The Stone Witch
Closed 1h 30m
The Stone Witch
74

The Stone Witch NYC Reviews and Tickets

74%
(180 Reviews)
Positive
73%
Mixed
21%
Negative
6%
Members say
Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Slow, Absorbing

About the Show

This imaginative Off-Broadway premiere about a children's book author explores the power and the cost of creativity. Starring Dan Lauria ('The Wonder Years.')

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Member Reviews (180)

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79
Ambitious, Great staging, Confusing, Cliched, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see an drama that is almost great. An interesting idea that is not fully explored.

Don't see it if you do not want to see a show where the audience has to mentally fill-in missing pieces of information for the plot to make sense..

64
Confusing, Slow

See it if Editor assigns young charge to cabin to coax eccentric author's delayed final book. Great set/ forest visual create maximum atmospherics.

Don't see it if Thin plot and underdeveloped characters force a tedious one-act 90 min. evening.

Critic Reviews (14)

Time Out New York
March 25th, 2018

"Buried under long passages of nonsense in 'The Stone Witch' is a moving tribute to confronting one's heroes...The problem is Bitterman's focus on mental illness. When depicting insanity onstage, anything can happen and frequently does—but the mere absence of reason is rarely interesting. Zuckerman coaxes honest reactions out of his performers, but watching Peter repeatedly struggle with Simon's hallucinations grows exhausting as they slog through the largely meaningless confusion."
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Theatermania
March 27th, 2018

"A story of a promising young children's author who is sent to the woods to coax a new book out of his long-silent idol...Our veteran author lives in a world that straddles reality and fantasy...This binary world is both 'The Stone Witch's' greatest asset and its greatest obstacle. It heightens a relatively mundane story to a level of theatricality, but Bitterman and...Zuckerman, don't yet seem to know how to make these two realms theatrically communicate...Lauria's performance is the highlight."
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BroadwayWorld
March 31st, 2018

"Lauria, playing an artistic genius suffering an extended dry spell, spends the better part of ninety minutes bombastically strutting across the stage, grandly gesticulating, and unpredictably modulating his growling voice into sudden shouts of passion and rage that will surely remind many of the late, great Zero Mostel...While the play is well-performed and nicely produced, and the dialogue has its entertaining side, the evening is done in by the abundance of predictability."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 26th, 2018

"'The Stone Witch' exists almost entirely as a vehicle for the actor playing Simon...If his state of mind isn't really believable, you can't say that Lauria doesn't put on a show. Rupak Ginn does as much as anyone could with Peter, one of the most thinly conceived roles I've seen in some time...A lot of 'The Stone Witch' looks like drama, but too much of it boils down to hollow speechmaking...As presented here, it is all very theatrical and very false."
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New York Stage Review
March 25th, 2018

"The real pain will be suffering through 'The Stone Witch,' a remarkably unoriginal drama...The threadbare scenario that is patchily embroidered by Shem Bitterman, the playwright, involves the trope regarding an insufferable genius and the admirer who tries to rescue him from creative malaise...A tedious 90 minutes, the play is flat in dialogue and thin in its characterizations...A tiresome mingling of shallow writing and whimsical visuals."
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TheaterScene.net
April 8th, 2018

"The art of creation is a difficult one to portray on stage but playwright Shem Bitterman and cast have done a beautiful job of dramatizing the highs and lows of this well-worn theme. The additional theme of the mentor-pupil relationship is superbly depicted by Dan Lauria and Rupak Ginn. Carolyn McCormick brings a sense of both drollery and danger to her role as the high-powered agent who will stop at nothing to get what she wants…this is one of the few recent plays to be entirely satisfying."
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Theater Pizzazz
March 25th, 2018

"Fascinating and beautifully rendered...An intriguing and thrilling ride...Adroitly, sensitively directed by Steve Zuckerman...The stone witch appears and haunts...The metaphor for what it represents evolves brilliantly throughout Bitterman’s play...Zuckerman’s acute direction propels Bitterman’s rich themes and questions about art. Brilliantly, the actors move the action with suspense and engagement...Every lustrous design aspect of 'The Stone Witch' makes the production soar."
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Front Row Center
March 26th, 2018

"An absolutely gorgeous production. Which may be better than the play. It’s not that the play is bad. It’s not, it’s charming. It’s just that the collaboration...is so stunning that the play didn’t quite deliver the promise of the visuals...The cast is first rate...Dan Lauria is masterful at taking the confusing character of Simon Grundberg as written, and turning him into a real live flesh-and-blood human being we care about and have sympathy for."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
March 26th, 2018

"Dan Lauria…makes a valiant but flailing stab at embodying the gruff, depressed, artistically blocked artist, a role seemingly inspired by the late Maurice Sendak. It doesn't take long before you begin checking your watch, waiting for this glum, unfunny, three-character cliché about artistic inspiration and generational jealousy to run the course of its hour and a half upon the stage…Despite the realistic conventions of the writing and acting, none of it rings true."
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Times Square Chronicles
March 26th, 2018

"Lauria is complex, alluring and gives a heartfelt performance. Ginn has charisma and is the perfect foil...Steve Zuckerman directs this piece like a TV movie of the week and that is partly how Mr Bitterman writes this piece. At times 'The Stone Witch' drags under the weight of its many themes Bitterman is throwing out into the audience. I found that I had more questions than answers in the end, though found the play enjoyable."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
March 27th, 2018

"The basic situation is not particularly credible, but the author has created characters who give the three-member cast a field day for attention-getting dramatics...Despite the acting, this all seems a bit ridiculous...This is not a creator of a 'War and Peace' about whom the play is talking. All of the great man stuff seems absurdly inflated, although Lauria rants and rages effectively as the character...I left admiring the cast trio but feeling less so about Bitterman’s tempestuous play."
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W
March 26th, 2018

"Bitterman skillfully presents the plausible arc of a famous artist's later years. Writing is taut and expressive...Zuckerman's Direction is as physical as it is emotional, bringing characters to life with natural extension of feeling. The stage is well used...The play belongs to Dan Lauria whose mercurial, industrial strength Grindberg exists in the O'Neill/Shakespeare realm. The actor creates a charming rogue whose muse has abandoned him to lifelong nightmares."
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Diandra Reviews it All
March 27th, 2018

"A wondrous, hopeful and heartbreaking new play where imagination runs wild...Directed by Steve Zuckermann, 'Stone Witch' has to be one of the most impactful Off- Broadway plays premiering this season. Filled with wisdom...This tale shows that generational gaps are non-existent when it comes to creativity, and choosing to live according to it...Brisk, witty writing...Such a beautiful, riveting tale does not come often, especially with such concise delivery."
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Off Off Online
March 30th, 2018

"A somewhat convoluted and ultimately contrived attempt to tackle the psychological complexities of creating art...While Zuckerman's production is visually and aurally rich, the whole is not greater than the sum of its parts...Ginn's self-conscious portrayal of a starving artist is not entirely credible...Too many irons in the fire...None of which gets hot enough for the story to really blaze...Action jumps rapidly...the audience is left confused...The set and score are the production's best assets."
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