Closed 2h 30m
Saint Joan (Broadway)
Midtown W
73

Saint Joan (Broadway) NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(341 Reviews)
Positive
70%
Mixed
23%
Negative
7%
Members say
Great acting, Slow, Absorbing, Intelligent, Disappointing

About the Show

Manhattan Theatre Club brings George Bernard Shaw's take on the story of Joan of Arc to Broadway in a new production starring three-time Tony nominee Condola Rashad.

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Member Reviews (341)

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75
Talky, Uneven acting, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you like historical, philosophical dramedies. Interesting ideas abound, sometimes ad nauseum. Sullivan's direction disappoints, w uneven...

Don't see it if acting (Rashad was in diff play stylistically) & silly bits (like Page's endless drying). Play sh be trimmed. Scenes sag. No costume concept Read more

66
Banal, Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting, Overrated

See it if You want to see a different side of Joan, here she is not violent. Very good acting.

Don't see it if Way to long, does not present her as she was. If 3 hours is to long to sit.

Critic Reviews (53)

April 25th, 2018

"Although it’s a relief to experience a phlegmatic instead of a violent Joan, it’s also a perplexity because the choice robs her of psychology. A hero and genius she may be, but somehow also inert...Still, when the play reaches its tragic sixth scene all that withholding pays off...If the production as a whole made up for the diminished dramatics with ample attention to its intellectual grandeur, it might even have seemed bracingly modern. Instead it just seems modest."
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April 25th, 2018

"Shaw’s urbane determination to give every man his say shifts the play’s focus from its central girl for long stretches of prolix philosophical and legal badinage; Daniel Sullivan’s baggy, plainly designed revival is nearly three hours long and feels it, right up to Shaw’s quirky and deflating coda. Despite a capable cast...'Saint Joan' doesn’t rise to meet the contemporary energy of youthful protest with which it coincides. It flickers with intelligence but doesn’t burn."
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April 25th, 2018

"A sentimental, flattening approach that renders Joan dead in the water before she ever reaches the fire...in Sullivan’s positively inert revival...Shaw’s a tricky playwright—cantankerous and proudly verbose—but he’s also a ferocious wit...But if your first experience of Shaw or his Joan is Sullivan’s tepid production and its disappointingly soft starring turn by Rashad, you could be forgiven for writing this vigorous play and its fascinating playwright off as a collective bore."
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April 25th, 2018

"Even when done well, 'Saint Joan' is a slog. And since MTC's revival isn't done very well, it's even more of a slog than usual...Rashad certainly possesses the necessary physical presence...But she never quite gets a handle on the role...Shaw's play is more academic than dramatic, largely consisting of indigestibly windy philosophical debates and monologues...In this visually monotonous, static production, you come away feeling that the dialogue would be much better read than heard."
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April 25th, 2018

"The 1923 vintage of Shaw’s play hardly shows its age in Pask’s staging or in the loose, slightly winky direction. But color-blind casting and the occasional 20th-century colloquialism feel mostly like modern window-dressing on a story that’s been marinating in the collective psyche for more than half a millennium. And the drawing-room comedy bits don’t do much to build a real emotional investment in Joan or her cause...It delivers the saint and the symbol."
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April 25th, 2018

"Smart, stylish, and engaging...Rashad steps into the starring role in a blaze of glory and claims it as her own...Shaw never goes for the didactic slam-dunk, even when the angels are on his side. Instead he revels in the complexity of issues, motives and agendas in a dialectic that’s weighty even as it crackles with wit...In a handsome production, Sullivan deftly directs his first-class, deep-bench cast with subtle shadings of doubt and wonder."
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April 26th, 2018

"Condola Rashad is one of the most charismatic actors on the New York stage, but...she is by no means a classical actor. Her voice is neither resonant enough nor sufficiently varied in tonal color to allow her to speak Shaw’s etched dialogue compellingly...While I wish that Mr. Sullivan’s baldly straightforward production were more theatrically daring, the play comes through with bright clarity and makes, as always, a thought-provoking impression."
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April 25th, 2018

"Directed by Daniel Sullivan with an easy flow that appears to modernize the 1923 play and keep all that Shavian verbiage moving at a smart clip...Rashad’s Joan seems to have the peace of confidence. Still, I wouldn’t have minded a bit more fury before the fire...All is forgiven onstage (and for the most part, off) by the long play’s final scene, when Shaw reassembles even his dead characters 25 years after Joan’s burning, in a playful, ghosty, dreamy encounter of reconciliation."
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April 25th, 2018

