Already closed | 2h 20m | West Village

The White Devil

From 148 member  reviews
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.  More…

Vittoria is no angel...but is she guilty of murder? Her social-climbing brother ruthlessly exploits her carnal affair with a power-drunk Duke. The arrival of the Duke's wife, her brother, and the soon-to-be-Pope triggers a cycle of deceit and retribution that shatters family bonds and threatens the social order.  With his sumptuous language, John Webster spins an epic tale of intrigue, desire, and revenge that culminates in a fabulously bloody conclusion.

2h 20m | Already closed | Lucille Lortel Theatre (West Village)

Member Reviews (148)

MEMBERS SAY:

Ambitious, Great acting, Confusing, Intense, Entertaining
72
Avg Score

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

80
Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Perfunctory, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if to catch a rare revival of this Jacobean tragedy, enjoy violent bloodletting, murders & manipulation, along with irredeemable characters

Don't see it if difficulty clarifying many characters' relationships & with Jacobean language, don't like onstage murders & violence, like decent characters

70
Interesting staging, Excellent ensemble work, Indulgent, Too long, Ambitious

See it if you appreciate excellent ensemble work and because it is a rarely done historic piece.

Don't see it if violence and revenge expressed in Elizabethan English doesn't sound like fun. It is a very long play.

79
Violent action, Ambitious, Great staging, Great acting

See it if you enjoy seeing a 1612 play with a lot of violent action. Very good acting and staging and use of video. You need a strong stomach.

Don't see it if you don't like a lot of violence. This is a Red Bull production. There is a lot of talk of revenge. These are not nice characters.

Also Robert Cuccioli had a great part as a Cardinal and Pope. If you are a ... Read more Read less

69
Edgy, Keep that paper summary in front of you, Uneven acting, Raunchy, Slow

See it if you enjoy bloody, Shakespeare wanna-be plays with lots of evil characters, an occasional god fearing one and a compromised cardinal/pope.

Don't see it if you have trouble keeping track of who is who; play summary invaluable for keeping track of the characters. Some good acting/some very weak

59
Ambitious, Overrated, Confusing, Disappointing, Great singing

See it if Red Bull Theatre is your thing

Don't see it if Jacobean dialogue is hard for to understand

25
Excruciating, Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you are curious. Red Bull usually does good things.

Don't see it if you dislike bare stage, no set. Audience on three sides. Written in 1600's yet modern dress, nothing made sense, ending absurd use of drills

Also A real disappointment for Red Bull. Poorly directed, poor choices. The... Read more Read less

80
Resonant, Intense, Intelligent, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You are willing to give little known Jacobean play a chance, it's like watching lesser Shakespeare . ..in a tight production

Don't see it if You hate Shakespeare , duplicity , murder, and/or mayhem...in modern dress

74
Ambitious, Confusing, Clever, Funny, Great staging

See it if You like old plays to be given new life. Red Bull excels at this - great directing and staging, even though the play was rather confusing.

Don't see it if You only like modern writing, or you only like old plays to be staged classically. Terrific acting enhances the intelligent directing.

60
Slow, Intense, Entertaining, Dated, Confusing

See it if You like old plays or are interested in the historical time capsule that is Jacobean revenge tragedy.

Don't see it if You're expecting Shakespeare. The language is less lyrical and the action less urbane. Popes and blood abound.

82
Intense, Dizzying, Edgy, Ambitious

See it if Jacobean theatre for the modern audience. Highly committed actors. Something different.

Don't see it if A lot to swallow and to digest. Dizzying. Period language.

65
Quirky, Funny, Disappointing

See it if you like Shakespearean type comedy/drama. I couldn't make up my mind about this production.

Don't see it if you like more traditional fare. In this production the dialogue was Shakespearean but the clothing was modern day

79
Historic, Edgy, Entertaining

See it if You are interested in dramatic history. This Jacobean play shows us that man's propensity to violent behavior has not changed.

Don't see it if You hold hope that man has evolved and prefer not to be reminded of how cruel we can be to one another.

74
Intelligent, Disappointing, Slow, Uneven, Ambitious

See it if a modern staging of a Jacobean tragedy interests you. This one is intelligently and lucidly spoken, so it is fairly understandable.

Don't see it if the idea of VR, drills, machine guns and closed circuit TV in a Jacobean drama bothers you. A lot didn't work and was laugable at times.

74
An acquired taste, Entertaining, Amusing, Dated, updated and gory.

See it if You like Jacobean drama. Bold and bloody villains .A play that brings out the worst in everyone.

Don't see it if Deceit, adultery, murder, varieties of torture: poison, power tools, strangulation by bar bell. And my seat wasn't all that comfortable.

Also It's a 17th century revenge play. Webster would have felt right at hom... Read more Read less

71
Bloody, bold & resolute, Some effective video, Stylish modernized design, Wildly uneven cast & approaches to verse

See it if rarely done Jacobean revenge tragedy approached as contemporary comedy of intrigue; know the plot: set-ups & motives not clearly staged

Don't see it if some glaring miscasting mixed with true classical theatre pros; style at times substitutes for directorial vision

Also It may well be that more familiarity with a text is required before su... Read more Read less

78
Ambitious, Clever, Great acting, Intense, Confusing

See it if If you like the Webster and the genre.

Don't see it if You don't like 2 1/2 hours of confusing dialogue.

87
Riveting, Great staging, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if You like the combination of modern dress/props/staging with classic language. You are interested in plays from the 1600s.

Don't see it if You have a hard time with Shakespearean-style language. You don’t like dark humor or drama.

Also I fully enjoyed this. I thought the staging was marvelous - the use of... Read more Read less

78
Thought-provoking, Classic, Entertaining, Updated w/video, Ambitious

See it if Great to see this classic Webster (Shakespeare's contemporary). Go to catch a different work of the same time period. Super actresses perfs~

Don't see it if Uneven (save 1) male performances, & odd choice of wardrobe making lead love Interest a guido! Its v updated (video) which is hit or miss~

78
Slow, Indulgent, Great staging, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if Splendid ensemble acting and directing. Difficult play to watch since it lacks any moral value. This is a play where characters lean towards

Don't see it if you do not appreciate the atmosphere of a Jacobean tragedy

Also towards profoundly immoral and wicked, as they exist in a sinful world... Read more Read less

50
Quirky, Great writing, Ambitious

See it if you enjoy Webster's work, and Jacobean drama.

Don't see it if you want to see a truly great revival of an outrageous play...the production tries, but does not quite succeed at measuring up to the text.

67
Modern dress without contempo relevance, Adequate, Devilish fun

See it if you want to see plays that sound Shakespearean but aren't and want to support Red Bull,

Don't see it if you don't want to work to understand what's being said, especially when, unlike Shakespeare's plays, it doesn't entirely reward the work.

47
Indulgent, Confusing, Banal

See it if You enjoy overwrought acting and terrible direction.

Don't see it if You’re expecting to see a work performed in a setting and appointed appropriate to its time. This is “updated” without discernible reason

86
Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You want to see a lesser performed Jacobean play filled with violence & infidelity. It is great, but don't expect a joyful night of theater

Don't see it if You dislike plays with "classic" language, that show (a lot of) murder & feature fairly irredeemable characters.


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...
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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 i...
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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 p...
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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 produc...
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