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. Read more
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
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
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
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. Read more
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.
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.
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.
"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 called for, totally underwhelming. Too much of the acting seems deliberately wooden....Just as you begin to fear that denying pleasure has become a point of pride, the production coalesces.”
“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...The missed opportunities feel especially palpable. If this is a kind of people’s parody of wealth and privilege, why not go further with the acerbic, handmade pageantry of it?”
"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 in order to follow the action, and you will often find that hard...Not only are Blitzstein’s clear-cut tunes full of off-center harmonies that light up every phrase, but his lyrics are as sharp as a switchblade."
"Doyle has assembled a small but talented cast who all manage to nimbly navigate their multiple roles. The spare set using metal barrels moved around in different configurations in tandem with the Brechtian announcements of scene are enough to establish place. The costumes turn out to be the only problem here. "
"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, Doyle seems to assume that his audience already knows this rarely revived play, robbing newcomers of the opportunity to discover the work in its full clarity.”
“”The Cradle will Rock’ is quite a revolutionary piece...For Classic Stage Company's sturdy revival...Doyle abstains from his frequent practice of stripping down the texts of deceased authors...allowing Blitzstein's work to speak for itself...Though there's the occasional lack of tension that makes the 90-minute production tend to lag at times, individual performances are quite good, and the climatic confrontation...is fiercely played.”
"Seeing John Doyle's revival, you may have trouble understanding why the piece was considered too hot to handle, so much so that the opening night only took place following a concerted effort to suppress it...Clearly, this revival means to draw parallels to today's fraught politics, but the resemblances are often blurry...And in Doyle's fretful, low-energy production, a show that should have the hammerlike impact of a propaganda poster often seems to be looking for a style."
“A lifeless production which, despite an abundance of talent at his disposal, never explodes with rage under Doyle's flaccid direction...Not even the mighty, triple-threat Yazbeck can save this revival...There's no energy or vitality propelling the storytelling of Doyle's production and, as a result, the audience's interest and attention-span flags. The pieces just don't fit...’The Cradle Will Rock’ deserves better than its current mounting at Classic Stage.”