"Holy misfire. Broadway’s 'Saint Joan' is a head-scratcher...The revival has as much crackle as soggy kindling...Rashad has a glint in her eye that grabs. But her star turn lacks mystery, might and command to hold you in her grip. Moreover, director Daniel Sullivan’s stubbornly unengaging staging curiously tilts toward comedy — actually, musical comedy."
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April 25th, 2018

"A straightforward, generally effective production...The play moves slowly and has some dry points. But more often than not, Shaw’s analytical vigor keeps the audience’s attention. It makes you long for the kind of robust political discourse that has gone missing today...Rashad has a secure grasp on Shaw’s rhetoric and presents Joan as unfazed and resolute. She is joined by a strong, all-male supporting cast."
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April 25th, 2018

"While MTC's timely selection of this great play raises high expectations, the production falls a bit short...Sullivan does a fine job balancing the disparate motivations. But the nearly three-hour play feels awfully long, in part because the staging is lackluster...The acting styles are jarringly inconsistent. And as for Rashad's Joan...It's a respectable performance of a very demanding role — just not quite the transcendent portrait the role demands."
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April 25th, 2018

"Her story is incredibly relevant to today, when disruption and its discontents are once again on a collision course. So why is the Broadway revival...so very boring?...The uncut play runs three-and-a-half hours, but this trimmed version comes in just under three — even though it feels significantly longer...Sullivan avoids potentially dangerous perspectives in favor of no perspective, resulting in a production that feels both excessive and limp...A conservative, somewhat whitewashed revival."
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April 29th, 2018

"Very fine production of 'Saint Joan'...There's also a fresher relevance to this production in that the title character, played with wonderful conviction and realistic earnestness by Condola Rashad, is a teenager who gains public acceptance as the leader of a national political movement...Rashad's invigorating performance ensures that Joan's passions are motivated by selflessness and love."
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April 30th, 2018

"Calamitous Manhattan Theatre Club revival...Condola Rashad brings to the role, well, not much of anything. Plainly put, the actress is in over her head...Rashad's inability to make anything of Shaw's words is the most glaring problem, but she isn't alone in it. Daniel Sullivan's sluggish, aimless production is marked by several disappointing performances...The lack of directorial vision is sorely felt as the production lurches from scene to scene."
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April 25th, 2018

"A quieter interpretation than most and asks us to pay attention...This production, directed with intelligence and a great respect for Shaw's words by Sullivan, brings out the complexity of the story, so that we see Joan as a pawn as well as a torch-bearer. Rashad's applause-garnering defiance makes us think about who Joan is as a person...Rashad brings an honest naturalism to her performance...It is good to see a thoughtful production that allows Shaw to speak for himself."
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April 25th, 2018

"Competent but stolid staging by director Daniel Sullivan...A drama that requires inventive lifting on the part of its director and acting ensemble to make its often static charms amenable to Broadway audiences of today...This staging appears terribly flat...At the very least, MTC should have secured a more personally resonant actor for Joan than Condola Rashad, whose cheery portrayal of Joan is confident, pleasant, and neither inspired nor inspiring."
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April 25th, 2018

"Rashad’s performance—tender, resolute, and deeply human—presents us with something we’ve become sadly unaccustomed to in reality: a leader whose strength is rooted in humility. Director Daniel Sullivan manages to capture the timelessness and the topicality of Shaw’s play without straining to emphasize the latter...Sullivan trusts the text and a superb company to show us how relevant the playwright’s progressive humanism is right now."
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April 26th, 2018

"Other than a few projections depicting battle, this is a talkfest, very simply staged...The talk, however, is engaging, and Rashad gives a bright, quicksilver performance, setting into motion powerful forces that ultimately consume her, not without a fight...Shaw couldn’t leave his characters to their fate, so he contrived a bittersweet epilogue that brings some of them together on the celestial plane...It brings 'Saint Joan' to a satisfyingly stimulating close."
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April 25th, 2018

"It’s hard not to feel grateful for a chance to see a first-class production of 'Saint Joan.' Unfortunately, a dutiful gratefulness is about all the enthusiasm it’s possible to muster for the handsome and well-acted but stolid production...An excellent cast led by the absolutely radiant Rashad...Rashad is surrounded by a sterling cast of skilled stage actors...The debates are extended to inordinate length through eloquent but sometimes swampy verbiage. The play often sags under the weight of words."
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May 8th, 2018

"After 'Ruined' and then last year's 'A Doll's House, Part 2,' Condola Rashad is fast establishing herself as one of our finest young actresses. She is presently back on Broadway, offering a steely and, shall we say, saintly performance as the title character in George Bernard Shaw's 'Saint Joan' at the Manhattan Theatre Club's Samuel J. Friedman Theatre."
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April 26th, 2018

