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The Crucible

Members say: Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great staging
78
Critics
69
49 reviews
Members
79
830 reviews
 

Arthur Miller’s 'The Crucible' returns to Broadway in a new production directed by acclaimed Belgian director Ivo van Hove, who has an inventive take on this timeless parable of morality and intolerance.

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Set during the Salem witch trials of the 1690s, Arthur Miller's allegorical play focuses on a young farmer, his wife, and a young servant girl who accuses the wife of witchcraft. The farmer brings the girl to court to expose her lie but instead gets caught up in whirlwind of bigotry and deceit as he too is accused and ultimately condemned with a host of others.

 

Cast & Creatives (14)



Reviews (879)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
69
Avg Score

95
The New York Times

"The director Ivo van Hove and a dazzling international cast have plumbed the raw terror in Arthur Miller’s 'The Crucible'. And an endlessly revived historical drama from 1953 suddenly feels like the freshest, scariest play in town...Mr. van Hove knew exactly what he was doing here. All the members of his large ensemble find revealing new shapes within archetypes and insist that we grasp and even sympathize with their characters’ perspectives." Full Review

85
Theatermania

"Van Hove is the master of visually arresting moments: The alarming third-act opening will have audience members clinging to their seats...Unfortunately, the beats between these set pieces often seem neglected...This may be van Hove's way of dressing up Miller's overwrought dialogue and uneconomical plot development, which causes even the strongest mountings of this play to sag. This is the best production of 'The Crucible' I've ever seen. It is by no means a perfect drama." Full Review

60
BroadwayWorld

"Ivo van Hove's tackling of Arthur Miller's classic seems rather tame...There appears to be a sincere effort to work with the material, rather than completely overwhelm it with his scarcely related vision...By the play's end van Hove seems to be telling us that, yes, the devil is at work here, undercutting the playwright's intention. While there's a cold distancing throughout the evening that keeps the production from fully engaging, there are still numerous good points." Full Review

65
Variety

"There’s bound to be head-scratching over Ivo van Hove’s peculiar Broadway production of 'The Crucible'...The ensemble is superb, and the play sustains its power to shock and thrill. But the directorial concept is baffling...It’s too big, too complex, too philosophical to deconstruct and reduce to its 'essence'...Rather than suggesting a universal time frame, this lack of specificity tells us we’re nowhere.” Full Review

85
Time Out New York

"Van Hove’s electrifying and audacious staging achieves what more revivals should: It makes old work seem new, blows away the dust and exposes caulked cracks...The production avoids overt reference to contemporary headlines, but resonances with today's religious hypocrisy and xenophobia are hard to ignore...Miller’s masterpiece, still a model of post-Ibsenite drama, holds up...'The Crucible' has to be seen—even if not every flourish works...Still, the cast is ridiculously stuffed with talent." Full Review

85
New York Magazine / Vulture

"Gripping, emotional revival...If van Hove’s directorial choices generally support and enliven the text, and force us to see it fresh, it’s not because he has abandoned his avant-garde armamentarium...I think the mistake teachers often make about 'The Crucible' is that they read it like a novel, and sometimes it’s staged that way. Van Hove sweeps all that away, letting us feel more strongly the role the play’s overwhelming structural brilliance plays in locking us down." Full Review

60
The Guardian (UK)

"Uncanniness is everywhere in Ivo van Hove’s probing yet flawed revival...It appears overly reliant on theatrical tricks and somehow incomplete, an exploration of a piece of dramatic literature rather than a fully realized embodiment of or challenge to it. But it is nearly always visually interesting and the actors often bring a really startling emotional intimacy to the work...Much of the play’s tragic intensity has slipped away and the whole lacks any real sense of moral hazard or horror." Full Review

65
The Stage (UK)

"Director Ivo van Hove’s eerie, often enigmatic but periodically powerful Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s most frequently produced play...boasts a strong cast of stars and...a live wolf...The production dabbles in the supernatural...As bewitching as these theatrical effects can be, they wind up distracting if not detracting from Miller’s text...Moving and powerful performances compete with distracting horror movie touches in Ivo van Hove’s production." Full Review

