DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews

DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews

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#1DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/6/24 at 1:29pm

John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize- and Tony Award®-winning Best Play returns to Broadway for the first time in nearly two decades. “An inspired study in moral uncertainty” (The New York Times), this modern classic stars Academy Award® and Tony nominee Amy Ryan and Tony winner Liev Schreiber in a staggering new Roundabout production directed by Scott Ellis.

The production opens on March 7 at the Todd Haimes Theatre, formerly known as the American Airlines Theatre.

#2DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:08pm

NYT Critic's Pick from Jesse Green:

Review: In ‘Doubt,’ What He Knows, She Knows, God Knows

Liev Schreiber and Amy Ryan star in a revival of John Patrick Shanley’s moral head spinner about pride, the priesthood and presumptions of pedophilia.



"Still, if you’re like me, you may lean more heavily to one side than the other. In this regard, Scott Ellis’s production for the Roundabout Theater Company has not yet reached the ideal balance; Ryan, stepping in for an ailing Tyne Daly, has had just a few weeks to prepare. Her take on Aloysius is smart and uncompromising but a bit small in crucial moments, leaving the splendid Schreiber — a strapping 6-foot-3, with a tough guy’s brush cut and a thick Bronx honk — to outman her. (Brian F. O’Byrne, who played Flynn in 2005, was scragglier, and Cherry Jones, as Aloysius, more imposing.) Schreiber is also about the same age as Ryan, not a couple of decades younger, as written."

#3DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:09pm

Deadline is positive:

‘Doubt’ Broadway Review: Amy Ryan & Liev Schreiber Resurrect A Modern Classic


"That the play holds up as well as it does – and it really does – is due in large part to a top-tier cast that the Roundabout Theater Company has assembled, an ensemble that keeps us guessing from beginning to end. As most in the audience will know, Amy Ryan was a last-minute fill-in for an ailing Tyne Daly, and she takes to the role (and the stage) as if she’d been prepping for months. Her performance betrays not a hint of eleventh-hour jitters."

#4DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:10pm

The Wrap is positive:

‘Doubt’ Broadway Review: Liev Schreiber and Amy Ryan Battle for the Soul of the Church John Patrick Shanley’s play receives a knockout revival


#5DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:12pm

2 1/2 stars from NYP:

‘Doubt’ Broadway review: Nun play still scorches — even in a so-so revival


"As Ryan’s Aloysius clashed with Flynn in her office, I had never felt a theater be so sympathetic toward the accused priest. I even saw supportive finger snaps at his self-defense.

That response could be because Schreiber exudes such a warm, paternal energy that never feels sinister or remotely creepy. He acts rationally and makes a reasonable case for his innocence. You couldn’t say that about Philip Seymour Hoffman’s performance in the 2008 film co-starring Meryl Streep.

Or perhaps the shifting sands are due to Ryan’s take. Aloysius is never likable, per se. She’s admirable — a defiantly old-world Catholic who resists the modern changes the church was making in the mid-1960s.

But Ryan plays her with a “danger Will Robinson!” roboticism that cools down the icicle even more. This is, after all, a woman who casually tosses off lines like “Innocence is a form of laziness.” Ryan is more pesky than ferocious, more another-day-in-the-rectory than larger-than-life.

Both are valid choices. Both are strong performances. That the play, which never tells you the full truth, has grown more ambiguous is fascinating. However, the pair of actors just do not click."

#6DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:13pm

A- from Entertainment Weekly

Doubt: A Parable review: Amy Ryan and Liev Schreiber are electric on Broadway

The revival of John Patrick Shanley's Pulitzer Prize winning play will stick with you long past the 90-minute runtime .


#7DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:14pm

Theatremania is positive

Review: Doubt Returns to Broadway in a Solid Revival

Amy Ryan, Liev Schreiber, Quincy Tyler Bernstine, and Zoe Kazan star in the Roundabout Theatre Company production.


"Having directed the cast to these honest and unpretentious performances, Scott Ellis does nothing to reinterpret the way we see and hear Doubt. David Rockwell’s gliding, twirling set facilitates quick scene transitions set to the sound of boy sopranos (sound by Mikaal Sulaiman, who does offer an impressive 360 soundscape in the Haimes). Costume designer Linda Cho delivers austere clerical garb. Kenneth Posner’s lighting creates the indoor-outdoor world of the play, with light gorgeously streaming in from high windows in the opening tableau. It’s all first-rate, but none of it reinvents the wheel — and that’s OK."

#8DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:16pm

WSJ is positive

‘Doubt’ Review: Questions of Belief on Broadway

Set at a Catholic school in the 1960s, John Patrick Shanley’s award-winning play returns in this resonant revival starring Amy Ryan and Liev Schreiber.


"Mr. Schreiber brings a casual thoughtfulness to the sermons that are integrated into the play, including the opening one, on the subject of the play’s title; this is not a man who acts without thinking. Mr. Schreiber also lends the character an easygoing amiability and a sense of empathy that are in stark contrast to the rigid piety of Ms. Ryan’s Sister Aloysius. Father Flynn admits the particular care he has taken to make sure that Donald feels comfortable in intimidating surroundings. But when Sister Aloysius brings forth her accusation, and accompanying threats, he denies any misbehavior. The production affords, among other things, the pleasure of watching these two supremely good stage actors going toe to toe."

