Joan of Arc: Into The Fire
Closed 1h 35m
Joan of Arc: Into The Fire
63

Joan of Arc: Into The Fire NYC Reviews and Tickets

63%
(247 Reviews)
Positive
43%
Mixed
33%
Negative
24%
Members say
Disappointing, Great singing, Ambitious, Great staging, Entertaining

About the Show

David Byrne of The Talking Heads and creator of 'Here Lies Love' explores the meteoric rise of Joan of Arc through the lens of a rock concert. A world premiere at the Public Theater directed by Alex Timbers.

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Member Reviews (247)

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80
Great singing, Great music, Great story, Surprising, Entertaining

See it if Great voices, music, story. Winningham's song and singing are transcendentally moving. Nice staging. Clear story and lyrics.

Don't see it if you want this to be an inquiry on the veracity or Joan's story. This is a telling, not a documentary. Some of the songs do feel the same. Read more

84
Great singing, Great music, Suprising, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You'reInterested in historical stories & like catchy pop/rock scores with great singing; Jo Lampert it great and leads a STRONG ensemble

Don't see it if You dislike musicals that are sung through with little dialog. Surprised at how much I enjoyed this show especially after reading reviews.

Critic Reviews (36)

The New York Times
March 15th, 2017

"How did the immense talents behind ‘Here Lies Love’ come up with something so inert?...It’s as unswerving in its course as its heroine and just about as reverential…Mr. Byrne’s musical wit surfaces only in a calypso-beat number given to the tribunal...Basically, Joan’s character allows no room for the contradictions and idiosyncrasies of which convincing portraiture are made. She is unvaryingly, achingly sincere.”
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Time Out New York
March 15th, 2017

“A monumental dud. Plodding, reverent and dramatically inert, it suggests a ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’ stripped of wit, ambivalence and social commentary. Which is to say: Jesus Christ. The lean Jo Lampert, who plays Joan, has a robust voice and a compelling androgynous–kick-ass look, but the show gives her nothing to play but uninterrupted self-belief, rendered banally. Although the music is sometimes energetic, the libretto hardly ever lives up to it."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 15th, 2017

“Of the many problems besetting this disappointing rock oratorio, its implicit recommendation of a Catholic martyr as a model of current civic engagement is the most intractable…Byrne is a very talented composer, and Timbers an unusually imaginative director, but this story has defeated them...As Joan, Jo Lampert is a vocal powerhouse and fearless stage animal. It’s not her fault that the character as written is such an unplayable patchwork of clichés and ‘timely’ parallels.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
March 15th, 2017

“A misguided alt-rock musical that reduces the crusade, persecution and death of the 15th century French heroine to a simplistic ‘Martyrdom for Dummies’ with a repetitious beat…The show boasts fabulous production values…It's the surprising lack of sophistication or emotional depth in the material that deflates expectations…The grit, commitment and gutsy vocals of Lampert can't inject emotional nuance into the baldly explanatory, episodic writing.”
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Entertainment Weekly
March 15th, 2017

“Lampert is necessarily required to carry those numbers (and by extension, the show) on her glittering, chain-mailed shoulders, a thing she does with admirable fervor — even when her voice is more powerful than precise…It’s all impressively brisk and smartly executed, though it’s also never quite clear in the end why this version of Joan is especially crucial, after literally hundreds of interpretations on stage and screen.”
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Variety
March 15th, 2017

"Lampert is so conspicuously exotic, that it’s entertaining just to watch her wave her flag and model her sexy armor. The performer’s compelling stage presence and powerful alto help her survive ‘Joan of Arc’…All this stagecraft is ultimately undone by the limitations of the score. Every song seems to spring from the same martial air, and the lyrics wouldn’t tax the intelligence of an eight-year-old. Better to think of this as a fashion show of the prettiest armor you ever saw."
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The Wall Street Journal
March 16th, 2017

"It isn’t a fully successful theatrical experience, and the reasons why 'Joan of Arc' doesn’t quite come off are almost more interesting than the show itself. The most surprising thing about 'Joan of Arc' is its straightforwardness...Every song in 'Joan of Arc' consists of an endless string of four-bar phrases in four-four time...You find yourself longing after a half-hour or so for something to break the sameness...It simply didn’t involve me in the way that I wanted and expected."
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Deadline
March 15th, 2017

