Closed 2h 20m
The White Devil
West Village
72

The White Devil NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(150 Reviews)
Positive
71%
Mixed
23%
Negative
6%
Members say
Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Intense, Entertaining

About the Show

In Jacobean dramatist John Webster's tragedy, wickedness and beauty intersect in a hellish world, where endless deception weaves a tale of fake news, systemic misogyny, rigged trials, and hypocritical holy men. 

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Member Reviews (150)

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78
Profound, Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if Great staging and costumes. Good direction makes this worth while.

Don't see it if Can be confusing at times. A long show 2.5 hours. Must pay attention . If you want something on the lighter side.

75
Resonant, Intense, Slow, Edgy, Confusing

See it if Proske's techno-modernized staging of Webster's Jacobean revenge tragedy works fairly well in drawing parallels to our current polarizarion

Don't see it if As the machinations intensify & the body count rises, confusion (and fatigue) sets in Some actors more comfortable than others w/stylization

Critic Reviews (18)

March 31st, 2019

"The play bops from one shockaroo to the next, indicting religion, politics and the patriarchy, when it’s not busy with the blood packs. Sometimes the staging is too much but typically it’s stylish and spry...Because if the play is incontrovertibly over-the-top, decadent and then some, it has its own complexities...Nihilism can leave a bitter taste in your mouth, but Webster is such fun to bite into, an invitation to revel in people at their very worst, to taste depravity."
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April 1st, 2019

"Undeniably entertaining but insufficiently outrageous revival...Proske's staging deploys multiple blood packets, but it still feels sparing. The fight direction by Rick and Christian Kelly-Sordelet is sufficient, but not as jaw-droppingly inventive as it could be...Yana Birÿkova's video design is super cheesy, often inducing laughs with its cheap horror-film aesthetic. It made me wonder if 'The White Devil' might work better as a movie."
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April 2nd, 2019

“This production is good enough to make one wish it were just a little bit better...The best thing about Proske's production is that it lays out Webster's labyrinthine plot with crystal clarity...But Proske has been unable to settle on a prevailing tone...It is surprisingly lacking in a mordant point of view...’The White Devil’ is surely a play with much to say to us today, but it requires more overall discipline and a coherent vision if it is to work to full effect.”
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April 8th, 2019

“This is the kind of play where the plot has no importance, its role is to be at the service of scenes where dark comedy and tragedy become unlikely dance partners...Through the use of modern elements, larger than life performances, and a pace that rivals any action series on Netflix, this production feels like the kind of adaptation that would have Webster himself wanting to sit in the front row, smiling in anticipation of getting splashed by the fake blood."
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March 31st, 2019

"A smashing new staging...Anyone who enjoys a furious mix of sex, violence, murder, and generally nasty behavior by corrupt elites in high places is likely to get a kick out of 'White Devil,' especially when such dirty doings are performed so stylishly as Red Bull’s rendition...Inventively staged with modern accouterments by director Louisa Proske, who does it all up swiftly and smartly...The actors easily glide over its seismic changes. They also speak the play’s florid language naturally and clearly."
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April 6th, 2019

“Red Bull Theater, is putting on a neatly modernized and fiercely acted account of ‘The White Devil’...The cast is outstanding, making a strong case for the tragedy...I’d call the piece Renaissance pulp if it didn’t come with such a rarefied literary pedigree...While it steals shamelessly from ‘Hamlet’, no one would call ‘The White Devil’ as brilliant as Shakespeare. Still, more laughs than ‘Titus Andronicus’? Maybe so.”
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April 5th, 2019

"Webster's Jacobean revenge play, 'The White Devil,' has been given a juicy, vigorous modern dress production by Red Bull, which specializes in Elizabethan and post-Shakespearean dramas. While not as great as Webster's 'The Duchess of Malfi,' this second-rung tragedy from 1612 has been directed by Louisa Proske with live video and contemporary trappings in a style that is always riveting, always engrossing, particularly notable for a play that will be unfamiliar to most."
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March 31st, 2019

