New York | 1h 30m | In Previews: Opens Apr 03

The Cradle Will Rock

From 23 member reviews
Members say: Ambitious, Great singing, Disappointing, Great acting, Relevant

About the show

CSC presents a new production of Marc Blitzstein’s 1937 play in music, which explores corruption and corporate greed as it tells a tale of worker's efforts to unionize. More…

In Steeltown, USA, laborer Larry Foreman struggles to unionize fellow steel workers against mounting attacks from a greedy industrialist, who uses his power to influence nearly everyone else in town. Created through the Federal Theater Project, "The Cradle Will Rock" was famously shut down on the eve of opening night by federal authorities fearing its pro-labor stance.

1h 30m | In Previews: Opens Apr 03 | Classic Stage Company (East Village)


“The Cradle Will Rock” hasn't been reviewed by any Critics (yet!)

93
During previews
Clever, Absorbing, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Fast paced 90 minute musical about workers trying to form a union. Cast connects with audience, energetic and having a great time.

Don't see it if Would have liked a printed program instead of scanning a QR code. That felt cheap and tacky.

93
During previews
Good music, Entertaining, Great acting, fast paced, inventive songs

See it if you like musicals

Don't see it if you want to be moved

Also EVERYTHING was great about this musical, the cast, great voices and pi... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Entertaining, Great writing, Epic, Relevant, Absorbing

See it if a basically faithful production of a 20th landmark. the Doyle schtick works here MOST of the time. talented cast and fun to see close up.

Don't see it if not a subtle play and not a subtle production. throwing the dollars around was unecessary and distracting/ hope they'll adjust this soon.

84
During previews
Blitzstein's depression-era pro-union musical gets the john doyle treatment

See it if Brechtian musical of lefty politics. Tony Yazbeck, Eddie Cooper and Lara Pulver provide strong voices for Weill-like score.

Don't see it if A poor (rich) man's Threepenny Opera. Thin sound from an upright piano played by several cast members. Doyle minimalism again.

Also Saw first preview. Spare set with actual old US $ thrown around by the... Read more Read less

83
During previews
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great staging, Great acting, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy streamlined, contemporary versions of classic plays. You want a classic play w/relevant themes. You want to see a talented cast.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals in the sung-through style. You prefer contemporary musicals. You don't like intimate staging. You want light comedy.

82
During previews
Great acting, Quirky, Original, Ambitious

See it if hybrid musical play w/ a terrific cast of actor-narrator-musicians appeals; fellow fan of Yazbeck or Cooper; intrigued by the play's history

Don't see it if struggle w/ focusing on sung-through stories; expecting catchy melodies or elaborate set design; unmoved by topic & playwright's tragic fate

80
During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow, Great singing, Great acting

See it if You want a chance to see a play in music - mostly sung through that isn’t done frequently. Play from 1930s is given John Doyle treatment.

Don't see it if You don’t like minimally staged musicals ; want to see a splashy traditional production or not interested in the themes including pro-labor.

Also Talented cast (especially Tony Yazbeck) but it took awhile to get goin... Read more Read less

80
During previews
Resonant, Intelligent, Great staging, Edgy, Absorbing

See it if You want to have a visceral experience of anger and hope and despair told through song by a uniformly excellent cast

Don't see it if You have no interest in the Depression and want something light and tappable .

79
During previews
Intense, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if Classic musical. rarely done. and thus rare chance to hear this score and see show! Tough minded, witty and angry piece about class divide.

Don't see it if If you are not a fan of early American musicals that explore the darker yet ever resonant aspects of the class divide.

78
During previews
Single piano and spare stage echo original production, Dated but still relevant, Play with music

See it if Working class and unions are still disparaged. Wealth and power divide is still getting worse.

Don't see it if Talk-sung-through musical can sometimes be hard to understand and follow. Depression era setting.

