BWW Reviews: THE CRUCIBLE Opens in Cincinnati

October 31
2:27 PM 2013

Cincinnati Shakespeare Company teamed up with Xavier University to put on a great production of The Crucible. Overall, the cast worked seamlessly together with the professional actors from the Shakespeare Company and the XU students. Obviously, there is going to be a difference in ability but the students held their own against the strong cast provided by the Shakespeare Company.

And speaking of the strong cast, Kelly Mengelkoch as Elizabeth Proctor was superb in this production. She is turning into one of my favorite actresses in this company. How she could express completely different emotions through her face and body language with barely speaking, is the reason why acting cannot be done by everyone.

The core of this production was obviously Brent Vimtrup who was great as John Proctor. He had chemistry with both Mengelkoch and Sara Clark, as Abigail Williams. John Proctor probably has the biggest journey in this play and the toll that this journey takes on Proctor was acted perfectly by Vimtrup. Sara Clark was great as well. The wheels turning in Abigail's head could be seen clearly on Clark's face in the background; I found myself watching her more than I was probably suppose to.

If I had to pick a flaw of this production, it would be the amount of yelling. While, I think the yelling was used in the right moments more than not, it was still overused. The actor's voices could be heard cracking in the second act of opening night, so I worry if they will last the rest of the run. Also, be prepared the play is very long; each act is around an hour and a half.

I would highly suggest you go see this production while you still can. It's on a limited run so sprint don't walk to the theater.

The Crucible is directed by Brian Isaac Phillips and runs through November 3.

Photo Credit: Jeanna Vella

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