All My Sons of Delaware

Last Saturday, I made a first visit to the Delaware Theatre Company to catch their production of All My Sons, Arthur Miller’s well-known classic drama, before its closing performance the following day. This was DTC’s season premiere, and their attention to detail and community engagement was clear in my entire visitor experience. I’m glad that my 50th show for this year is also appropriately a first (fully staged) show seen in Delaware.

Hmm, I started this post last Sunday and clearly would have made it more detailed if I’d finished it on the same day. Ah, well…

As it stood, this production created a tight ensemble (a mix of Philadelphia and NYC based actors) working together to honor Miller’s legacy. Director David Stradley paid strong attention to details throughout the entire evocation of community onstage. I could tell this from his director’s note, where he paid specific attention to “the little things” and “supporting players” of one’s life.

The performances were all strong and highly serviceable. But I found myself unexpectedly mentally comparing them to the well-known actors who appeared in the show’s Broadway revival a few years ago, wondering how John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest, Patrick Wilson and Katie Holmes had portrayed the parts. That (forced comparison) has not happened to me before, and I’m wondering if it arose because the revival was so well publicized or simply because I am now much closer to NYC than Marin County.

Often I will not feel as well versed in classical/historical American theatre as I might like to be. This production will stand out as a reminder to remember the greats (American Dramatists) and consider the parallels between their era(s) and the modern day we live in.


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