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
Avg Score

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
Cliched, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if You want to see a modern-day Sunset Boulevard, but with a fun twist of even more batshit craziness and ties back into the Holocaust

Don't see it if You want an actually satisfying play about writing.

During previews
Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if If you like seeing plays about teachers and their muses. Dan Lauria played the disgruntled older author perfectly.

Don't see it if You don’t like plays discussing art or the process of creation or works in progress.

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
Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if for Dan Lauria's performance. The play maybe a little long and sometimes slow, but Dan's performance made you want more. More comments below

Don't see it if you want to see a musical. The play is not for kids. The show can be long without intermission so if you cant sit still for 90 mins, dont go

Also The 3 actors were really good, but Dan Lauria's performance stood out.... Read more Read less

During previews
Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Disappointing

See it if you like wonderful graphics and a well acted play.

Don't see it if you want to see a fresh story. This story is a very old one.

Also I found the story ... Read more Read less

During previews
Enchanting, Ambitious, Great staging, Slow

See it if you're looking for an entertaining exploration of the children's book publishing industry and the creative process.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy small casts in character-driven productions.

During previews
Great acting, Great staging, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if The staging/projections was wonderful!! Acting fabulous...well done play

Don't see it if If you want to see a musical

During previews
Terrific scenery and projections, Confusing, Strong acting

See it if You enjoy themes of alcoholic artist whose struggling with lost mojo and the young artist sent to draw him out. Projections are best part

Don't see it if You don’t enjoy watching irascible artist with confusing backstory growing stranger. Redeeming qualities in the relationships.

During previews
Enchanting, Entertaining, Great acting, Charming, Ambitious

See it if you like a fairly straightforward play about the mentor/student relationship, creating, and a touch of mental illness. Wonderful acting!

Don't see it if you need a big, brassy production, or aren't interested in interpersonal relationships

Also FIRST PREVIEW!... Read more Read less

During previews
First preview - not fully cooked, Great staging, Original twist on common theme

See it if U r up to sort thru a complicated character's bouts of ego, aging & alcohol infused thinking Issues of intellectual property, collaboration

Don't see it if You require something to be tight & sharp witted - this is a bit rambling like the lead character

Also I saw this on the first night of previews. The dynamic between Dan Lur... Read more Read less

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

During previews
Ambitious, Confusing

See it if The three actors are not bad but there is a lot of unnecessary yelling, aka acting. The theme and plot is still confusing and bizarre.

Don't see it if The stage & effects are quite beautiful so no one will notice the thin storyline. Somehow, a Nazi Camp story comes into play unnecessarily.

During previews
Entertaining, Funny, Ambitious, Dizzying, Indulgent

See it if you enjoy the illusive mentally ill literary figure pathology. Beautiful sets, fine acting by Dan Lauria.

Don't see it if you are looking for a tight polished piece - rambling which makes the 90 minutes feel long.

Also Spoiler - interesting Holocaust connection that made me realize connec... Read more Read less

During previews
Quirky, Confusing

See it if you are a huge fan of Dan Lauria.

Don't see it if you need a play that is coherent, characters that are fully developed, or a sense of direction.

During previews
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Resonant, Relevant

See it if You enjoy good acting in a small intimate theater and an interesting inspiring story.

Don't see it if You’d prefer a musical and lighter fare.

During previews
Ambitious, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if This is not a show for children even if it is about a children’s book writer and illustrator . A lot of love has gone into this production.

Don't see it if You need an intermission. You can’t climb stairs. You want themes to be explored not just resolved. You want to care about the characters.

Also It shows in the meticulous set, lighting, design, music and projection... Read more Read less

During previews
Ambitious, Dizzying, Intense, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if you like fabulous background changing scenery, intense acting, deep thinking plot and surprise twists.

Don't see it if you have problems following the play's plots and morbid story lines.

During previews
Clever, Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Entertaining

See it if you want to experience a tightly written play that touches on human frailties and faults with a touch of humor.

Don't see it if you are looking for something lighter.

During previews
Great set, Enchanting, Disconnected, Cliched, Heartfelt

See it if you like stories of art/commerce and age. The magic of children's stories is a great backdrop, but not focused enough for the main draw

Don't see it if you need a tight script. Points about living through the war were not fully explored, but were also not really the point.

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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