All My Sons Opening Night, or: seminolishly classic Katie Holmes?

Opening tonight at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre is the third Broadway revival of Arthur Miller's classic American drama All My Sons, concerning a business man, his past choices and their consequences, and his family during post-World War II.

The production began previews (which have been playing to very full houses) at the Schoenfeld Sept. 18. With an official opening of Oct. 16, the limited engagement is currently scheduled to run through Sunday, Jan. 11, 2009.

The production is notable for its highly prolific cast. Tony Award winner John Lithgow (as Joe Keller), Oscar winner Dianne Weist (Kate Keller), Broadway and Hollywood actor Patrick Wilson (Chris Keller), and Mrs. Tom Cruise herself - film actress Katie Holmes (Ann Deever) in her Broadway debut co-star under the direction of Simon McBurney.

Also featured are Becky Ann Baker, Christian Camargo, Michael D'addario, Danielle Ferland, Jordan Gelber, Sherman Howard, Clark Jackson, Lizbeth MacKay, Christopher Grey Misa, Danielle Skraastad, and Damian Young.

The production's official website offers this synopsis: "As timely today as the day it was written, the play was inspired by a true story about a successful businessman who knowingly sold the government defective airplane parts during World War II. A middle-class couple, Joe and Kate Keller, have lost their younger son in the war, but Kate cannot give up believing that he is still alive. Chris, their surviving son, falls in love with his brother's fiancée Ann and brings her home to tell them of their new relationship and their plans to marry. In the confrontations that follow, cracks begin to appear in everyone's stories, lies are exposed, and a secret is revealed that could destroy them all."

Chris saw the show early in previews and was not impressed, citing premature direction, lots of screaming, and an ugly set. My good friend Byrd (read his Little House on the Prairie review here) just saw the show last night and said it was fantastic, and that Katie Holmes was surprisingly good. He said he was swept up in the high melodrama and was emotionally engaged.

Perhaps the show has tightened up and really benefited from previews. If only To Be Or Not To Be would have done the same...



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