Already closed | 1h 30m | East Village

The Cradle Will Rock

From 186 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Disappointing, Relevant, Slow, Ambitious

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 | Already closed | Classic Stage Company (East Village)

Member Reviews (186)


Great singing, Disappointing, Relevant, Slow, Ambitious
Avg Score

Uneven, Relevant, Slow, Dreary, Dull

See it if You have a fascination about this show or historical works in general-or if you don’t mind that it’s got no sets or costumes and only piano.

Don't see it if You’re expecting a full show. This is so stripped down it felt like an amateurish high school show with some performances to match.

Also I really wanted to like this show. Very pro union and “rah-rah the man... Read more Read less

Banal, Slow, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Disappointing

See it if Blitzstein's populist 'musical drama' is nothing if not earnest yet despite it's broad strokes has moments of raw power & anger....or should

Don't see it if Doyle's lamely staged production & uninspired cast makes a dull evening & sadly wan political statement Yazbeck & Co seem defeated by it all

Undramatic, Inert, Well-acted, Well-sung, Slow

See it if you'd like to see a respectable production of a musical of both historical & political importance.

Don't see it if you're looking for something fresh.

Also On paper a production of Marc Blitzstein’s “The Cradle Will Rock” made... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Edgy, Clever, Absorbing

See it if In the Round always gets to us. First seen in 1983 with John Houseman there and directing. Wanted to see it again. Theater history spectacle

Don't see it if Still no playbills. Rumor is that C.S.C is reconsidering.

Slow, Confusing, Indulgent, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if have interest in Federal Theater and union movement, enjoy Blitzstein's music with echoes of Weill, see strong advocacy work in a musical

Don't see it if you want linear plot, don't like cliched heroes & villains or social commentary, want to learn about the famous evicted performance

Disappointing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if In night court, cases are sung and a foreman is bribed to not unionise. See a singing original cast member from "Married with Children."

Don't see it if The John Doyle Factory. Banding unions. "Don't let them hear you talk like that. You'll be deported or fumigated." Only piano accompaniment.

Shows how far the union movement has fallen when this union-centric folk opera comes across as a stodgy period piece

See it if passionate advocacy 4 union movement vs co-opting capitalism; Tony Yazbeck's intense acting/dancing as union organizer is high point

Don't see it if boring & preachy; capitalists painted in 1-dimension as corrupters of society, literarily throw around $s; strident music; thin piano backup

Unique, Disappointing, Dated, Slow, Great singing

See it if You’re a completist and love to see rarely-produced musicals, especially those that were written before the modern musical era.

Don't see it if You’d find a sung-through musical with atonal, unmemorable music to be interminable, no matter how well they’re sung.

Could be so much more, Relevant, Dull, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy political satire; great voices need better music, more musical instrumentation & action; Tony Yazbeck is always wonderful.

Don't see it if Much to say but lacks substance; difficult to follow, dull production; sound at CSC is poor & I missed much of what was being said/sung.

Also Best part of the show was sitting behind Stephen Sondheim - my heart w... Read more Read less

Good music. lackluster production

See it if You appreciate John Doyle and a very political historical play.

Don't see it if You want light theatre.

Quirky, Indulgent, Slow, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy watching talented performers in a rarely presented show.

Don't see it if You want an interesting storyline or want to really understand what is happening. The performers are great, the play is not.

Thought-provoking, Quirky, Relevant, Resonant, Absorbing

See it if You would enjoy a Brechtian style revival of a musical from the 1930’s. A multi talented cast bring this play back to life.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a lightweight evening of singing and dancing.

Great staging, Great singing, Disappointing, Cliched, Boring

See it if you only care about the tech/staging elements.They are wonderful.Performances are excellent.Book's a waste of time & space.Preachy blah blah

Don't see it if have ANYTHING else to do.The actors are all first rate.The story is very badly told.Music is a yawn.Lyrics are dull.This is a polemical bore

Slow, Great singing, Disappointing

See it if you appreciate a talented cast even when they are not used to their full potential. The themes of corruption are still relevant now.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a great cast's talents wasted on songs nobody wants to hear. It's a short production, but moves slowly.

