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Theater Review: Miller's 'Sons' A Tour De Force In New Milford

Published: September 27, 2018 at 11:30 am

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NEW MILFORD — A timeless classic about the fallout of greed and neglect is on stunning display at Theatreworks New Milford. With a talented cast, under the exquisite direction of Jane Farnol, Arthur Miller’s All My Sons is given yet another powerful incarnation.

Kate and Joe Keller (played by Noel Desiato and Mark Feltch) have suffered a parent’s worst nightmare: the loss of their child. This tragedy is a side effect of not only World War II, but the machinations of misplaced priorities and deceit.

Kate has chosen to remain in an extended period of magical thinking. For more than three years following her son Larry’s disappearance, she continues to await his return. All the while, she has been complicit in a crime, which she is determined to hide, out of a distorted sense of necessity.

This tenuous balancing act leaves Kate on edge at every moment. She is at turns shrill then still as she wrestles with her fabricated reality.

Joe is a local business success with a dark and unforgiving history that cannot be erased by his do-good generosity. He cannot escape the lies he has lived.

Home from the war is second Keller son, Chris (Tommy Ovitt). His honorable and positive nature is the foundation of his being. He has fallen in love with his brother’s girlfriend, Ann (Paige Gray), and has every intention of marrying her, until he is faced with a betrayal that shatters his world.

This family has been fortified by the blind eye of neighbors Jim and Sue Bayliss (Jonathan Ross and Stacy-Lee Frome) and Fran and Lydia Lubey (Rufus De Rham and Meg Jones). Little Bert (Dylan Sosbe) stops in for a dose of fantasy crime fighting with Joe once in a while, until Kate puts a stop to it.

Ann’s brother, George Deever (Deron Bayer), unexpectedly arrives to take his sister away from the treacherous Kellers, who have broken his family. The climax of this play is an emotional vortex that shreds everyone in its midst.

Noel Desiato is the consummate Kate Keller. She has absorbed and harbors a wealth of pain, which is evident in her every gesture and turn of her head.

Kate is in a constant state of expectation and grief. She has endured so much that when the final blow is struck, she remains standing. She is a woman who cannot be felled. Ms Desiato is riveting in this role.

Mark Feltch is an actor with immense talent. The ease with which he renders this role as his character tries desperately to hang onto his image and lifestyle is magnificent.

Playing the son, Tommy Ovitt masters serious drama. He is required to cross a giant divide as his do-good youthful nature is instantly transformed by the lie that is his family. Mr Ovitt is emotionally charged and convincing.

As the childhood friend and Chris’s intended, Paige Gray is quietly determined in her portrayal of a young woman whose life has been turned upside down. She is lovely in this role.

Playing the Baylisses, Stacy-Lee Frome and Jonathan Ross are both excellent as they manage to reveal their own issues in the midst of the Keller drama.

Traumatized by war and family struggles, Deron Bayer’s George is tragically rendered. Mr Bayer keeps his character wound tight. He maintains an intense presence in every moment.

Meg Jones, Rufus de Rham, and Dylan Sosbe all add to the sense of normalcy that belies a troubled history.

The set, designed by Jim Hipp, is the Keller front porch with visible interiors. It perfectly represents the new suburban lifestyle of the time. The very charming nature of the home is so very disparate from the lives it harbors.

This is a tour de force production with the finest of talents in every capacity. Take advantage of an opportunity to see the work of one of America’s greatest playwrights in the hands of an outstanding cast and crew.

Performances continue through October 13. Curtain is 8 pm on Fridays and Saturdays and 2 pm on Sunday, October 7.

Tickets are $25 for reserved seating, $20 for students and military personnel with ID.

Thursday, September 27, at 8 pm, is this production’s Pay-What-You-Want Night, where attendees name the price of their ticket. There are discounts available for groups of 20 or more.

Reservations can be made online at theatreworks.us or by calling the box office at 860-350-6863. The theater is at 5 Brookside Avenue in New Milford, with parking behind The Catherine E. Lillis Administration Building, 50 East Street.

 

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