Theater: The Crucible

Directed by Richard Eyre

With Ms. Lewinsky on HBO, March is Monica Flashback Month, a good time to remember that McCarthyism may be gone but witch-hunts will always be with us. A good time, too, for The Crucible, Arthur Miller's 1953 warning against communal hysteria, which uses the Salem witch trials as its model for hypocrisy. This lucid if uneven Broadway staging stars a ferocious Liam Neeson, still the thinking man's hunk. Laura Linney has the more subdued role as his suffering wife. But her gift for finding fire in the quietest corners of normality makes her Neeson's equal.

--By Richard Lacayo


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