Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

The Stone Witch

From 180 member  reviews
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.') More…

Extraordinary art must be tamed. Simon Grindberg is the world’s most illustrious children’s book writer and illustrator —but his next masterpiece is a decade overdue. Peter Chandler is a starving artist with unparalleled potential—but he doesn’t yet know his own value. The two men are thrown together by Clair Forlorni, an ambitious editor who hopes Peter’s youthful exuberance can unleash Simon’s aging genius for one final story.

1h 30m | Already closed | Westside Theatre Upstairs (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (180)


Great acting, Great staging, Entertaining, Slow, Absorbing

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.

All over the place, Too long, Pretends to go deep, but says nothing

See it if A Lauria fan, you're a would-be writer (I guess), like stories about creative journey (but you might be disappointed.) Lots of trying hard

Don't see it if Want plot 2 have some kind of story arc that's not obvious from the getgo, are hoping for character development. Some scenery chewing here.

Also Oh boy, did I have high expectations on this one. Sadly, even though I... Read more Read less

Cliched, Been there done that

See it if You want a great set with lots to look at. Dan Laurie always excellent.

Don't see it if You are tired of age old story: young protege and older wiser man at odds, then form close relationship, then young one grows

Also And becomes the wise accomplished one.

Absorbing, Enchanting, Confusing, Quirky, Clever

See it if You are a Shel Silverstein fan. There are quite a few nods to him. You want to see a play that is both haunting and beautiful.

Don't see it if You want something "family friendly." Despite its themes, it is not really a show aimed at young audiences. Although kids can enjoy it too.

Also I hope that this show continues to develop, because it's not difficult... Read more Read less

Great acting, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you love Dan Lauria or you like shows about writers.

Don't see it if you don't want to see Dan Lauria in a completely different kind of role or you are not interested in show abou writers.

Good set, An adaptation of deathtrap, Well-acted, Slow, Shallow characters

See it if're a big fan of Dan Lauria. He gets to chew the scenery. Good set. Good projections. Story is an adaptation of Ira Levin's DEATHTRAP

Don't see it if Characters are thinly drawn, with minimal development or backstory. Slow-moving.

Disappointing, Great staging, Slow

See it if ...well, the show's already closed, so you can't.

Don't see it if ... the show recently closed.

Also the staging was great, and the acting was good. it was nice to see a c... Read more Read less

Slow, Great acting

See it if Very nice set. You like one of the actors.

Don't see it if You want a great story. It was slow.

Intense, Indulgent, Disappointing, Good staging, Uneven acting

See it if Good acting talent, but the lead went overboard. Attempt to pin the lead's writer's block on the Holocaust was less than believable.

Don't see it if If you are uncomfortable with irrational outbursts, lack of control, and unmotivated behavior.

Quirky, Slow

See it if I enjoyed the set. The story and the main character gave me a headache.

Don't see it if You don't like the element of science fiction

Indulgent, Quirky, Slow

See it if You are interested in the story of a young man who is sent to try help author get over his writers block a bit of supernatural. Interesting

Don't see it if You want to hear a lot of talking that could have been cut down to make the script more approachable.

Ambitious, Cliched, Great acting, Slow

See it if A Dan Lauria fan, like small Off-Broadway shows in a nice intimate theatre. You're into a night of twisted intense theatre.

Don't see it if You want to laugh or you want to see a light musical. You can't sit through a show without an intermission.

Clever, Great acting, Edgy, Great staging, Quirky

See it if you like beautiful & creative staging with sets that help tell the story an an ingenious way. If you enjoy seeing wonderful Dan Lauria

Don't see it if you don't like angst-driven central characters with schizophrenic traits (example: I like you, I hate you, I like I hate you)

Also The stage set and the actors were enough to keep me interested in this... Read more Read less

During previews
Cliched, Disappointing, Slow, Ambitious, Well acted

See it if Excellent design (esp projections) & three hard working (very hard!) actors can't manuever around all the pot (plot) holes in the script

Don't see it if Bitterman's drama about a lionized author's writers block starts out strong but quickly sinks into soap opera & it's a quick sinking 'stone'

During previews
Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if Best thing about this show is the set/lighting/projections. Very creative & unique. Never seen this technique before.

Don't see it if The acting was fine but the play was not. Very predictable, not that interesting or entertaining.

Also So almost every detail is from the life of Maurice Sendak including th... Read more Read less

During previews
Not quite ready for prime time!

See it if You're a fan of Dan Laurie. He works hard to elevate the script.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of Dan Laurie.

During previews
Done before, Uneven, Disappointing, Good acting, Fabulous production values

See it if you like plays about writers and the writing process, aging issues, dealing with irrational people and superb set set design and graphics.

Don't see it if you dislike shows with themes (older irascible writers and their mentors) that have been done many times before and, often better.

During previews
Cliched, Slow, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy cliched dramas about artists who are assholes (but maybe have hearts of gold...but probably not).

Don't see it if You think people ought to be admired for being kind and generous, not because they make art that someone thinks is good.

During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing

See it if You don't mind long scene changes that disrupt the action.

Don't see it if You want a main actor who can handle the dense, rambling script.

During previews
Obvious, clichéd, unfocused, Long and slow, needs cutting and restructuring, Well intended, Clumsy staging and scene changes

See it if You're up for a well-meaning, obviously plotted clichéd script about Age, Art, Mentors, Youth & Ambition dressed in slick, too-cool effects.

Don't see it if You expect realistic dialogue or any sort of dramatic tension; it oddly sets up and passes by many plot devices, but ultimately goes nowhere

Also Lots of love & attention went into this project, so much that it seems... Read more Read less

During previews
Banal, Cliched, Over-acted, Slow, Dated

See it if you'd like to see another show about why a torturned genius is alowed to be awful

Don't see it if you don't like two-hour straight through shows.

During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Great staging, Uneven, Confusing

See it if you'd enjoy the charming visuals, sound design, and set design, all of which promise to enhance this dramatically unfulfilling play.

Don't see it if you're expecting a cohesive story or resolution, or engaging, dimensional characters. Premise intrigues but unfolds as cliched and trite.

During previews

See it if A pretty picture book with a half baked story. Plot sacrificed for a bunch of speechifying. What was the point?

Don't see it if No tension but lots of false starts that go nowhere. Characters don't change - unless you think dementia counts.

Also First you think - oh, this is about artistic integrity - nope. Then yo... Read more Read less

During previews
Fine, Cliched, Slow

See it if You like lead characters that are curmudgeons for no really defined reason.

Don't see it if You expect everything laid out in the story (holocaust, maybe invisible daughters) to relate and make sense in the end.

During previews
Weak script, Top-notch production values, esp. projections, Cliched, Both turgid and too tidy

See it if you'd like a fable of the great blocked artist & young acolyte who teaches and is taught by his idol. You're interested in Sendak or kid lit

Don't see it if you expect canny script structure or convincing performances (Lauria has moments but he is lumbered by the writing)

Also It's mystifying why the story-within-the-play of the Stone Witch doesn... Read more Read less

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. Zuckerm...
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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...
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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...
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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...
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