"Directed by Sullivan with his usual discipline and featuring a impressive cast...Rashad convincingly portrays Joan as human...This is a work filled with complex, difficult characters, a challenge from which Sullivan, Rashad, and the rest of the cast do not shy away. Often, we look to see such complexity resolved. The satisfaction of MTC's 'Saint Joan' comes from its refusal to do so, forcing us instead to embrace and grapple with its ambiguity."
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April 30th, 2018

"A capable but somewhat uninspiring cast, from which Patrick Page, however, stands out...Capable but somewhat uninspiring is a description that, regrettably, must be extended to much of the first act of this production...While Ms. Rashad’s Joan of Arc mesmerizes in the superbly staged, climactic scene of her trial, her reticence in fully embracing The Maid’s larger-than-life personality felt somewhat of a missed opportunity for the first half of the play."
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May 7th, 2018

"Tragically, Rashad finds herself in an uninspired production that drives itself into the ground. She gives an feisty but one-note characterization void of dimension and variance, much like the production as a whole, telling us the story, but never giving us a good reason to care...Sullivan has failed with this play, following the story with too straight a purpose but no overall imaginative form or purpose."
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May 7th, 2018

“The revival’s willingness to dwell in ambiguity and accept each side’s conviction that they’re doing what’s right makes it both uncomfortable and undeniably compelling...Rashad is a revelation in the title role...Deeply human...Even absent a clear vision, Shaw’s words are largely capable of speaking for themselves...And Rashad and Page in particular are more than capable of breathing new life into them.”
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T
June 1st, 2018

"The cast addresses Shaw’s concerns and themes with welcomed rigor. Some might find the length of the monologues to be challenging; however, each of these is filled with interesting historical detail that adds to the understanding of the importance of Joan of Arc and her contemporaries...The journey from soldier to prisoner to saint is beatified by Rashad’s authentic performance. The entire cast supports that remarkable transformation with consummate skill and grace."
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April 28th, 2018

"Sullivan has assembled a skillful cast of 19 to offer what feels like a straightforward history lesson...The lesson is intelligent, competent, at times intriguing, but also talky, statically staged, and a long three hours long...Rashad plays Joan's innocence, unfussy confidence, and sincere faith with a low-key modesty that would in real life surely win over those around her. But it simply isn't all that interesting to watch, until the climactic moment of her sentencing."
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April 30th, 2018

"Verbose arguments whose dramatic possibilities only now and then flare into fiery life in this leaden production…The company…is intelligent and vigorous but too many moments sound rhetorically hollow, some actors shouting when all else fails…Rashad…has energy and a strapping presence…and manages some pathos during the trial scene, but her characterization is superficial. She lacks even a spark of the spiritual fire that would persuade anyone to put a nation's fate into her hands."
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April 26th, 2018

"Theatergoers hankering for plays that deal extravagantly in issues and language know they’ll find it in anything and everything written by the tireless Shaw...You like his characters exchanging pithy observations? You’re guaranteed a hearty time under director Dan Sullivan’s rule...While Rashad ebulliently fills the title role, there are stretches when Joan disappears and the men are handed stern, sometimes surprisingly humorous, lines."
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April 25th, 2018

"Rashad pulls 'Saint Joan' into this century with a performance that is both ironic and wide-eyed. That wonderful contradiction, between being informed and foolish, galvanizes the production, and makes her irresistible to watch...Nothing is ever commonplace when Patrick Page is on stage...When Page reappears much later as the Inquisitor himself, it’s impossible to get his Robert out of your head...Regardless, the actor delivers the play’s standout moment."
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May 5th, 2018

“'Saint Joan' is getting a sterling revival in this production illuminatingly directed by Daniel Sullivan....Rashad’s Joan is impressive indeed...Rashad handles Shaw’s dialogue with utmost clarity and meaning...Rashad touches our hearts...The production is filled with worthy performances...Most importantly, I came away hoping that Rashad receives the proper recognition due for her scaling the dramatic heights inherent in Shaw’s work with a profound and moving acting achievement.”
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W
May 7th, 2018

"Presents fallible human beings struggling with political, religious, and moral issues...Interpretation of Joan is the axis on which this play revolves....Rashad and Sullivan manifest the heroine as a plucky, wide-eyed innocent resembling Tom Sawyer. Portrayal makes it impossible to believe authority fell before the girl’s singular intent. There’s nothing about her person that speaks of beatification...Sullivan has given us much better. The production is, alas, too bland for its britches."
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T
May 5th, 2018

