerque Beer Scene
  • What's Wrong With This Picture?
  • Reddit Albuquerque
  • ABQ Journal Metro
  • ABQrising
  • ABQ Journal Latest News
  • Del.icio.us Albuquerque
  • NM and the West
  • New Mexico FBIHOP
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • Only in New Mexico
  • Mario Burgos
  • Democracy for New Mexico
  • High Country News
  • El Grito
  • NM Politics with Joe Monahan
  • Stephen W. Terrell's Web Log
  • The Net Is Vast and Infinite
  • Slashdot
  • Freedom to Tinker
  • Is there a feed that should be on this list? Tell us about it.
Dj Ntox "In The Mix"
Dj Ntox "In The Mix"12.27.2014