The Crucible
Closed 2h 45m
The Crucible
79

The Crucible NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(844 Reviews)
Positive
80%
Mixed
15%
Negative
5%
Members say
Great acting, Absorbing, Intense, Thought-provoking, Great staging

About the Show

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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Member Reviews (844)

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65
Intense, Long, Misinterpreted, Absorbing, Disappointing

See it if you want to experience this rarely performed classic. Even thru the fog of poor direction, you'll glimpse the fascinating, intelligent play.

Don't see it if you want to see Miller's vision. TC is historically based (Salem and McCarthyism) which is lost here. Great actors wasted, boring set. Meh.

88
Absorbing, Great acting, Great staging, Masterful, Resonant

See it if You like a good intelligent, thought provoking story told in an interesting different style.

Don't see it if You don't like any changes to the classics. This is not like any Crucible you've ever seen!

Critic Reviews (49)

The New York Times
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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Time Out New York
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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Entertainment Weekly
March 31st, 2016

"The play’s easy-to-understand themes of mob mentality and mass hysteria have made it Miller’s most produced work, yet the piece is somewhat flat...Thus the prospect of maestro Belgian director Ivo van Hove putting his inimitable stamp on Miller’s work is too tantalizing to resist. Even if the results are mixed...Van Hove has a knack for stagecraft, that’s for sure...Van Hove’s bold, electric production doesn’t quite juice Miller’s morality play with the ambiguity it needs to be truly tragic."
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Variety
March 31st, 2016

"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.”
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The Wall Street Journal
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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Deadline
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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The Washington Post
March 31st, 2016

"Stunning new Broadway revival...The director reaffirms with 'The Crucible' his credentials as one of the most intriguingly imaginative engineers of the modern stage...van Hove assembles a cast with refined antennae for the story’s tempests and tendernesses...Van Hove’s fully-realized version puts ecstatic new flesh on the estimable bones of one of Miller’s greatest plays."
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Chicago Tribune
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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New York Daily News
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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AM New York
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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NY1
April 1st, 2016

"Van Hove does not reinvent so much as he distills...The lead performers are most impressive...Ben Whishaw with Sophie Okonedo as John and Elizabeth Proctor share a raw intensity that burns through our collective consciousness long after the final curtain...Purists may balk at Van Hove's tinkering and some of the effects seemed unnecessary, but Miller's message, that society can be just as blind as justice, comes through clear and resonant as ever."
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Theatermania
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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BroadwayWorld
April 1st, 2016

"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."
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Lighting & Sound America
April 4th, 2016

"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."
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Talkin' Broadway
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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TheaterScene.net
April 20th, 2016

"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.”
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CurtainUp
April 3rd, 2016

"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."
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Front Row Center
April 1st, 2016

"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."
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Front Mezz Junkies
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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T
April 1st, 2016

"You either appreciate van Hove's daring choices or find them a bit self-important. I confess I am somewhere in the middle...The director’s interpretation manages to make the experience simultaneously historic and resonant...What does work here are the performances...The direction seems aimless at times, particularly in the second act...This is not lively theatre for the restless attention span. But those who remain and commit can hear a pin drop for most of the two hours and 50 minutes."
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Broadway Blog
April 30th, 2016

"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."
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The Stage (UK)
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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The Guardian (UK)
April 1st, 2016

"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."
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The Huffington Post
April 2nd, 2016

"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."
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B
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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The Wrap
March 31st, 2016

"In van Hove’s new revival of 'The Crucible,' evil lurks in ways that it’s best for theatergoers to discover on their own and not in this review. What can be written is that van Hove knows how to put on a good old-fashioned fire-and-brimstone spectacle, and he makes us believe it...Over the years, van Hove’s challenging, insightful productions have given the city some of its most illuminating nights in the theater. With 'The Crucible,' he shows an even surer hand with his actors."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
April 3rd, 2016

