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The Crucible

The Crucible is playing at the Walter Kerr Theatre located at 219 West 48th Street.  It runs two hours and fifty five minutes with one intermission.  The play closes on July 17, 2016.

Arthur Miller wrote the play in 1953.

The play was first performed at the Martin Beck Theatre on January 22, 1953.  It starred E. G. Marshall, Beatrice Straight and Madeline Sherwood. The play won the 1953 Tony Award for Best Play.  The revival in 2002 starred Liam Nesson, Laura Linney and John Benjamin Hickey.

Ivo van Hove is the director. He won a Laurence Olivier Award in 2015 for A View From the Bridge.

Saoirse Rona was nominated for an Academy award for Brooklyn (2015) and Atonement (2007). She was born in Brooklyn but moved to Ireland when she was three.

Sophie Okonedo won a Tony Award and was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 2014 for A Raisin in the Sun.

Jason Butler Harner was nominated for a Drama Desk Award in 2006 for The Paris Letter.

The play is based on the Salem Witch trails in a Providence of Massachusetts in 1692-1693.

The curtain rises to girl’s backs looking at a blackboard.  When the curtain comes up again Reverend Samuel Parris (John Butler Harner) is caring his daughter Betty (Elizabeth Harner) lifeless body to a table.  He can’t wake her.    His niece Abagail (Saoirse Ronan) is next to him.  The reverend asks her what they were doing in the woods.  She claims they were just dancing.  He is the minister of a Salem church and is not well liked.  He is afraid the congregation is going to get the wrong idea about what they were doing.

Reverend Parris asks Reverend John Hale (Bill Camp) to look at his daughter.

Parriss niece Abigail, daughter Betty and three other girls Sussanna Walcott (Ashlei Shayne Chestnut), Mercy Lewis (Erin Wilhelmi) and Mary Warren ( Tari Gevinson) go in to a trance, shouting moving their hands all around.  Abigail says that they saw Satan and he told them who the devils were in the town she screams the names out, the other girls agree.

One of the accused is Elizabeth Proctor (Sophie Okonedo).  The accuser Mary Warren works for Elizabeth and her husband John (Ben Whishaw).  When John confronts her about it she says she lied, that she was afraid of what the other girls would do to her.  Mary said she will tell the truth when she is in front of the Judge.  Abigail has wants John.

When Deputy Governor Danforth (Ciaran Hinds) comes to town to prosecute those accused, he is not convinced that they are innocent.  Despite the evidence the familys bring, he wants more proof.  Mary Warren reneges on her promise to tell the truth instead she fabricates the story even more.

There is more to the story then I have told you, but it gives you an idea of what the story is about.  Other character have been left out you will have to see the show to find out who they are.

The play is scary because if you think about it, people can make false accusations about other people and they will believe it.  Lives are ruined that way.  Miller wrote the play as an allegory to the McCarthyism.

This is a heavy, long play.  I found it interesting and intriguing.  But not everyone has the patience for such a play.

The costumes are modern.  But what bother is they drank out of paper coffee cups using a wooden stirrer.  I don’t think they had those in that time period or is the director hinting this could be happen today?

 

Review by Rozanna Radakovich.

Photos by Annazor.

To read a candid interview with the cast, scroll down to the left for recent photos.  Click on recent photos for this and other shows.

 

 

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