Susan's Reviews > The Crucible

The Crucible by Arthur Miller
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Oct 16, 07

bookshelves: bookgroup
Read in October, 2007

I love this play and yet am doomed to never EVER see a good production of it. Are there good productions of it? Or is it something that is somehow only exciting on the page? Which is especially weird for a play. But that's been my experience with it over the last 12 years or so since I read it the first time and fell in love with it. For whatever reason, I didn't read this one in high school or college (lived under a rock, apparently!), so finally read it when I was auditioning for a production and desperately wanted to be Abigail. Ended up not getting anything, but since that production ended up being such a train wreck, all the better for me, I think.

Now I've read it again for book group/One Book, One Chicago and still love it, although I had to miss the discussion b/c Eliza was sick. It resonated even more this time as we are obviously living in a culture of ruling by fear (hopefully coming out of it a bit now as no one seems to listen to the administration much, no matter how hard they try to trot out their own witches). I love Arthur Miller's writing, even at its clunkiest, although there are mercifully few clunkers in this one and they are easily forgiven b/c all the dialogue is so stylistic. These characters are passionate even in their repressed way of living and they make me sad. So sad.

The production at Steppenwolf got GREAT reviews and I was so excited to go. Unfortunately, the night we saw was the first night with several replacement actors and it was dreadful. Train wreck, again. No rhythm, actors clearly not knowing their lines, nothing ever built to a dramatic climax - instead people just seemed to start shrieking out of nowhere. I was so disappointed. And I think it's my own personal curse to carry forever - I'll never see a good production of this play!
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Kathryn I was lucky enough to see The Crucible on Broadway with Liam Neeson and Laura Linney as John & Elizabeth Proctor. It was absolutely stunning. I had read and studied the play before, of course, but it was even more powerful in performance! It took quite awhile for my heart to stop pounding after it was over. It is exciting on the page also, but it is unbelievable when performed well. Hang in there and don't give up hope-one day you'll get to see it in all it's glory! :)


Lara There is a movie version that's actually really great with Winnona Ryder and Daniel Day-Lewis.


Blaserk I agree with Lara. The movie version is wonderful. The acting is very strong and well thought out. The characters are so well defined and the actors inhabit their characters flawlessly.


Xavier Guillaume I got to see it at The Milwaukee Rep Theater, a theater known for consistently good shows time after time. One of the neatest things about the show was the main stage could move, thus it was very dynamic, and I just loved how pushing and rotating the stage can change the audience's perspective on the setting. Anyway, coincidentally enough, The Milwaukee Rep is currently playing Death of a Salesman, another Arthur Miller play. So I guess if you're in Milwaukee! :D


Michelle Sharpe The movie is great. Daniel Day Lewis should've gotten an Oscar. It followed the play very closely, and only added scenes, most of which, I felt added to the story.


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