New York | 2h 0m | Already closed

The Archbishop's Ceiling

From 2 critic and 46 member reviews
Members say: Slow, Disappointing, Confusing, Thought-provoking, Great acting

About the show

Arthur Miller's prescient 1978 play, never before seen in New York City, forces us to confront politics as theater, where blending the truth with lies is all part of the game. More…

4 old friends - writers, lovers, activists, celebrities - gather in a 16th century palace on one evening in a country where power is all and nothing can be trusted. Is someone listening to them? Can any of them speak freely? Can they resist the powerful forces that surround them and still maintain their art?

2h 0m | Already closed | Urban Stages (Chelsea)


80
Outer-Stage

"The play itself at times, can be brooding and uneasy. The goings-on can at times be sensual, even affectionate. But what brings a contemporaneous warmth to the play’s otherwise Cold War chill is the director himself and his precise direction to his ensemble casts deep appreciation for the personal poetics of individual power during times of political paranoia, hatred and deep contentment for those with opposing views. Very relevantly contemporary.” Full Review

50
TheaterScene.net

"Performed without an intermission, Arthur Miller's 'The Archbishop's Ceiling' goes on too long for the few events that take place. The title gives away the play's one big secret and the other later revelations seem too little and too late when there is much more technologically advanced surveillance available today. As we wake up to reports of hacking on an almost daily basis, the play's relevance seems to have diminished greatly in the intervening years since it was written." Full Review


94
Profound, Absorbing, Clever

See it if You enjoy a study of the relationship between the individual and the state, a la Antigone.

Don't see it if You seek escapist fare. You think 100 minutes is too long for a play with no intermission.

Also A compelling illustration of some of the realities of life under a tot... Read more Read less

92
Must see, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you like Arthur Miller and want to see a relatively unknown intelligent work of his that relates to the times we live in today.

Don't see it if you just want to concentrate on the lighter side of life.

Also Freedom of press, lies, truth, sex, power and control and spying are a... Read more Read less

80
Intelligent, Intense, Ambitious, Confusing, Great acting

See it if You are familiar with the play in text, and would like the opportunity to view one of Arthur Miller’s seldom produced play.

Don't see it if You do not like wordy plays or have difficulty following philosophical dialogue.

80
Ambitious, Profound, Intelligent, Great acting, Clever

See it if I must say I went into this play with low expectations. But I really enjoyed it, good acting, and really kept me engaged.

Don't see it if You have trouble sitting through serious plays for almost 2 hours without an intermission

80
Slow, Resonant, Relevant, Indulgent, Absorbing

See it if U’re a fan of Arthur Miller and want 2 c an unseen (in NYC) play if his. I enjoyed the story’s closeness 2 our days of Trump. Funny moments.

Don't see it if You’re looking for something light and airy.

80
Lesser henry miller, Erudite conversation, Fine ensemble acting, Relevant still

See it if Dissident writer, American author, communist sympathizer, and poetess/actress in Eastern Europe react to crackdown by government agents.

Don't see it if If you are confused by a plot that is a thinly camouflaged description of actual historical events and has no clear resolution.

Also Prague Spring was a period of political liberalization and mass protes... Read more Read less

79
Good sense of atmosphere created, Good acting, Thought-provoking, Quirky

See it if Obviously, if you're a Miller fan or interested in expanding your own knowledge of Miller's works.

Don't see it if You can't sit for an intermissionless show; or if a slower moving pace in a show won't hold your interest.

Also I have to say that the show does move slowly. Perhaps it's one of the ... Read more Read less

78
Thought-provoking, Intense, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if you want a drama about political climates and who you should believe and trust.

Don't see it if you want more lighthearted fare.

78
Slow, Great acting, Dated but worth it, Thought-provoking, Historic

See it if you love Arthur Miller & want to see his less popular plays. Very good production of a quirky 2nd rate play. Interesting, but not his best.