Updated On: 3/7/24 at 09:16 PM

#9DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:21pm

Holden in Vulture is mixed, or at best a lukewarm positive (and personally I agree with her take the most).

Doubt Returns in a Traditionalist Production


"in this production, Doubt feels conspicuously steady. As an earnest and much-decorated emissary from the early aughts, the play seems almost nostalgic, a familiar object rather than a galvanizing event. It’s always been a period piece...But it’s not so much the play’s 1964 setting as its 2004 vibes that make it feel a bit frozen in amber. Director Scott Ellis is happy not to push past the expected. David Rockwell’s set dutifully revolves between stony, ivy-twined cloister courtyard and massy mahogany office. Ryan wears the same severe bonnet and glasses that Streep and Cherry Jones wore before her. Mikaal Sulaiman’s straightforward sound design gives us crows cawing, children at play, and kyries between scenes. And, while one needn’t belabor the point, seven of the eight-person central production team are men. The famous faces onstage are new, but much of what’s been packaged here feels intensely, and intentionally, the same as it ever was."

"While Ellis’s ensemble doesn’t lag behind the play, neither are they quite pushed to light a fire under it. Ryan and Kazan often feel like they’re in slightly different shows, Ryan’s more subtly minimalist and Kazan’s more caricatured — the specificities of a scene, and the fact that Sister James is not just a soft heart but apparently a smart and compelling teacher, can sometimes get lost underneath her tremble and treble. Schreiber, perhaps ironically, is the most comfortable of the three. The “fuhgeddaboudit” accent heightens him just enough, while his square-shouldered physical ease keeps him rooted — this guy is definitely also the school’s basketball coach, and the kids probably think he’s, ya know, whatever, pretty cool. While I wasn’t sure I quite bought his Father Flynn’s having to take notes because he gets “too flustered to remember the details of an upsetting conversation,” Schreiber’s zero-on-the-Kinsey-scale presentation of the role is an intriguing one. "

Updated On: 3/7/24 at 09:21 PM

#10DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:26pm

Chicago Tribune is positive, though it's interesting that he praises all the actors more than Schreiber and says it firmly removes all doubt and makes the priest seem absolutely guilty. That wasn't the impression I had, or that many others had in the previews thread.

Review: ‘Doubt’ returns as a powerful parable on a much-changed Broadway


"Twenty years later, all reasonable doubt has been removed from “Doubt.”

We’ve learned some depressing things about manipulative humans within powerful institutions since Sister Aloysius Beauvier first sat behind her desk and this taut drama, now back in a gripping new Broadway production from the Roundabout Theatre Company and director Scott Ellis, plays like a cautionary tale, an ode to those women, and some men, who found the courage to stand up against abusers and take the side of the young and vulnerable.

But “Doubt,” now billed as “Doubt: A Parable,” still remains a tense and deeply involving theatrical experience."

#11DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:27pm

Theatrely is mostly positive, but criticizes the direction:

A Soul-Shaking Amy Ryan in DOUBT — Review


"But Scott Ellis’ direction is slack where suffocating tension is demanded. A play that deals in considering the unthinkable must be given room, however gasping, to breathe, and key scenes breeze through without the pensiveness their particular ilk would pause to consider. The sisters’ near-wordless agreement that something awful has taken place, for instance, seems to bank on our previous knowledge of the plot rather than let its implications take hold."

#12DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:29pm

Two four-star reviews from NY Stage Review:


By Melissa Rose Bernardo

★★★★☆ Two decades later, John Patrick Shanley’s Pulitzer Prize–winning play inspires as much conversation as ever




By David Finkle

★★★★☆ The playwright directs Amy Ryan, Liev Schreiber, Zoe Kazan, and Quincy Tyler Bernstine to undoubted effect


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#13DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:30pm

DTLI Consensus: No Doubt about this one: just as relevant as it once was, Amy Ryan and Liev Schreiber go toe-to-toe as they resurrect one of the best plays of the century thus far. 

10 positive (including the NYT), 2 mixed. 


Oh look, a bibu!

#14DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:30pm

Four stars from The Guardian

Doubt: A Parable review – Liev Schreiber and Amy Ryan electrify Broadway restaging

Todd Haimes Theatre, New York

The award-winning John Patrick Shanley drama returns to Broadway for the first time with note-perfect performances and a discomfiting tone


#15DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:32pm

Four stars from TimeOut


"Roundabout Theatre Company’s Broadway revival, directed by Scott Ellis, is mostly very effective. Schreiber’s hooded quality as an actor—the impassioned voice that emerges from a hard-to-read face—is ideal for his role, and he excels at the sharp-elbowed eloquence of Flynn’s sermons. The confusion of Kazan’s sensitive and affecting Sister James, who respects Sister Aloysius but also resents her (“She’s taken away my joy of teaching”), is balanced beautifully by the cutting intelligence and wariness that Bernstine brings to her pivotal scene. David Rockwell's set and Kenneth Posner's lighting bring out the darkness that can lurk in impressive institutions.

