If I had a penny for every time I heard someone say “I wanted to see that show. Now I hear it closed,” I could start my own theater — and have a permanent tee-time at Cypress Point.
Ergo “Last Calls.”
All My Sons, Intrepid Shakespeare Company’s fine production, must close this Saturday, April 19. Director Christy Yael-Cox pared the melodramatic gristle from Arthur Miller’s “thesis” play. At first the choice feels odd. Without the playwright’s urge to underline key passages, and banner-headline others, little seems to happen at first. But the evening builds from within, as Joe Keller (understated, terrific Tom Stephenson) slowly realizes he can no longer conceal a crime his company committed during World War II.
There’s a hint of Greek tragedy in the play. The sin of the father spreads across and deep — into the war, into his family and friends. The difference: hubris isn’t the cause. Miller suggests it’s the American Dream.
The Keller family’s a minefield. Young Chris (a forthright Brian Mackey) must abandon an idealism that blinds him from the truth; Joe’s long-suffering wife Kate (Savvy Scopelleti, never-ever better) must unlock three years of deep denial. The Deevers, hopeful Ann (a radiant Jacque Wilke) and her brother George (enraged, excellent Tom Hall) can’t escape the explosion.
Miller wrote the play, he said, “to bring a man into the direct path of the consequences he had wrought.” Though it feels a tad contrived, Intrepid Shakespeare shows that the 1947 drama still packs moral kick.
The karma isn’t “instant,” but it’s gonna “get” the Keelers.