78
During previews
Ambitious, Slow, Well sung, Has it's moments, Disappointing

See it if you're​ a fan of Doyle's minimalist style; interested in a 1937 mostly sung piece about wealthy industrialists vs. union organizers.

Don't see it if not interested in a show that though very much a product of it's time, has not aged very well, yet still has moments of power.

Also I saw the 1st preview & the timing is not quite where it should be.

77
During previews
Intelligent, Spartan & stripped-down, Frighteningly current, Symbolic, Resonant

See it if You appreciate political allegory and/or Doyle's stripped-down aesthetic. You are into U.S. history, particularly the labor movement.

Don't see it if You are seeking a traditional musical theatre experience. Need elaborate staging, costumes, etc.

Also Scary how this early 20th Century story is so relevant to the current ... Read more Read less

75
During previews
Doyle'd minimalist (budget) staging, Piano played by 4 in cast, Another trump parallel show, Great singing, Dated

See it if you want to see this rarely performed play with music - sung well. 4 in cast are pianists - and accompany.

Don't see it if not interested in a pro-union / leftist Trump paralleled show - in vignettes. You don't like full cast unison dialogue. felt long at end

Also Another CSC Trump paralleled show- this time with gesture/phrasing by ... Read more Read less

74
During previews
Satire, Operatic, Political, Dated, Relevant

See it if you are interested in union history and seeing how today's audience relates to political theater from a different era. Power to the people!

Don't see it if you don't like operettas and period language. The rich are greedy -- we get it...not much subtlety. More a history lesson than a show.

72
During previews
Confusing, Disappointing, Dated, Great staging, Great singing

See it if a minimalist recreation of a 1930's musical re: rampant capitalism, political graft & trying to form unions in response to corruption

Don't see it if Everyman characters, experimental songs & lyrics of the 30's w/terrific singers & musicians & great staging aren't enough to interest you.

Also presented via vignettes w/great singers, good acting & great staging a... Read more Read less

72
During previews
Slow, Banal

See it if If you like a small musical,accompanied by piano only, simple staging

Don't see it if Want something big and splashy in your musical.

Also Songwriting and music was a bit long in the tooth.

70
During previews
Predictable, Relevant, "pop-operetta"

See it if you'd like to see a 1937 play given the "Hair" treatment, with themes as politically relevant today as it was back-in-the-day

Don't see it if you're looking for a memorable musical with original ideas

69
During previews
Disappointing, Quirky, Intelligent, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if If you'd enjoy a B. Brecht-like musical with excellent singing & acting.

Don't see it if good execution won't make up for a weak plot.It's a series of vignettes which involve stock characters--rich people bad; workers good.

69
During previews
Great singing, Great staging, Dated, Disappointing, Clever

See it if interested in a new staging of a classic, John Doyle style. Excellent performances, sparse creative staging.

Don't see it if impatient. The work tends to repeat its points (dollar bills, again?) so yawns are inevitable.

67
During previews
Great acting, Great singing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You just love musicals and don't care if you can follow the plot. First preview. Some synchronicity issues. Didn't connect with it.

Don't see it if You want an uplifting, fluid experience. Singing and acting very good. Three Penny Opera is a face of mine. This is not that.

65
During previews
Strong message, Odd, Barebones, Experimental, Repetitive

See it if you'd love a sung-thru musical w Brechtian overtones. Strg pro-union (anti-fatcat) message. Some strg performances. In-the-round; only piano

Don't see it if you want good melodies. Repetitive (boring) staging: climbing on metal cans, flinging dollar bills. Issues w lighting. Some songs too long.

65
During previews
Great singing, Dated.

See it if Seeing a well-made agitprop piece of theater appeals to you. It’s melodramatic and quite didactic. It addresses class struggle blatantly.

Don't see it if It’s specifically tied to Unionbusting. and although engaging and humorous in places, it makes little emotional impact.

65
During previews
Banal, Fluffy, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if For the theatre.

Don't see it if Boring music


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Cast & Creatives (17)