Last night I was in the mood for a good steak and some classic drama.
So some Janus people and I trekked to down to Wheaton to see All My Sons.
The steak was provided by the Ivy restaurant, where we took in our first al fresco dining experience of the season. The drama was provided by Wheaton Drama.
Both were excellent.
We had heard some wonderful things about the show and when we arrived, the curtain lifted, and we were greeted with an authentic set of the Keller’s backyard, courtesy of Randy Knott. It made me want to go on stage, sit down, and have a glass of tea. If I didn’t know any better, I would say the set was a reminder that spring is coming.
However, All My Sons is not a happy play. It’s a play about responsibility that still has the ability to move an audience and make sense in our ever present consumer culture. The details of the story can be found online, so I will avoid delving into that here, but one thing that sticks out is the fine acting and directing on display currently in Wheaton.
We came out in part to support Catie Early (playing Ann Deever), who’s a Janus Theatre Company member, and has appeared in many shows with us in recent years.
We also looked forward to seeing Larry Boller play Jo Keller, Annie Slivinski play Kate Keller, and Marge Uhlarik, who directed the play.
But from top to bottom, the cast in this production was strong. The evening flew by, and from the beginning we were gripped by the story. The people at Wheaton Drama should be commended.
This type of work should be seen by everyone who can attend. Classic dramas get short-shrift in Chicago’s western suburbs. Too often what you see is another well-worn comedy or musical. But last night, we had the chance to witness some history and walk away feeling better for it.
I know, I know, there is enough tragedy in the world, why should you go out and pay for it? I’ll tell you why. Because when you see a play like this it stays with you; reminding you why you get up everyday and how theater gives you and me a chance to feel and be moved by the words on the page being brought to life by artists who care enough to sacrifice their souls on stage.
Go see it. Attention must be paid.