Don't see it if you expect it to be like Miller's iconic masterpieces. Or a fast-paced modern play. Actors & director can only do so much with this script

77
Feels like eastern european writers apt., Strange ending, Great acting, Great atmosphere, Absorbing

See it if you like to know how dissident writers must have felt in Eastern Europe (much hints to Prague) during the Cold War. Great acting+atmosphere.

Don't see it if you don't like 105 min plays w/o intermission or if you prefer lots of "acting". This is mainly talking. The created atmosphere felt right.

Also I do not have first-hand knowledge about living in Eastern Europe (oth... Read more Read less

74
Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if If you are an Arthur Miller fan with good acting in a play that is not that well written

Don't see it if Slow long play that repeats over and over again so that the characters become annoying since they have nothing new to say.

Also One of the characters is so poorly written so that she is almost not t... Read more Read less

74
Good show with unfinished ending, Thought-provoking, Slow, Great acting

See it if Show for the people who came from the countries where spying and destroying dissidents were normal.Gehling,Meth,Morger, Spano are stars

Don't see it if Small theatre, dirty sits, 1h 40 min, no intermission. Slow at times, a lot of talking about "them" who might install spy equipment

Also Show is not bad at all. Better to go if you have some at least basic k... Read more Read less

73
Good acting, Confusing, Dated, Slow

See it if you enjoy Arthur Miller and can sit for a long drama

Don't see it if you're not interested in plays about Eastern Bloc politics or can't follow fast-talking, accented actors

Also I didn't find much of a plot, just a series of nebulously (un)connecte... Read more Read less

70
Excruciating, Banal, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Dizzying

See it if you are a fan of Arthur Miller.

Don't see it if you do not enjoy plots that keep going around and around which could have ended much quicker.

70
Too long, Disappointing, Slow

See it if Being spy on, watching your back for friends, family and government.

Don't see it if It moves slow and long. No intermission. A lot of just talking.

70
Slow, Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Dated

See it if Meeting of four minds is this unclaimed Miller play. Thinly-veiled of historical events drama with Miller perhaps sympathising w/ each view.

Don't see it if Difficult to not draw parallels to what's unfolding today w/ spying, which makes for a relevantly dated evening. Two hours w/o a break?

70
Relevant, Great writing

See it if Classic author Miller play not the greatest acting by some actors. Fine acting by others

Don't see it if Bad attempt at accents and Mediocre acting would get on your nerves.

70
Thought-provoking, Slow, Intense, Dated, Ambitious

See it if Politically inspired plays are your thing

Don't see it if You expect a typical Arthur Miller, this one has a bit confusing plot

69
Great staging, Dated, Thought-provoking, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you must see all of Miller's work and for the the group of actors who are generally good on a great set.

Don't see it if you want some action - this all takes place over 100 minutes in the same place and is mostly talk among the five characters.

68
Disappointing, Relevant, Slow

See it if you are an Arthur Miller fan

Don't see it if you don't like wordy plays with very little action

67
Slow, Intense, Disappointing

See it if Actors deserve credit for trying. No bad seats at Urban Stages

Don't see it if It is not Arthur Miller at his best. A set exists. The comparison to today is a stretch

66
Slow, Intelligent, Confusing

See it if you love Arthur Miller and want to see one of his less frequently performed works (which is why I went).

Don't see it if you don't love Arthur Miller and you don't like plays that are set all in one living room.

66
Slow, Good acting, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you'd like to see a rarely performed play by Arthur Miller w/a lot of interesting themes & ideas/

Don't see it if It's slow and very talky. There's really not much of a plot and the ending seemed very abrupt to me.

65
Decent acting; wandering accents, Dated, Lesser miller, Listless production

See it if you’re a Miller completist, though this play is not among his best and this production not ideal.

Don't see it if Unwilling to overlook some clumsy staging, can’t sit for 100+ minutes of play that is short on dramatic action

Also Set in an unnamed Eastern bloc country resembling Czechoslovakia circa... Read more Read less

65
Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Dizzying, Dated

See it if If you like Arthur Miller

Don't see it if Period pieces


Cast & Creatives (3)