"'The Crucible' is inherently such a powerful play that its strength comes through even when director van Hove gets his hands on it...Van Hove stamps it with his own flashy staging, some of which absurdly runs counter to what the play is about…Ben Whishaw gives a stalwart performance as the falsely accused Proctor…I have seen various productions of 'The Crucible,' and even though this one is the least effective in my theatergoing experience, Miller’s durable work still resonates."
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USA Today
March 31st, 2016

"Perhaps because 'Crucible' invokes the supernatural, the staging seems less mannered than van Hove's take on Miller's 'A View From the Bridge' last fall — but not much. Philip Glass's eerie score hums under the dialogue...But the excellent actors help ensure that Miller's dialogue is never overshadowed."
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Newsday
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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Towleroad
April 1st, 2016

"Van Hove brings his signature flair for Greek Drama to the story...The production is stylized to a fault and includes several moments of visually stunning stagecraft...The icy, high-concept treatment throws certain of Miller’s themes into dramatic relief. But it also tends drown out the subtlety of the human drama, leaving little room for the nuances that make the characters actually feel human...Shovels on much food for thought, but there is a palpable sense of relief when the curtain drops."
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NorthJersey.com
April 1st, 2016

"Van Hove's staging of the play certainly has its imaginative moments...These elements don’t come across as a grand reimagining of Miller’s play, but, rather, as taking advantage of opportunities for quick-hit imagery and symbolism...What’s surprising is how lacking in intensity and dramatic development the normally devastating tale is—except for a shattering final scene...The production fails to build a head of steam."
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Financial Times (UK)
April 1st, 2016

"Van Hove has once again pulled off an inspired reimagining of a theatrical classic, which takes a little time to find its rhythm during the first scene, but then canters briskly along throughout the final two hours...The play itself no longer feels quite as urgent as it must have done when first performed at the height of the McCarthyite witch-hunts in 1953. But 'The Crucible' remains a powerful allegory about the temptations of groupthink and how little protection the law can provide."
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WNBC
March 31st, 2016

"While there are outstanding performances in Van Hove’s interpretation, I never felt the sense of snowballing paranoia I’d been expecting...While I’m confident Miller believed in the power of mankind to manipulate and be manipulated, I’m rather sure his 'witch hunt' was metaphorical. Theatrical flourishes here suggest van Hove prefers it an open-ended question...'The Crucible' feels like a serious reinterpretation."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
April 7th, 2016

"Van Hove has taken a powerful script and infused it with visions of his own...His cast is powerful and commanding...It has power but I believe it would have more if it were less blunt. The final scene between John Proctor and his wife is touching and beautifully played, but it comes at the end of a very long evening, one that might be trimmed to suit the thought that sometimes less is more...'The Crucible' will provoke you, but if you’re prepared for that, there are rewards waiting for you."
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Out Magazine
April 4th, 2016

"The directorial touches sometimes result in powerful images and exchanges, but while Sophie Okonedo is strong as the accused Elizabeth Proctor, Ben Whishaw seems oddly cast, and as the finger pointing brat, Saoirse Ronan doesn’t electrify. The production starts slowly, then becomes eye opening, then comes alive again in court, then loses steam in the last stretch. The result is the kind of show that you can recommend to critics, but not necessarily to friends."
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NJ.com
March 31st, 2016

"His approach is alternately striking, lugubrious, and fruit loopy...Whether van Hove is succeeding in his stated goal of stripping away theatrical conventions and cutting to the heart of classic drama—or, in fact, is doing the opposite, and serving up a 'Crucible' that is affected and artificial—probably comes down to your personal taste...If all of the disparate pieces never quite fit together, you can do a lot worse than an audacious production of a built-to-last masterpiece."
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The Associated Press
March 31st, 2016

"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."
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Village Voice
April 5th, 2016