“It’s spectacular, due chiefly to an electrifying performance in the title role by Jo Lampert, an actress of striking physical and vocal sinew…‘Joan of Arc: Into the Fire’ is serious in its contemplation of the mystical, the connection between belief and fate, and so it’s unsettling. It’s also very loud, very moody and as unsparingly bleak as its final, charred image."
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The Washington Post
March 15th, 2017

“The results are as deadly as those for ‘Here Lies Love’ were delightful…Part of the problem here is lack of variation...The musical tone almost never shifts. It’s not unlike the effect of a medieval mystery play: a one-dimensional recounting of the events in a believer’s life. The physically vigorous Lampert has impressive lung power but little expressive range…You’re left with the impression that you could learn and feel just as much about Joan of Arc by staring at a stained-glass window."
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New York Daily News
March 20th, 2017

"Running 95 minutes that feel much longer, this pop-rock biomusical about the 15th century French peasant-turned-leader's path to martyrdom is undercooked; it feels like a workshop that wasn’t ready for prime time. The storytelling is simplistic; the score, singsong; the choreography, boy-band-ish; the performances, self-conscious. That includes a hard-working but monochromatic Jo Lampert as future saint."
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Theatermania
March 15th, 2017

“Ambitious but ultimately disappointing…We're only given the vaguest sense of Joan's visions, betraying a laziness in the lyricism. The melodies are similarly uninspired…Timbers applies his caffeinated style to the story…Unfortunately, none of it can compensate for the subpar material undergirding it all…Lampert brings incredible charisma and an awesome set of pipes to the stage, but it all seems wasted on a role that never asks for more than a one-note portrayal of self-sacrifice.”
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BroadwayWorld
March 19th, 2017

"Lampert responds with a performance that exudes charismatic attitude and toughness...An exciting production that straddles between contemporary concert and period drama...But...Byrne's nearly sung-through score is tasked with more sophisticated storytelling, and his lightweight lyrics too often linger on points, rather than expound on them...There's little conflict that's of any interest...Hopefully, there'll be brighter theatre spotlights shining on Lampert in the near future."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 16th, 2017

"A smoothly professional, yet fundamentally unexciting, pop opera featuring a two-dimensional heroine who never begins to suggest the young woman who led armies...Byrne provides a score that is pleasant but which lacks the color and variety needed to suggest the excitement and upheaval caused by this world-historical figure...It's hard to think of a slicker, more professionally staged musical in town at the moment, but this only points to what is weak about it."
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Talkin' Broadway
March 15th, 2017

“Alas, the result, though epic and in many ways appealing, has its own set of problems…How can a musical in which nearly every scene is consumed with some kind of fighting lack a pulse?...Without a deeper connection between the staging, the music, and the plot, it often feels as though the three elements are occupying the same ground but unable to communicate with each other...As Joan, Lampert adds plenty of depth of her own, capturing both the innocence and her bloodthirsty passion."
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TheaterScene.net
April 1st, 2017

“The new rock opera is childish and simplistic giving Joan a rather thin and mundane life. With only a handful of defined characters, this becomes Joan's story but she never seems to mature from the 16-year-old girl she was when we met her at the beginning of the tale. Too much of the show is just more of the same making this 95 minute musical seem overly long. Unlike Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice's ‘Jesus Christ Superstar,’ this never seems to have a new take on a well-known story.”
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Theater Pizzazz
March 25th, 2017

“Lampert, as Joan, is a remarkable, full-throated singer with a gorgeous voice, belting out the banal numbers with gusto…The entire cast, in fact, is terrific…Director Alex Timbers, along with music director Kris Kukul do miraculous things with Byrne’s story (thanks, in no small part, to the strength of Byrne’s actual music). But they are working with thin material and no amount of excellence is enough to sustain the dry, one-dimensional and often trite dialogue Byrne has offered up.”
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CurtainUp
March 15th, 2017