“A sharp, contemporary take on Webster's feast of bloodlust...Red Bull’s pretty wicked and pretty satisfying new production...'The White Devil' rises and falls on its anti-heroine Vittoria, and this production never quite centers Vittoria’s story...It’s plot, not character, that ultimately drives Webster’s writing, and the crystal-clear, eminently accessible reading of the text, partnered with Proske’s nimble, active staging keeps the audience ever on its toes. The cast locates plenty of the humor."
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April 1st, 2019

"'The White Devil,' even heavily cut-runs two hours and 20 minutes, and feels it…Proske has gone the modern route, distributed 20 roles among 11 actors, and provided a panoply of the kind of clichéd gimmicks often used to yank Shakespeare and his contemporaries into the present…When the body count and other fustian pile up during a chaotic conclusion bordering on silliness, 'The White Devil' becomes more laughable Jacobean travesty than laudable Jacobean tragedy."
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April 1st, 2019

"Director Louisa Proske keeps the action moving swiftly, with generally logical tweaks to the script and a relentless focus on the play's bloody center...But as the play continues, its cynical amorality and celebration of death and bloodshed begins to wear...But as this excellent production proves, even an inferior play can create superior engagement, If 'Game of Thrones' is your kind of series, you'll find a lot to like about the Red Bull Theater Company's 'White Devil.'"
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April 3rd, 2019

"It’s a courageous endeavor that they are succeeding at and one I recommend you participate in as a theatergoer who relishes the live visceral experience...Though not for everyone...If you like a fast paced twisted plot line of sex, poetry and death all in one night, debauchery, jealousy, murder, spurting blood and infidelity no matter the consequences all played to a heightened tempo and drum beat, then this may be right up your alley."
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April 2nd, 2019

"Oddly cast and haphazardly costumed by Beth Goldenberg in 90’s glam and Game of Thrones glory, this Jacobean tragedy, filled to the brim with overdone gesturing and emoting, fails to connect beyond a shock and awe aesthetic...While some performances bordered on SNL caricatures rather than finding flesh and blood in their debauchery, the directorial choice of high camp fails to heighten this convoluted drama into anything emotionally engaging."
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March 31st, 2019

"A hellish view of dystopian society and familial dysfunction...Not only is the message fully comprehensible, but Proske’s blocking in the venue’s intimate space is engaging and her pacing is fluid...Through their clarity of direction, design, and delivery, Proske and company effectively capture the play’s unbridled horrors, along with its keen satiric insight and dark sardonic humor...It’s a difficult and disturbing play, but one that is well worth the emotional and intellectual challenges."
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April 2nd, 2019

"Grotesque humor courses throughout Webster’s play, too...Jacobean verse is more jagged and difficult to master than Shakespeare’s, yet the cast in Proske’s production is uniformly in control. They speak the words clearly, and make them comprehensible. Although the plot remains an unwieldy element, a bit of extra attention is worth the effort...Jacobean drama can be convoluted, but this is a chance to see it done well.”
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April 11th, 2019

"Unfortunately, while the cast is strong, full of booming voices well-suited to the outsized action, the direction is not tight enough, causing the production to lag, a fatal flaw in the high-adrenaline atmosphere of Jacobean revenge tragedy...Ultimately, this 'White Devil' is missing the life that would bring the necessary urgency to its many, many deaths."
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T
March 31st, 2019

"Unfortunately, this version of 'The White Devil' frequently missed the mark...The sterile and white lounge area seemed at odds with the dialogue. Manual opening and closing of curtains or blinds felt like busy distractions...I enjoyed experiencing the play as a fascinating artifact rather than this particular production. The style of acting seemed to be an odd mishmash of formality and looseness...The material came across as flat and clinical rather than hotheaded and passionate."
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April 1st, 2019

"The plot is as confusing as an episode of 'Game of Thrones' and not dissimilar in mood. The largely well-acted production moves along swiftly, and I suspect that Webster would be most pleased."
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April 4th, 2019

"It takes skill and experience to deliver Shakespearean English in a way that allows the audience to quickly grasp the meaning without having to dwell on it so long that you miss what is coming next. The actors are all of that skill and talent...There were some laughs, there was some gore, there was some lust, there were some great lines, there were great entrances and exits. Yet, it took me time to catch on to the story, time to engage, time to care. If I cared at all."
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