"The classroom setting is a resonant choice, as so many Americans encounter the play in high schools. Lucid naturalistic acting mingles with delightfully surreal, melodramatic effects: heavy underscoring, steaming cauldrons, glimpses of a young woman flying. But these suggestive flourishes don't alter the play's sentimentality, moralism, and uneasy gender politics...Van Hove's faithful production can't patch the cracks in Miller's conceit."
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StageZine
April 8th, 2016

"The focus is on the paranormal and the creep factor...Mr. van Hove’s touches may seem affected, but this remains a gripping, intense piece of theater...The 'mean girls' of Salem give some of the show’s best performances...However, there are inconsistencies in the casting of other roles...This revival won’t please Miller purists. It might outrage some. Regardless, the most telling aspect of 'The Crucible' is how much the message holds up today, even in a production as unconventional as this."
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BroadwaySelect
April 4th, 2016

"This time Ivo van Hove has gone too far...His take on 'The Crucible' is sterile, low-octane slow, badly staged, an assault on eyes and ears as well as horribly misconceived...In a play where everyone should have people almost atop each other, the stage is big enough to host an Arena Football game...There isn’t enough face-to-face in-your-face conflict...The rest of the cast is fine, and all deserve to be in a traditional production, or, at the very least, one less misconceived than van Hove’s."
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The Telegraph (UK)
April 1st, 2016

"This is a topical take on 'The Crucible'...The onetime doyen of the Off Broadway avant-garde seems intent on honouring the spirit of a playwright whose greatness can occasionally come at a ponderous price. There’s no hint of ponderousness here, though, where the air is charged with the chill winds of chaos...No amount of directorial tweaks or innovations would matter without a cast able to transform an often worthy play into one that is properly wounding."
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W
April 1st, 2016

"'The Crucible' is one of those plays that is both 'important' and excellent...Ivo van Hove’s direction here is excellent, but not the staggering success of the recent 'A View from the Bridge.' 'The Crucible' is longer, bigger and more complex, so it cannot be stripped and deconstructed the same way...Van Hove seems to have streamlined the sets and costumes to bring the immediacy to it, but it does take a long time to get to an ending that we know will happen at the end of act III."
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Magical MissTari Tour
June 1st, 2016

"I just don't get this particular director's penchant for stripping classic plays of their time, place and context to make them 'timeless'...Stripping plays of everything except what you consider the theme does NOT make them timeless. It makes them empty...Frankly, all I saw were pretentious director tricks. Of course, in theory it was hard to understand anything because of the junk imposed on the play."
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Labor Press
April 5th, 2016

"The performances are magnificent and give plenty of personality to the characters. The acclaimed Belgian director Ivo van Hove in this production illuminates the battle between good and evil, and the impact of gossip upon a community that believes that sickness and misfortune are the result of evil and witchcraft."
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TheaterScene.com
April 8th, 2016

"Without the Puritan costumes that further distance the modern audience from this play, the actors were liberated to perform with a gritty naturalism…Van Hove’s stylistic direction was specific and original in terms of choices, very clear in helping his vision but not clear in helping the story necessarily…Van Hove has succeeded for the second time at bringing raw, new life to Arthur Miller’s plays. This production had the essential materials to captivate the modern audience."
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Irish Times
April 4th, 2016

"The cast almost trips over itself with talent. There’s Whishaw’s wonderful Proctor, vulnerable and willowy, a Snowden among the censors…Ronan possesses a remarkable power to convey so much in the flick of a glance, something that is utterly malevolent here…Van Hove pairs stars with starkness. A minimal, brightly lit set occasionally bows to blockbuster flourishes…This is a faithful and compelling piece of work, sinister, claustrophobic, and frighteningly real."
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BackStage Barbie
March 27th, 2016

"I left the theatre with more questions than answers. They were not robust, existential questions about life's truths or human nature. These were literal questions about directorial intent. What time period are we in? Why is the pacing so laborious?...The final scene was the only moment in the show that truly gripped me emotionally...I left the theatre largely disappointed, expecting the brilliance of 'View' to repeat itself, but this new-concept 'Crucible' lacked clarity and cohesion."
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