65
Lighting & Sound America

"Van Hove stages 'The Crucible' as a horror film...Performed, down to the smallest role, by a superb cast. However, you sometimes have to squint your eyes in order to find them among all the special effects...'The Crucible' sometimes seems like a relic of 19th-century melodrama. Yet it persists because it accurately diagnoses a neurosis that continues to afflict the body politic. Van Hove's production sometimes gets at this and sometimes gets lost in a welter of staging ideas." Full Review

30
Front Row Center

"The actors' interactions with one another, despite the fact that all of them give very fine performances, appear choreographed rather than organic...Aided by the unrelenting score that serves the dual functions of driving the audience batty and masking much of the dialog, this production nearly sucks the wind out of our collective sails...This production, for all the sound and fury spread about the stage and flying in through the windows, ends up signifying nothing." Full Review

90
Broadway Blog

"I directed a production of 'The Crucible' thirty years ago and have seen several since, but van Hove’s, despite its wildly mixed reviews, and some questionable choices, is the most powerful, riveting, and provocative of them all...The magnetic pull of van Hove’s 'The Crucible' is so strong, even at two hours and forty-five minutes, and its universal message so piercing, that such directorial slip-ups can be forgiven. Clearly, Arthur Miller’s play has withstood the crucible of time." Full Review

90
The Hollywood Reporter

"Almost operatic in their intensity, van Hove's productions are designed to leave audiences agitated and uncomfortable, which is notably the case with this distressing drama, with its steadily amplified sense of horror and indignation...Mesmerizingly acted...The production presents a chilling account of the institutional arrogance and ignorance that are a threat to civil liberties in any age, particularly when the dividing lines separating politics, religion and the judiciary become blurred." Full Review

25
The Wall Street Journal

"It’s amazing how much damage Ivo van Hove, the most pretentious stage director of our time, can do to a good play...He’s attacked 'The Crucible' with a steamroller, turning Miller’s play into a slow-moving study in extreme tedium. Directorial miscalculations abound...To do such a play in modern dress is to take its already over-obvious symbolism and make it clownishly blatant...Van Hove’s staging of the first act is so unvaried in pace that he manages to make it boring." Full Review

60
AM New York

"Ivo van Hove’s Broadway revival of Arthur Miller’s 1953 Salem witch trial drama/political allegory 'The Crucible' is so bewildering that I hardly know where to start. That being said, the production is, more often than not, absorbing and blazing with intensity...Van Hove is an unapologetically avant-garde artist. His experimental, otherworldly approach is ill-suited to mid-century realistic American drama but can nevertheless be electrifying." Full Review

60
The Huffington Post

"For 'The Crucible,' it feels as if van Hove has reverted to his previous attack, although I’m not sure I know what subtextual element(s) he’s stressing...The cast members aren’t so much giving a performance of Miller’s 'Crucible' as they are in the process of rehearsing it...They all do their best within the limitations van Hove imposes...Perhaps Miller’s somehow sad achievement is that as society evolves, 'The Crucible' will continue relevant to whatever is unfolding at whatever era." Full Review

30
Talkin' Broadway

"A perfect storm of didacticism...There's even a constantly rumbling musical soundscape beneath the action that tells us how we're supposed to feel at any given moment, just in case the throbbing lights, choking smoke, and screeching actors leave even the tiniest shred of doubt...These are van Hove's typical games, and they don't connect with the text any more here than they usually do...Even actors this good get lost easily amid van Hove's machinations." Full Review

80
Chicago Tribune

"Eye-popping and wholly unconventional...A more potent, angrier John (and a more complex Mary) would help this production by leaps and bounds, but it remains a fascinating piece of theater, one that adds layers of visual and sensual meaning to Miller's literate verbosity and thus freshens its point of view...This is a 'Crucible' that focuses on how really decent people can be destroyed by fear and hatemongering; were Miller alive today, he would have approved of its emphasis." Full Review