This Doubt’s equilibrium is disturbed only by Ryan’s performance. It feels a bit unfair to say so: A highly gifted actor, she stepped into the production at the very last minute, when Tyne Daly took ill; with more time in the role, she may plant herself in it more sturdily. At present, however, Ryan does fine by Aloysius’s comedic moments—her Bronx accent seems pinched from Penny Marshall—but doesn’t bring quite enough weight to this seemingly implacable woman, the play’s all-but-immovable force."

#16DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 9:35pm

Washington Post

Two plays about allegedly horrible men, now in the era of cancel culture

‘Doubt’ with Liev Schreiber and Amy Ryan and ‘The Hunt’ with Tobias Menzies both center on accusations of misconduct with a minor, but with no questions of guilt


"But uncertainty is curiously scarce in the first Broadway revival of “Doubt,” starring Liev Schreiber and Amy Ryan, which opened at the Todd Haimes Theatre on Thursday. To the question of whether Schreiber’s inscrutable Father Flynn has made advances on the lone Black student at a Bronx Catholic school, a suspicion that cements into certitude in the mind of Ryan’s acerbic Sister Aloysius, the answer seems too obvious."


"But the lead performances are miscalibrated. Schreiber’s gruff, salt-of-the-earth Flynn lacks a threatening underside, like a rock without worms squirming beneath. Ryan, a last-minute replacement for Tyne Daly, who withdrew from the production for health reasons, wields Aloysius’s iron-fisted quips like daggers. But she seems to throw them for the sake of it, with an absence of fear or disgust that what she believes might actually be true."

#17DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 11:32pm

These reviews are a bit stronger than I expected; I actually think Adam Feldman's review mirrored my experience almost perfectly.

#18DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 11:32pm

Observer's David Cote is positive, though it's interesting he thinks Schreiber's is a "more menacing Flynn" and Ryan "modulates her portrayal with little touches of sweetness and hesitancy." (I...did not see that at all.)

Review: A Priest and a Nun Walk into a War in Contemporary Classic ‘Doubt’

Amy Ryan and Liev Schreiber lead this impressive Broadway revival of one of the top ten American dramas of this century.


#19DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/7/24 at 11:34pm

Most of Variety's criticisms are about the play itself, which...is a take.

‘Doubt: A Parable’ Review: Liev Schreiber’s Performance Cuts Through a Somber and Confining Single Act


"what’s exceedingly interesting about “Doubt,” aside from Schreiber’s standout performance, has nothing to do with Sister Aloysius’ indication or righteousness or if Father Flynn is or isn’t a pedophile. Instead, the play highlights how easy it is for influential people to prey on the vulnerable and how the systems we revere are complicit in demonizing those with the most to lose, while shielding the powerful from harm and repercussions. Uncomfortable and thought-provoking, the themes of “Doubt” have never been more urgent. Yet, the moral lesson at the story’s center worked best in the 2008 film, when the performances and characters could stretch beyond the limits of one confining act."

#20DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/8/24 at 9:43am

Really great reviews, don't know if enough to Amy Ryan take the Tony away from Paulson.

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#21DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/8/24 at 12:22pm

It's so fascinating seeing the different takeaways from the production, which speaks to the brilliant ambiguity of the script. (I chuckled at Holdren describing Schreiber's "zero on the Kinsey scale" take because I absolutely thought he was a closeted gay man). 

I do wish, as many reviews pointed out, that Ellis had imbued a bit more momentum and fire into the script. And unified the actors more on tone/style (I like the review that pointed out that no one is making a bad choice on stage, but that not all of these acting choices gel with each other or feel like they are in the same show). It seems like it just needs a very subtle, simple directorial nudge to push this production from just good, to great.


#22DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/8/24 at 6:30pm

MadsonMelo said: "Really great reviews, don't know if enough to Amy Ryan take the Tony away from Paulson."

Wait wait wait, people think Amy Ryan is in the running for a Tony? I'm not sure she will be nominated, and it never occurred to me she might win, and these reviews uniformly confirm that. Love her, and impressed with what she pulled off here, but I think Paulson, Betsy Aidem, Jessica Lange, Rachel McAdams, and maybe one of the Jaja powerhouses if deemed to be leading, all make an Amy Ryan win far fetched....

#23DOUBT: A PARABLE Opening Night Critics' Reviews
Posted: 3/30/24 at 7:13pm

I was at today's matinee. Amy Ryan is a tremendous Sister Aloysius, especially considering she only had a week of rehearsal. The rest of the production doesn’t quite rise to her level, but the play is still a well-oiled machine.

In terms of directorial touches, one thing I did like is the use of Sister Aloysius' office window during scene transitions. She stands there watching over Father Flynn and Sister James at the start of their scene, while Father Flynn lingers there at the start of the final scene.