“Rashad doesn’t deliver Shaw’s complete package in Sullivan’s tepid production...Rashad grows in power and conviction, but she never convinces as Shaw’s plain-spoken woman of the people or as a charismatic leader...A vital scene...which conveys Shaw’s central theme...falls flat due to the surface-y liming of Bobbie and Davenport. It’s more of a shouting match than a clash of ideas...There is a modicum of surprise and snap in the epilogue.”
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May 7th, 2018

"A perfunctory and low-energy revival...This dramatically inert, oddly comical, and pageant-like production has all the subtlety of, well, a pageant—running at nearly three hours and feeling every bit as long...The whole production feels incomplete, lacking a spiritual spark despite its ecclesiastical elements...Joan remains too roughly sketched for audience investment, and in this stuffy production, grand political dialectics about God vs. Church are given no focus or punch."
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April 25th, 2018

"Behold the golden pipes...If you’re focusing this much on a theater production’s use of large golden tubes, all is not right...It is not a bad performance, but it feels misjudged in its tone. Here Rashad plays a fine but too-subdued Joan...It’s hard to see this Joan arousing much passion or devotion on the part of an army...The play comes alive again—and the performers become immediately more engaged and engaging—in the epilogue...But as in life, so it is in the play: It’s all too late."
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May 7th, 2018

"Rashad shows a mien of assurance, naïveté and finally outrage during her interrogators' questioning. It is a challenging role and Rashad's Joan is skillful but lacks a indefinable mysticism. Shaw's play runs almost three hours of talky tedium and segments of provocative ambiguity, a play that might be best read on a rainy afternoon and then debated in an Irish bar."
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T
May 13th, 2018

“Rashad is charming as Joan...Rashad’s Joan is sweet-natured but determined, gentle yet forceful, a kind of hero just right for the #MeToo and #BlackLivesMatter generation. Joan goes about the world of men with an ease that emanates from her faith...Exemplary cast...Sullivan’s direction can get a little bumpy though there are several deft touches, and at nearly three hours, the show can be a little trying. Which brings us to the rather campy epilogue.”
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April 25th, 2018

"Sullivan did manage to inject the uneven production with a few moments of levity. Rashad makes an intriguing Joan...She grows into the role and her trial scene is chilling, a powerful and timely statement about women standing up to the men who would control them. Sadly, when Rashad is not on stage, the piece tends to go flat...Now, about that levity. Shaw ended the show with an epilogue...Sullivan turns it into something of a bedroom farce...An appropriate end?...Maybe not."
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April 30th, 2018

" What is most mystifying about this production is the direction of Daniel Sullivan, a brilliant director with occasional misfires...Everything is stale, wilted and tiresome...Adding to the production’s misfires is Condola Rashad...As for the rest of the cast, renowned as they are...are all doing various degrees of hamming...Wasn’t Mr. Sullivan out there watching the ensuing proceedings? Isn’t he supposed to bring them together and place them all on the same page?"
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April 26th, 2018

"From the minute Rashad enters the stage, you feel warmth for the peasant girl faithfully following the celestial voices of her head...On one hand, she is one of the most legendary warriors of all time, but, on the other, she seems stubborn and insane, but Sullivan’s direction shows that she could be both...You feel engulfed by the performers and the golden, scenic design of Scott Pask."
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Z
April 26th, 2018

"The burning star at the center of the story, played by a luminous Condola Rashad, is too calm, too quiet, too sane for us to care much about...Her rationality takes a lot of emotional stuffing out of the story, and the series of somewhat disconnected scenes have a strangely becalming effect. The trial hits home, but the final moments of emotion don’t quite make up for the smooth ride that comes before...The cast is, across the board, excellent."
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April 25th, 2018

"Despite the inconsistent design of the piece, Sullivan’s production was otherwise refined, choosing to focus more on the characters and the personal conflicts...This approach strengthened the production overall, allowing the actors to shine...The play suffers from some minor pacing issues, which are the direct cause of Rashad’s extraordinary talent. When she is not onstage, the audience is (rightfully) unhappy...waiting for her to make a glorious return."
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May 1st, 2018

"Rashad does solid, thoughtful work. I’ve seen far too many bad puns about fire in reviews of 'Saint Joan,' so believe me when I say I mean no such thing when I tell you Rashad gives her a slow steady burn. She is aided by a superb supporting cast, particularly Patrick Page as a terrifyingly calm and methodical Inquisitor, and John Glover as an archbishop as politically cunning and he is theologically astute."
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May 7th, 2018

