Had he lived, Death of a Salesman
playwright Arthur Miller would have turned 100 in 2015. Penguin Plays is celebrating
the milestone into 2016 with a pair of new beautifully designed acting editions of Miller's first Broadway play, The Man Who Had All the Luck
, (which flopped badly) and All My Sons
(which did not.)
All My Sons
is a subtle mystery telling the story of two businessmen who supplied the US Government with faulty airplane engines during WWII. One goes to prison after planes go down and young men die. The other one lives the American Dream, building a nice house in the suburbs.
It's a not so subtle critique of capitalist America's values, and with AMS
Miller laid a solid foundation for future dramas exploring father/son legacies, conflicting public/private moralities etc. He also asks if success is a measure of merit, good fortune, or something darker. Embedded in all of this is a love story built on lies and soaked in blood.
It rings too true for a play almost 70-years old. And the cover art is terrific.
The Man Who Had All the Luck
explores many of the same themes as All My Sons
, but is focused on an even more contemporary concern: Is success merit based?
The man in question starts life as a mechanic whose winning streak is so unbroken he starts to believe failure is just around the corner. After all, he knows so many other deserving people who've watched their dreams evaporate. And yet, good things keep coming his way. Surely, he must deserve it after all.
.., is Miller in the raw. It's flawed but ambitious, and way ahead of its time.
A real treat for fans.