60
New York Daily News

"Good things come to those who wait. Remember that. Because it takes a long time for Broadway’s star-studded revival of Arthur Miller’s 'The Crucible' to cast a spell. In the end, it does. The final 15 minutes of this play, set amid the Salem witch trials, are built to be shattering and heart-wrenching...As for the preceding 135 minutes — not so much. The drama is packed with ideas about truth and power. But as played here, it’s high on talk, but stubbornly low on impact." Full Review

90
Deadline

"Ivo van Hove’s lucid and often mesmerizing production honors all of those big factors without overwhelming us—unless it’s by the sheer impact of a company so right in nearly every detail, from the major roles to those less so...I think the impact must be quite similar to that felt by theatergoers 63 years ago...The set is the production’s major misstep, a serious one...I have often found his work pretentious and misguided. Not here...This is a definitive production." Full Review

90
CurtainUp

"This is the best, most riveting version of the play I've seen...This just-as-long version is consistently forceful and lightning fast...The entire 38-strong cast vividly give life to their characters...However, van Hove and designer Versweyveld once again give in to their occasional lapse into theatrical overkill...That said, these are minor complaints in the light of a thoroughly satisfying new look at an enduringly absorbing and provocative play." Full Review

90
Front Mezz Junkies

"I won’t say a word about Ivo van Hove’s dramatic flair, but it’s very apparent he wanted to excite us visually and dramatically. Many may say it is too much, but I think it works here, once again. His direction and creative storytelling kept me thoroughly engaged and as frustrated as Miller expertly intended...This powerful and superlative cast make an impressive argument, and van Hove’s theatrical flair and intense direction drive this idea home." Full Review

85
TheaterScene.net

"Staging the play in a modern dress production, van Hove has brought the contemporary relevance of this parable of the Salem Witch Trials to the forefront and many will be more impressed with this production than his groundbreaking ‘A View from the Bridge’. With a terrific ensemble cast, this production of 'The Crucible' will make you feel as if you have never seen it before even if you think you know it very well.” Full Review

75
The Associated Press

"The revival, with visionary director Ivo van Hove at the wheel, is uneven, lacking the singular, brilliant focus of his earlier Miller revival this season...Van Hove’s stripped-down approach does starkly illuminate the paranoia and descent into madness as a small town turns on itself...This is a production that can feel somewhat cluttered, which is a strange thing for a van Hove show. But there’s no denying it is a brilliant debut for Whishaw. He has magic in spades." Full Review

90
Newsday

"In this gut-wrenching, modern-dress 'Crucible' — infused with the visceral suspense and the manipulative underscoring of a horror movie — the director denies us any protective distance from the cumulative modern implications of mass hysteria and hypocrisy. Despite the starry cast, this is a big splendid ensemble of equals. And despite the sprawling locations of Miller’s story, all the action feels unforced into one big country schoolroom." Full Review

65
Bob's Theater Blog

"Too long, too wordy and too didactic...The stellar casting and my curiosity to see how hotshot director Ivo van Hove would impose his stamp on the material led me to buy a ticket...While I had some reservations about van Hove’s take on 'A View from the Bridge,' I did find it compelling and unified. Not so with 'The Crucible'...As for the actors, it’s a mixed bag." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
79
Avg Score

89
Absorbing, Great acting, Intense

See it if you're open to seeing this text reimagined.

Don't see it if you're an Arthur Miller purist.

Also Whishaw, Okonedo, Ronan, Hinds, and Harner are all riveting.

67
Great acting, Resonant, Great writing

See it if youre a fan of one of Arthur Miller's most resonant works. Want a somewhat modernized version of the show with keeping Miller's writing

Don't see it if you want a classic version of this play, want a show that gives justice and truth and dont want to be frustrated with the ending

70
Dizzying, Intense, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Banal

See it if You love Arthur Miller.

Don't see it if You don't like overacting.

87
Absorbing, Intelligent, Relevant, Great writing, Great staging

See it if you love the source material and want to see how it can be transformed in our modern social climate.