“‘Into the Fire’ is ambitious, skillfully sung, and often quite visually impressive, but it falters on a narrative level. While the show gestures towards the complexities behind the character of Joan (played with impressive fire and venom by Jo Lampert), it skirts around much of her back story and glosses over significant moments…It's clear that Byrne's concert musical sincerely wants to be a character study. Instead, it feels more like an encyclopedia entry.”
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Front Row Center
March 16th, 2017

"David Byrne’s 'Joan' is heavy on rock music and light on story...One event after another is delivered with volume and a myriad of special effects–strobe lights and smoke and did I see a disco ball? There is little differentiating between the moments. There is no story. There is no, you should pardon the expression, arc...The cast is a banquet of talents, all of whom are hemmed in like tigers in a cage. There is a story in here somewhere, but it never sees the light of day."
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Times Square Chronicles
March 26th, 2017

“Jo Lampert and the cast can sing...The music, book and especially the lyrics by David Byrne are so monotonous, you wonder how in the world was this show ever produced…I just don’t understand how you take a vibrant tale of the heroine of France who was canonized as a Roman Saint and make her boring…If it weren’t for Lampert’s powerful stage presence and her sexy shimmering armor this show would have fizzled.”
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The Guardian (UK)
March 15th, 2017

“Despite handsome sets and a striking performance from Jo Lampert, this take on the tragic French warrior’s life isn’t quite as wild as it should be…There’s an absence of psychological acuity and Joan never entirely emerges as a definite human character…The pacing is brisk, the cast melodious, the orchestrations clever. It’s an agreeable evening, but shouldn’t it be braver, wilder, more mystical?”
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The Wrap
March 15th, 2017

“Byrne is very direct in his storytelling: English bad, French good and persecuted. Byrne has little to say about Joan of Arc other than that she’s into nationalism and war…Byrne has a nice talent for plaintive soft-rock ballads…When Byrne goes big with his music, he enters ‘Les Miz’ territory, and his lyrics turn jingoistic.”
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
March 17th, 2017

“A loud, exuberant pageant…The trouble is that the score becomes repetitive and frankly, boring, after a while. Lampert’s performance as Joan achieves stature in the context of Byrne’s rock-vision, and those playing multiple roles as soldiers and others pack the work with further energy. But the music and lyrics fail to achieve emotional involvement…An ambitious effort to present the saga of Joan in a different manner, but it achieves more visual than emotional impact.”
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Newsday
March 15th, 2017

“Almost shockingly deadly…This is a 90-minute hair shirt of a project with no discernible point of view. Despite a breakout androgynous star turn by Jo Lampert as Joan, it is hard not to think we are watching a Sunday school musical about religious history with hymns alternating with pop and rumba.”
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NorthJersey.com
March 15th, 2017

“Really disappointing…What would Byrne, who wrote book, music and lyrics, do with the life of Joan of Arc? The answer is shockingly little…Byrne presents this story, which happened over two years, without irony, psychology or curiosity. It’s essentially a fan’s you-go-girl account of Joan’s indomitable will and fervent belief in her destiny. While Byrne has written some seductive melodies, his lyrics can be flat and awkward…This story of 'Joan of Arc' couldn’t be more uninteresting."
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Financial Times (UK)
March 16th, 2017

"Kitsch might be excusable if Byrne had decided to play the story of the virgin warrior for laughs. Instead we get an earnest and predictable account...Exacerbating that cartoonish story is Timbers’ static direction, defined by repeated, desultory fight scenes that never convey any sense of the chaos and bloodshed...And while Jo Lampert’s Joan just about makes you want to follow her into battle early on, her performance strikes a single note and lacks emotional range."
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WNBC
March 15th, 2017

“A missed opportunity…Byrne’s sung-through score is occasionally anthemic, with touches of Christian rock. It’s generically upbeat and, at the same time, frequently overwrought. The silver lining here is Jo Lampert, as the beautifully androgynous title character…There isn’t ever enough connective tissue between Byrne’s songs to make us care about the girl.”
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M
March 20th, 2017

"The production is a dazzling spectacle of stagecraft wizardry. In the center of it all is a heroic performance in the title role by Jo Lampert...Timbers' staging, abetted by a creative team working at what appears to be the zenith of inspiration and technical know-how, is equally impressive...Byrne’s work may not tell us anything new about Joan of Arc, but it reaffirms in epic theatrical style the fascination she has held over centuries for cultures both sacred and secular."
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Out Magazine
March 20th, 2017

