All My Sons – Review by Bonnie Goldberg

In wartime, a lot of unconscionable events take place, too many tragedies occur. What if you are knowingly guilty of one, and for no better reason than your own financial compensation, committing an act that directly results in the deaths of twenty-one innocent pilots? What if your husband or father were guilty of such an incident? Are there any circumstances that could justify such a deed?

Joe Keller finds himself in a predicament. During World War II he had shipped to the Air Force defective airplane parts, aircraft engine cylinder heads that were cracked, for Curtiss P-40 fighter planes, and caused crashes and deaths. Not only did he know he was guilty, he placed the blame on his partner and former neighbor, Steve Deever.

Head directly to Hartford Stage, do not pass GO, and sit in judgment on Arthur Miller’s intense drama “All My Sons” playing until Sunday, May 5. Even though it was written 75 years ago, its powerful message of love and loyalty, honor and honesty, ring with trauma and truth to this day. Enter Joe Keller’s world where that truth is seeping like quicksand to the surface, threatening to swallow his family whole. Michael Guston’s Joe has a lot to answer for these days. His wife Kate, a devoted Marsha Mason, can’t accept Joe’s guilt or the harsh reality that their son Larry is dead, even though he has been “missing in action” for three years.

At their younger son Chris’s (Ben Katz) request, Ann Deever, a lovely Fiona Robberson, has been invited to visit, someone Kate still calls “Larry’s girl.” In Kate’s mind, Larry is coming back. To complicate matters further, Chris wants to ask Ann to be his wife, knowing his mom can’t accept Larry won’t ever return, Ann’s father is in prison for shipping the defective parts and her brother George, an angry Reece Dos Santos, is coming to the Keller’s home to confront Joe about the truth.

As the storm of secrets threatens to explode, friends and neighbors of the Keller’s come to call, gathering in the spacious backyard of their home, created by Riw Rakkulchon. The scene of the confrontation is filled with Dr. Jim Bayliss (Godfrey L. Simmons, Jr.) and his wife Sue (Yadira Correa), Frank Lubey (Dan Whelton) and his wife Lydia (Caitlin Zoz) and young Bert (Malachy Glanovsky). Melia Bensussen directs this drama where Joe Keller, in trying to protect his family and their future, is as flawed as the airplane parts he allowed to be placed on planes. Is there any excuse to profit from war? Enter the world of the Keller family and discover how patriotism can be distorted.

For tickets ($30 and up), call the Hartford Stage, 50 Church Street, Hartford at 860-527- 5151 or online at

Performances are Wednesday and Thursday at 7:30 p.m., Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. Mark you calendars for a Hartford Stage Gala on Saturday, May 11 starting at 6 p.m. starring Andre´ De Shields: Diamonds and Decades, for the theater’s 60th Anniversary. The evening will include an after- party featuring open bars, food stations, your chance to win diamonds, plus the return of Savage Pianos for dancing.

Come see how principles and morality are weighed in the balance, responsibilities to a community are judged, a father’s love for his sons is tested, a Greek tragedy unfolds, terrible secrets are unmasked and boundaries are destroyed as Arthur Miller’s “All My Sons” reveals how one family’s conflicts are brutally exposed.