In the central role of the manufacturer, Vince Campbell strikes a solidly naturalistic tone in the early going, yet falters in the climactic showdown with his son. There is much raw dramatic meat to be consumed here, and Campbell's performance should be amplified in the course of the play's engagement.
As his troubled wife, Toni Beckman hits the proper level of tension, though she resists variation of emotion as the conflict deepens. Like Campbell's interpretation, hers is partially realized and requires only time and familiarization to blossom.
The strongest performance of the night comes from Jonathan Deroko as the surviving son, who learns to his horror of his father's culpability. Deroko charges full bore into the difficult familial faceoff against both his own father and his fiancée's embittered brother.
Likewise, Amber Bonasso as Deroko's love interest delivers a beautifully modulated portrayal, willing to dissolve family loyalty for this developing romance. It's a performance that develops inwardly and gradually manifests itself at the proper moment.
Christopher Utley enriches the emotion-charged situation as the imprisoned man's son, who arrives with unsettling news. His role encompasses both friendship and enmity, and Utley delivers it with seething passion.
Art Hall and Katie Coffey lend fine support as the new couple, a doctor and his wife, who've moved into the jailed man's next-door home. Todd Rew and Kimberly Lewis nicely portray an aggravating pair of neighbors (his appearance with astrological news effectively diffuses a volatile moment), while young Parker Lewis completes the cast as a pesky neighbor kid.
"All My Sons" established Arthur Miller as a promising dramatist in 1947, paving the path to the pantheon of American playwrights. His vision is splendidly served in the production the Newport Theater Arts Center.
TOM TITUS reviews local theater for the Daily Pilot.
If You Go
What: "A Midsummer Night's Dream"
Where: South Coast Repertory, Segerstrom Stage, 655 Town Center Drive, Costa Mesa.
When: 7:30 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays at 7:30, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2:30 p.m. and 8 p.m. Saturdays , and 2:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Sundays until Feb. 20
Cost: $28 - $66
Call: (714) 708-5555
If You Go
What: "All My Sons"
Where: Newport Theater Arts Center, 2501 Cliff Drive, Newport Beach
When: 8 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and at 2 p.m. Sundays until Feb. 20
Call: (949) 631-0288