Cooper City High School’s Abby Goldberg
What happens when everything you thought you knew turns out to be a lie? What happens when it’s impossible to differentiate between what’s real and what isn’t? The Benjamin School’s production of “All My Sons” did a magnificent job telling the gripping story of the Keller family and their journey through love and loss, shame and pride, and the unraveling of truths.
Written in 1946 by Arthur Miller, “All My Sons” first debuted on Broadway in January of 1947. The show ran for over 300 performances and won two Tony Awards. “All My Sons” follows the story of Joe Keller, a successful businessman, and his family as they endure hardships. With lies and death surrounding the family, the bonds that make up the Kellers’ and their loved ones are stretched to their limits.
Jacob Steinger did an incredible job portraying the seemingly good-natured Joe Keller. His performance showed great range of emotion and impressive maturity considering the age of the character. Steinger did an exceptional job creating chemistry with each character he spoke with, most notably with Chris (Caden Quinn.) The father-son duo had many hilarious, yet believably natural moments of comedic relief together, which allowed for a break from the mature content of the show. There was also great chemistry between Steinger and his onstage wife, Kate (Kathrine Rodgers). Rodgers wonderfully conveyed strong emotions of grief and suffering throughout the show. Her beautifully heartbreaking performance was genuine and grounding.
The charming Chris Keller was brought to life by Caden Quinn. He captured the youthful and comedic aspects of his character, while also showing the depth and heart of Chris. Quinn was extremely natural, despite the time period being set in the 1940s. He demonstrated exquisite chemistry with his counterparts, including his onstage love, Ann (Catherine Schenk). Embodying the kindhearted and sophisticated Ann, Schenk delivered an outstanding performance. She effortlessly performed various demanding scenes and connected with the audience, conveying powerful emotion.
Overall, the cast did a stellar job, with thought and effort shown by each and every character. The ensemble’s commitment to their roles transported audiences into the show. At moments of anguish, the characters from the ensemble, such as Sue Bayliss (Ella Pierman),delivered comic relief. Although there were some issues with lighting overall it contributed to shaping the show’s mood. Hair and makeup by Catherine Schenk was beautifully planned and well executed, considering the time period. The makeup helped to form the characters, especially when there were females cast in male roles. The technical aspects of this show did an exquisite job of bringing this performance to life.
The overwhelming passion behind the company of The Benjamin School’s “All My Sons,” was absolutely remarkable. From start to finish, this show was truly brilliant. Congratulations to the cast and crew of “All My Sons” on a job well done.