“What a director must do is keep ‘Saint Joan’ fluid without degenerating into static scenes of exposition and dialogue. Sullivan partially solves that with some judicious if not entirely necessary cutting...Chanler-Berat falls prey to overacting...Rashad’s Joan is well-spoken and girlish...as technically accomplished as she is, Rashad only finds Joan’s soul in her fleeting final moments begging for mercy from her prosecutors...Ann intermittently challenging interpretation.”
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April 27th, 2018

"Rashad is a deeply engaging Joan; her elegant rendering of this difficult young woman is made especially notable by her eloquent and graceful hands...As a warrior she swaggers, but she can also be adorably girlish and naïve...The wittiness of the language as well as the wittiness of the performances reveal that irresistible Shavian charm as well as his genius for provocative argument...Under Sullivan’s profound as well as clever direction, the focus remains sharply and clearly on the debate."
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April 25th, 2018

"Rashad is, simply, a brilliant actor. In addition to her talents, MTC has assembled a cast with chemistry and expert craftsmanship under the direction of Daniel Sullivan. When the weak link is George Bernard Shaw’s rather long script, you have the makings of theatre at its best...There is a bit of madness in Rashad’s portrayal...The cast supporting her is exceedingly well chosen...Still, the script does get lost on its way to the end."
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April 25th, 2018

"Sullivan finds the rhythmic humor in Shaw’s writing and allows it to surface when it is most needed and appreciated...Naturally, the actor cast in the role of Joan needs to carry the show, and Rashad is truly captivating. She delivers a majestic and powerful performance...The final scene of Shaw’s play takes place twenty-five years after Joan’s death...This is Shaw’s finest scene of the play. It offers a chance for the audience to reflect on the historic and religious accounts in his writing."
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F
April 25th, 2018

"The wrenching, tour-de-force performance given by Condola Rashad...Sullivan’s 'Saint Joan' is an intensely chilling production...The overall effect is one of some holy, medieval theatrical experience pulsing with the divinity and the sacrament of the moment...Theater-goers of Sullivan’s new production, cradled by an extraordinary group of actors, will be hard-pressed to keep themselves from pitching their bodies inevitably toward the stage, bewitched by this daring new revival."
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April 30th, 2018

"Mighty and surefooted cast supporting a solid performance by Condola Rashad...Though a tad overlong — Scene 4 gets terribly tedious before intermission begins — Shaw’s play is still as riveting as I’m sure it was when it first premiered in 1923. He successfully tells a war story without any battles, and he challenges the authority of government and religious establishment through a female protagonist that may or may not be crazy...Rashad is exceptional as Joan."
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April 25th, 2018

"Even in a compromised production, it should not be missed...Responsibility for this moderately enjoyable 'Saint Joan'—which never gets near enough to greatness—rests mostly with director Daniel Sullivan, who continues a pattern of delivering fluidly competent productions that lack intellectual rigor and specific insights...Rashad has considerable talent, and here she scores some good points as the warrior Joan. But she fails to suggest her naturalness and charm."
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April 26th, 2018

"A majestic revival...Rashad is at times powerful, at other times sad and sometimes very, very funny...She makes the play the big hit that it is...Sullivan has done a superb job of coordinating different aspects of the play and, carefully, carries the story from scene to scene and addresses her trial with great bravura...Saint Joan is a beloved historic figure and Rashad, as the maid of Orleans, is nothing short of sensational in this remarkably well-told story of France’s historic treasure."
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W
April 26th, 2018

"The production is faithful to the words and intent of its author, which means there is a play on Broadway that is told with both a stunning intelligence and biting cynicism. Upping the ante, is that it’s cast with some the best supporting actors in the business and has a lead determined to find the soul of the title character...Sullivan’s direction lacks movement or action as characters spend pages and pages of Shaw’s didactic dialogue in stationary positions...It makes for a long night."
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April 25th, 2018

"What a joy it is to watch a superb production of a Shaw play...Rashad radiates in a performance that has us enthralled from beginning to end. And this is no easy task since she is surrounded by a marvelous, venerated group of actors...The result is some of the finest character acting around. Sullivan’s direction is lively, wringing every joke from the text, and making the most of both farcical and dramatic moments...I love being awash in Shaw's compelling, witty, and elegant words."
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April 26th, 2018

"Within all this temporal weirdness, there’s an undeniably compelling core...Rashad’s Joan, glowing, ebullient, and with unlikely shades of heartwarming goofiness about her, is an easy heroine to champion. Without Rashad, in fact, it’s difficult to imagine this odd play hanging together...Often the only woman onstage, sparring with or defending herself against circles of doubting or condemning men, her sprightliness can be downright inspirational."
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