Theatre Date With Myself, Part Two

On Tuesday night I took myself to see Ivan van Hove’s revival of The Crucible (again via TDF). I had never seen The Crucible onstage and I was super excited. Seeing Ciaran Hinds (Gov. Danforth) and Tavi Gevinson (Mary Warren) was just the icing on the cake. I remembered the basic plot – McCarthism masquerading as the Salem Witch Trials – but once the action started, all of the dialogue started flooding back into my memory.

The production is flawless. A very minimal set. Beautiful lighting. It was truly mind blowing how 70+ people were accused of witch craft by five girls who were faking it and they turn Salem upside down. 

Gevinson was excellent – a total 180* from This Is Our Youth. Sophie Okonedo (Elizabeth Proctor) and Ben Whishaw (John Proctor) had great chemistry together. Jim Norton (Giles Corey) was subtly funny and heart breaking as always. It was really a treat to see Jim Norton and Ciaran Hinds onstage together again – I was such a big fan of The Seafarer in 2008. I could list the rest of the cast because they were all excellent, but I won’t. You can check them out here if you’re interested. 

Like I said, I have nothing to compare this production to but this three hour production never dragged and it didn’t feel long for one minute. If you have three hours to kill, get thee to the Walter Kerr. 

… and now he’s just, like, dead.

I was lucky enough to revisit This Is Our Youth a couple of weeks ago and I enjoyed it just as much as the first time. I’m pretty sure Michael Cera was better and Kieran Culkin hammed it up even more – if you can imagine that. Gevinson was adorable as per usual.

While I love this play, I can’t stand the last twenty minutes. Nothing happens; they barely have anything left to converse about. It’s like Lonergan doesn’t know how to end the show. It doesn’t go off on a high or low note – just a “huh?” note, which I guess is appropriate given that the characters have no idea what they’re doing with their lives.

Come to think of it: that’s probably exactly what Lonergan was going for.

I stand corrected (by myself). Go see this before it closes on January 4th.