Burns and Murray Review “All My Sons” at Barrington Stage Company [Berkshire on Stage]
by Gail Burns and Larry Murray
Larry Murray: If we compiled a list of the one hundred essential plays everyone should see, wouldn’t you include All My Sons since it is, well, the most Arthur Miller-ish of his many Broadway successes which include The Crucible, Death of a Salesman, View from the Bridge and many others.
Gail Burns: I was warned before I went to see All My Sons for the first time many years ago, that it was a good play, but out of date. That advice was dead wrong. All My Sons is a perfect play, meticulously structured, and painfully timely in its message.
I actually like this the best of all the Miller plays I have seen and read. It was the tenth play he wrote and he had decided that if it was not a reasonable success he would give up playwriting and pursue a different dream. Luckily for the theatre world All My Sons was Miller’s first commercial success, winning Tonys for Miller as Best Script and the production for Best Play of 1947. Imagine, without it none of the plays you just named would have been written. American drama in the second half of the 20th century would have looked and sounded very different indeed.
Larry: I would also recommend this production at Barrington Stage Company since it is competent, respectful of the author’s intentions and as professional as you will get anywhere in the world. It has so many elements going for it, like family secrets, a disillusioned son, and most important, the sort of morality tale that Julianne Boyd, who directed, loves to bring to the stage.