"Byrne’s music is generally very effective, though the lyrics sometimes too literally convey what the characters are thinking, making for some overly declamatory moments. Alex Timbers supplies his usual imaginative staging, and though, as usual there are sometimes too many gimmicks, at least it makes for visual motion...The wiry and intense Jo Lampert is sensational as Joan, bringing her pure voice to the material...An instant classic? No, but it’s not a trial either."
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T
April 5th, 2017

“It’s not surprising the show is a rock musical. Happily, this turns out to perfectly suit the story of the martyred saint. There’s not much dialogue here. Nor does there need to be. Byrne’s score does a marvelous job conveying the passion of Joan’s faith and the pathos of her fate. What’s not conveyed by the music is delivered by Hoggett’s energetic choreography, Townsend’s ecstatic lighting and an ensemble cast headed by the androgynous Jo Lampert as Joan.”
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Reviewing The Drama
March 15th, 2017

“The show starts off well, with Joan's transformation from poor farm girl into impassioned warrior a powerful moment (Jo Lampert is giving a strong performance and has a great voice); it then idles in the middle, and picks up a bit at the end. Overall, there's no urgency in the production or storytelling. Most disappointingly, though, especially considering Timbers's ingenuity, is that if felt like a safe, staid production…The direction came off as generic, even timid.”
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Epoch Times
March 20th, 2017

"An electrifying performance by Jo Lampert as the central character fuels 'Joan of Arc: Into the Fire'...What sets this show apart from a placid retelling of history is the high-tension mix of the best of stagecrafts...Unison movement rivaling the most disciplined work by, say, the New York City Ballet corps...It shows how sticking to one’s principles may ultimately have a remarkable result—even to the point of creating positive change in the hearts, minds, and behavior of many people."
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T
March 29th, 2017

"With book, music, and lyrics by David Byrne, 'Joan of Arc: Into The Fire' is completely sensational....Sensation is Byrne’s coat of arms. His collaborator, Alex Timbers brings his brand of radical, fantastical, and in-your-face theater to this contemporary musical about the allusive Saint Joan...Playing Joan of Arc, Jo Lampert is astonishing...She delivers an arresting physical performance, while snaring us with a voice that ranges from pure and boyish to piercing and ardent."
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LI Herald
March 30th, 2017

“Despite a story filled with dramatic possibilities, ‘Joan of Arc’ often lacks theatricality...Except for a few scenes...much of the musical feels the same. Even the music and lyrics seem repetitive (‘fight,’ ‘victory’). The musicians move around on stage and often that was more interesting to watch than the performers themselves. As Joan, Jo Lampert works hard and gives an impassioned performance, but I often felt as if I was merely listening to a concert, one that lagged at times.”
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The Modernist Beat
March 16th, 2017

"There is nothing noble about 'Joan of Arc: Into the Fire'...The show often feels like an endurance test. Musically, the first 45 minutes are repetitive. Most of the songs are exposition...Alex Timbers offers uninspired direction with a combination of slow-motion fight choreography under a strobe light...The cast performs herculean labors to overcome the deficiencies in writing and directing...Sadly, 'Joan of Arc Into the Fire' is simply not worth your time."
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Village Voice
March 22nd, 2017

“’Joan’ misses the mark by a wide margin. Despite impressive vocals and dancing by the show's young and athletic ensemble, this show suffers from meager, often banal book- and lyric-writing, unwittingly raising the question of just how important Saint Joan's story is to our time…Joan shows little internal struggle or uncertainty...She wins support from her countrymen with no real resistance or dramatic conflict...The show trudges from one power ballad to the next.”
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Daily Beast
March 15th, 2017

“The lead actress, Jo Lampert, is new to The Public and a real find—her voice is rich and warm and the joy in her face lights up the stage…Still, Lampert’s Joan is not a contradictory or complicated heroine…Joan may inhabit an androgynous grey area when it comes to gender, but the rest of her world is one of pure good and pure evil…The battle scenes, and the set design in general, are sumptuous and stunning.”
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