Holmes rocks Broadway role

Courtney Linde

Ten years ago, she was Joey Potter, the innocent girl-next-door on the popular teen drama “Dawson’s Creek.” 

Two years ago, she became Mrs. Tom Cruise. 

Today, she is starring on Broadway alongside three of the most respected names in the theatrical world in the first-ever revival of Arthur Miller’s dramatic masterpiece “All My Sons.” 

She is Katie Holmes. 

Over the past few years, Holmes has become not only a wife and a mother but also a frequent tabloid cover girl.

However, on the evening of Oct. 16, she was no longer the girl that people read about in gossip magazines; she was an actress who had just taken a bow after her opening night on the Great White Way. 

Society seems to have labeled Holmes as “Tom Cruise’s wife, who also happens to be an actress.” 

However, performing alongside stage veterans John Lithgow, Dianne Wiest and Patrick Wilson reminds people that she is an actress who happens to be Cruise’s wife. 

A week after the production officially opened, I had an eighth-row seat at the Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre in the heart of the Theatre District in New York City.

As I took my seat, my eyes immediately went to the stage, which held a peculiar set consisting of a lone tree, a floor that resembled grass, a table, chairs and a screen door.

Prior to the start of the play, all the actors come onstage, and Lithgow reads the play’s introduction to the audience.

It was a rather interesting directorial approach to the production.

However, as the play progresses, it is clear that director Simon McBurney stages the production using a rather unconventional approach.

His originality only adds to the compelling story that Miller tells.

The always fabulous Lithgow portrays businessman Joe Keller.

Although he may be a husband, a father and a neighbor, Joe makes it clear to his audience that he is a businessman first.

Joe and his wife Kate (Wiest) are involved in constant emotional struggles.

Their son, Larry, has been missing for a few years while at war, and Kate is having a difficult time coping with the idea that her son is dead.

She is in denial over the situation and believes that one day he will return home to his family.

Wilson flawlessly portrays The Kellers’ other son, Chris.

Wilson seems to have gripped Chris’ innermost emotions and performs with such passion that the audience can really connect with the character. Chris has invited Larry’s former fiancée, Ann Deever, to visit with the Keller family.

The Deever family used to live next door to the Kellers, and Mr. Deever was Joe’s business partner.

Katie Holmes plays Ann, a charming young woman who understands the fate of her former love and has instead found that lost love with his brother.

Although the evolution of Chris and Ann’s relationship is present throughout the show, it is not the primary storyline.

While Ann’s father and Joe were business partners, the blame for the overseas shipment of faulty airplane parts, which resulted in numerous deaths, has been placed solely on Steve Deever, who was subsequently incarcerated.

It is not until Ann’s brother George (Christian Camargo) arrives at the Keller home after visiting with his father in prison that Joe’s guilt is exposed.

He was sick the day those parts were shipped; however, even though he was not present at shipment, his knowledge of the faults incriminated him.

The strength of each of the actors becomes evident in the third and final act of the play.

As the question of morality arises, there is the defining moment of realization. When exactly is the line crossed between what is right and what is wrong? When is it OK to act on behalf of the good of a business rather than the good of the people?

Joe made a business decision that ended in tragedy, and that internal guilt is what ultimately takes hold.

This play is not meant to be understood easily.

It provokes thought and conversation among audience members. McBurney’s unconventional direction adds even more depth to this already emotionally wrenching story.

That, along with exceptional acting, provided not only an entertaining trip to the theatre but one that I will continue to talk about for a long time.