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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Once upon a time, there was a girl who talked to God. She built a nation, and they burned her for it. Directed by Golden Globe winner and Tony nominee Alex Timbers, 'Joan of Arc: Into the Fire' is a provocative new show about challenging the powerful and believing in the impossible.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Theater Life

"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." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

"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." Full Review

Theater Life

“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.” Full Review


“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." Full Review

Epoch Times

"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." Full Review

Entertainment Weekly

“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.” Full Review

Out Magazine

"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." Full Review

Daily Beast

“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.” Full Review


"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." Full Review

The Guardian (UK)

“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?” Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

“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.” Full Review


“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.” Full Review

Reviewing The Drama

“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.” Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"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." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“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.” Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

"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." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

“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." Full Review


“‘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.” Full Review

The Wrap

“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.” Full Review

LI Herald

“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.” Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

“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.” Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

“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.” Full Review


"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." Full Review

Village Voice

“’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.” Full Review

New York Daily News

"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." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Profound

See it if You like intense theater and powerful acting. The audience was lukewarm because the drama might be too intense, but it was engaging theater.

Don't see it if You need lighter stuff. This play is a serious look at the famous heroine, without the romanticized trappings of the story.

Disappointing disappointing disappointing

See it if You ever wondered how talented people can create a really underwhelming show.

Don't see it if The music was loud and repetitive The characters were all two dimensional. Lots of flash no substance.

Also I loved "Here Lies Love" and think David Byrne is a very talented musi... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant, Riveting

See it if you want to see a show still in it's early stages, but one that could soon burn brightly on broadway

Don't see it if you want nice song and dance numbers in your shows - this ain't that

Original, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to take a look at the history's untold story with great acting.

Don't see it if You done like history piece

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love a high-energy rock musical with strong singing, great acting, and an electric atmosphere.

Don't see it if You prefer narrative dramas without music.

Absorbing, Profound, Resonant, Great music, Great singing

See it if you enjoy a good female empowerment story; religious themes; or a classic, true story paired with a contemporary rock score.

Don't see it if you don't like seeing religious stories represented in a nontraditional manner, or you prefer a more traditional Broadway score.

Ambitious, Great singing, Great staging, Repetitive, Shallow

See it if You're a fan of David Byrne. You like modern takes on historical figures.

Don't see it if You want an in-depth view of Joan of Arc: there's nothing new here. You want to hear a variety of music: all the songs sound alike.

Also For a show tied up w/a feminist wrapper, there aren't many women invol... Read more Read less

Enchanting, Great acting, Riveting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you want to be swept up by David Byrne's soaring music and Jo Lampert's soulful voice. What an entrancing way to tell the Joan of Arc tale.

Don't see it if are not into the lives of saints, even heroic ones like Joan's nor find rock concerts/music appealing.

Absorbing, Ambitious, Intense, Banal, Great singing

See it if You like great singing and interesting staging

Don't see it if You get impatient with inexpert writing

Also Some of the music is very good and the incredible cast makes up for so... Read more Read less

Dizzying, Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Great singing

See it if I cannot recommend this to anyone

Don't see it if If you loved Here Lies Love and thought it would be just as wonderful or you are a living breathing human being

Intelligent, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if Enjoy a modern take on a historical story.

Don't see it if Expected more in-depth characters and a score that is not so repetitive.

Indulgent, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Great singing

See it if You are ok with spending that much to see something that had maybe Two decent scenes. Maybe if you're religious you'll like it?

Don't see it if You dont think you'd like JCS if it was almost all recitative. If you're expecting something as breathtaking brilliant as here lies love

Ambitious, Edgy, Relevant

See it if You like new looks at familiar stories. Rousing music and good dancing and staging. Jo Lempert's wonderful depiction of a persistent woman.

Don't see it if Dislike loud music, retakes of the same old, Joan of Arc as a fighting feminist, and feel you know all this already.

Ambitious, Great acting, Intense, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if you are a huge fan of the story of Joan of Arc and want to see a show that should have been good but failed.

Don't see it if you don't want to waste your time.

Also The only real reason to see this show is for the performance by Jo Lam... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Clever, Dizzying, Edgy, Entertaining

See it if Innovative shows, great directing

Don't see it if if you are conventional musicals

Good music. good lyrics. good performers. weak story telling.

See it if You like good rock n roll theatre.

Don't see it if If you don't like David Byrne music.

Amateur, Excruciating, Waste of time, Aimless, Uncentered

See it if You would like to see Jo Lampert sing, act & give her all to a terrible rock staging of the story of Joan Of Arc & if you didn't pay for it!

Don't see it if You had hope in the Byrne/Timbers/Public collaboration. Zero reason to give applause. Quite possibly the worst show I've seen in NY in ages.

Ambitious, Overrated, Great singing

See it if The music by david Byrne is great, staging is unique, lighting is great, Lead actors are very good. if you can get a discount

Don't see it if 90 dollars for 90 minutes of the retelling of the joan of arc story was a little much. leads are great, industrial setting and lighting.

Banal, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if You are into rock music and not overly interested in lyrics which were very poor, This was disappointing from a creative team!

Don't see it if You do not like Rock and heavy metal musicals with a religious theme.

Great acting, Banal, Disappointing

See it if you want to see the lead actress give a captivating performance, or if you might be inspired by the unchallenged story of a "saint."

Don't see it if you want a coherent story that matters, or if you want to be challenged.

Indulgent, Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid, Slow

See it if You need to see everything David Byrne is involved in. You can wait till a really good last half hour.

Don't see it if you don't want to waste 1 1/2 hours.

Epic, Fast-paced, Bold

See it if enjoy minimalistic and sharp set and lighting design ..the pathos and high energy of rock music is your meat and potatoes

Don't see it if expect to see a complex story and nuanced characters

Indulgent, Banal, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you want to see poor St. Joan in a rock musical that is really a "Hamilton" wanna-be.

Don't see it if you not a fan of rock music and sensibilities imposed on a classic story.

Ambitious, Edgy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if flashy staging, pop rock music, story line about a strong woman, great performance by Jo Lampert (Joan)

Don't see it if you have extremely high expectations based on the creative team, want a story with some subtle conflicts, don't want a punk Joan of Arc

Also It absolutely has faults - found the choreography often weak. I was wo... Read more Read less

Banal, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if You have to see every musical this season. Will mostly interest fans of David Byrne and Alex Timbers.

Don't see it if You don't like contemporary musical sounds applied to historical events or if you're looking for smart lyrics and a varied set of songs.

Cast & Creatives (24)