All My Sons

Aside from transplanting All My Sons to Seattle’s Central District and transposing Arthur Miller’s modern tragedy from a white to a black cast, director Valerie Curtis-Newton shoulders the unenviable task of trying to invest her show with relevance. After all, a post-World War II play about escaping justice for shipping faulty plane parts that killed 21 pilots seems fairly anachronistic in a country where not so much is made anymore. The play opens with the well-to-do Kellers reflecting on the storm that felled the sapling in their yard meant to commemorate their lost son, an aviator who went missing in the war. Then there’s the matter of those defective airplane cylinder heads, manufactured by the company of family patriarch Joe Keller (Chuck Cooper), which killed those 21 other pilots—somebody else’s sons. Everyone wants justice, and no one knows how to make anything right again. In Miller’s first successful play, the brutal dénouement opens a vein of comeuppance for all concerned. Curtis-Newton has crafted a carefully balanced ensemble performance of a taut drama, one of the best in the postwar canon. (Through April 17.) KEVIN PHINNEY

Fri., March 18, 8 p.m.; Tuesdays-Sundays. Starts: March 18. Continues through April 17, 2011

 
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