Relevant, Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy Tony Yazbeck whose talent is underused yet the highlight of the show

Don't see it if historical drama that is well done is your thing

Great singing, Confusing, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if agitprop musical about workers attempting to unionize & their counterparts - corrupt individuals in a 'Liberty committee"; vignettes*

Don't see it if don't like minimalist staging, want a linear story, want social stories that are more subtle

Also * vignettes about the characters' back stories. Some are touching, one... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Great singing, Relevant, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if you like stripped-down musical arrangements letting the narrative lead. Like CSC’s The Resistable Rise of Arturo Ui, this work is timely.

Don't see it if you can’t enjoy musical plays in which actors portray mutilple characters. Yazbeck, Garrison, Triplett, Cooper, and cast are all tremendous.

Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Relevant, Intelligent

See it if you enjoy social commentary told in song. Almost an opera, with little talking. Well paced.

Don't see it if if you don't like shows in small venues with minimal sets.

Slow, Dated, Disappointing

See it if interested in a rarely-performed show. a bit dated and slight confusing with characters playing multiple roles (did they)

Don't see it if this is more a play with music than a musical which may annoy some.

Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if and only if you are a Tony Yazbeck fan otherwise skip it.

Don't see it if you saw the 1999 movie and love it because everything you loved about the movie had been REMOVED from this stage production.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing

See it if Interesting work from 1937 dealing with societal issues from that era.It is mostly sung through. The cast members act and sing beautifully

Don't see it if You prefer more modern works that don't deal with life issues of that time period.

People with hearing issues need headsets, The more things change, the more they stay the same.

See it if After generations passed, this show's message is more timely than ever. I never saw the original, so cannot saw if there's a better version

Don't see it if You are happy with life in 2019 USA or think everything in the world is improving. Keep your head in the sand. Read below more on headsets

Also Theaters, and young staff at theaters, have to learn that not everyone... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Relevant, Confusing, Clever

See it if you want to see this rarely performed piece. It was interesting, well- conceived, and cleverly executed.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in theater that deals with political issues or you're looking for something light

Also I have seen a few things at Classic Stage Company and I think I always... Read more Read less

Important, Slow, Dated

See it if This show is so incredibly important in the history of American theatre. But that, unfortunately, doesn't make it fun or easy to watch. The

Don't see it if Cast does an admirable job with an incredibly inaccessible piece of work. But I won't begrudge you if you give this a pass.

Complicated, Intense, Slow, Ambitious

See it if Complex historic play set to music and sung, definitely not a musical. Very intense, with a non linear plot.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in union politics, slow carefully crafted complex nonlinear​ plots.

Also Fascinating play that was a lot of work to watch. This was not a play ... Read more Read less

April 3rd, 2019
"The simplicity that has felt clarifying in Doyle’s best work feels stingy here. The piano accompaniment strips 'Cradle' of much of its sostenuto beauty; what’s left is further eroded by singing that sometimes grates the ears. The staging is largely static and, where musical theater razzmatazz is...
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April 3rd, 2019
“Doyle seems to be approaching his current production by rote. It’s a plodding revival...Doyle’s use of his purposefully limited aesthetic vocabulary here seems mechanical rather than ingenious. We’re never surprised, either by Blitzstein’s tale or by Doyle’s use of the scenic world to tell it......
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April 14th, 2019
"Doyle is exceptionally good at staging small-scale musical revivals, and he knows exactly what to do with shows like this...This production is sung without amplification, and Doyle has cast actors who can sing rather than singers who can act...It’s important that you be able to hear the lyrics i...
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April 3rd, 2019
"It's a joyous tale of regular people defying fearsome institutions, and singing in the face of power. It's a pity none of that comes through in Doyle's dispassionate, soporific revival...Doyle does his production no favors by falling back on old tricks...With this semi-intelligible production, D...
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