Man, you think you know the Pilgrims, and then bam! Scandal erupts in Salem. Reverend Parris catches Abigail Williams and some friends doing a very sinful dance in the woods. The right reverend knows that when the ladies bump-and-grind, witchcraft is usually the root of their problems, so he sends for renowned witch-hunter John Hale. Soon, all of Salem is torn apart as Abigail and Co. turn the tables on their accusers, buying their freedom by pointing out all of the other witches in town including and especially Elizabeth Proctor, whose husband, John, was once Abigail's illicit lover. Being Pilgrims, everyone involved knows the rules: The penalty for denying being a witch is death. The penalty for admitting witchcraft and repenting is only church-assigned penance. What path does one choose when the choices are a life saved by lying or dying in service to Truth? That's why they call it The Crucible, baby all the superfluous material is burnt away in the light of one's decision. The Muddy Waters Theatre Company presents Arthur Miller's The Crucible at the Theatre at St. John's (5000 Washington Place; 314-540-7831 or www.muddywaterstheatre.com) at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday (December 1 through 9), 7 p.m. Sunday, December 3, and 2 p.m. Sunday, December 10. Tickets are $13 to $16.
Fridays-Sundays. Starts: Dec. 1. Continues through Dec. 10