Don't see it if you prefer revivals to stay pure to their source or dislike updated staging.

77
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting

See it if Sophie Okenado. Just go see her.

Don't see it if You're looking for the biting relevance of an Arthur Miller play.

82
Ambitious, Edgy, Great acting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You're interested in seeing a classic play done differently. You're historically interested in the Salem Witch trials & fascinated by mania.

Don't see it if You don't want to see what is normally a smaller show on a massive stage. You don't want your classic plays messed with or updated.

70
Ambitious, Indulgent, Great writing

See it if you would like to see a slightly new spin on Arthur Miller's classic story. The women in this production are superb.

Don't see it if you're looking for a show that flows. The plot drags whenever the women are offstage. There are also some confusing choices (e.g. a wolf??)

90
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Great staging

See it if Like daring and creative approaches to the classics.

Don't see it if Aren't a Miller or van Hove fan.

72
Great acting, Intelligent, Great writing, Slow, Dated

See it if You enjoy the talented Saoirse Rowan.

Don't see it if You dislike. Updated presentations of classics.

50
Intense, Quirky, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you get a free ticket.

Don't see it if you don't care for modern updates of classics staged confusingly.

89
Absorbing, Edgy, Exquisite, Must see, Great singing

See it if You love how Van Hove creates drama

Don't see it if You're a Miller purist

68
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Quirky, Great writing, Disappointing

See it if you don't mind that Ivo van Hove's directing takes an, "I know better than the author approach", and a few surprisingly wooden performances.

Don't see it if your concept of the piece has been set since you read the play in school. Mr. van Hove, for better or worse, does not interpret literally.

66
Great acting, Confusing, Slow, Dated

See it if You like Arthur miller and any of the actors.

Don't see it if You think a story about the Salem witch trials will be exciting.

55
Great acting, Intense, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You enjoy Arthur Miller or feel you should see a classic

Don't see it if You are not a fan of dark, brooding sets or writing

94
Ambitious, Edgy, Epic, Great acting, Intense

See it if you want to witness powerful performances and a new take on a classic

Don't see it if you're only ok with seeing this story as a period piece

90
Brilliant, Absorbing, Enchanting, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if you want to see this American classic with new perspective. I absolutely love van Hove's theatrical imagination and kinetic resourcefulness.

Don't see it if you don't like your classics messed with and you think theatrical imagination is just gimmickry.

50
Boring, Great acting, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you want to fall asleep, you are only interested in seeing the talented ensemble of actors live

Don't see it if you loved Ivo van Hove's other recent works and don't want to be disappointed

78
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy attempts at re-imagining classics. Miller's script is in tact in a contemporary setting. An exploration of the darkness in people.

Don't see it if intense plays aren't your bag. Also avoid if you're expecting a traditional staging, which this is not.

80
Great acting, Intense, Resonant

See it if you want to see a fresh and chilling adaptation of a classic

Don't see it if you feel you have had enough Arthur Miller in the last few years

80
Intense, Great staging, Heavy

See it if you like beautiful productions of classic plays

Don't see it if you haven't got three hours to spare and a solid attention span

80
Absorbing, Confusing, Great staging

See it if You are interested in innovative stagings of classic plays

Don't see it if You are uninterested in revisiting Arthur Miller

78
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if You want to see a fresher take on the classic play and are up for a night of great performances that make you think.

Don't see it if You want a light play. If random music that really takes away from the action/acting on stage will really annoy you (it annoyed me!)

77
Great acting, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting, Great writing

See it if you want to look at a classic with fresh eyes.

Don't see it if you can't deal with modern dress in period dramas.

70
Original, Edgy, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if You want a classic retold. Interesting staging and amazing actors.

Don't see it if Slow at parts as is the book itself. Sometimes could be misconstrued as confusing.

64
Disappointing, Overrated

See it if Interested in seeing quality British actors

Don't see it if Want to see the show the way it was originally presented. The set is cheap and modern dress ruined it all for me. The director did it in.