We know D.C. Get our free newsletter to stay in the know.
How do you keep the audience’s attention in a play where even the narrator says he can see the trouble coming before intermission? Ambiguity helps: If something seems plain in the first half of Arthur Miller’s tale of tangled allegiances and snarled emotions, there’s a good chance Miller (or director Daniel Aukin) will find a way to call it into question before the second act is far advanced. Pitch-perfect performances from a splendidly integrated ensemble cast help immeasurably; Aukin and actor Noble Shropshire even manage to finesse the play’s awkward framing device, which keeps insisting that Shropshire’s levelheaded-lawyer character step out to play Chorus for an audience that doesn’t need one. Arena Stage Crystal City, 1800 South Bell St., Arlington. $47-$66. To May 17. (202) 488-3300.