The Reviews for KIMBERLY AKIMBO are In…

Photo by Joan Marcus

A story about a girl with a disease that’ll kill her hardly seems like fodder for a fun musical, but Kimberly Akimbo just opened to wonderfully rave reviews. At the center of the show’s success is the immeasurably talented Victoria Clark, who steps into the shoes of a diseased 16 year old with subtlety, honesty and humor. Director Jessica Stone assembled a talented ensemble and encouraged all to lean into the comedy to the perfect degree – creating a beautiful production that’s both touching and hilarious.

Variety Review for Kimberly Akimbo

“The prospect of dying by age 16 hardly seems like obvious fodder for musical comedy. But ‘Kimberly Akimbo,’ transferring to Broadway after an acclaimed run at the Atlantic Theater Company, is the sort of refreshingly unexpected musical that makes an exhilarating case for the vibrancy and potential of the form. It asks big questions about family and mortality. It’s unabashedly heartfelt and irresistibly funny. Like life, it’s inherently sad and a little absurd, and like its subject, “Kimberly Akimbo” is exceedingly rare and almost impossible not to love.”

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Deadline Review for Kimberly Akimbo

“Kimberly Akimbo, one of the unlikeliest, most exhilarating and unfailingly moving musicals to hit New York in years, opens on Broadway tonight having lost none of its immense charm since its Off Broadway debut lsat year swept just about every critics award there was to be swept. Opening tonight at the Booth Theatre with its original Off Broadway cast intact, the miraculous Victoria Clark leading the very fine ensemble, Kimberly Akimbo remains a stunner, a sly, quirky, eccentric work of stage art transformed into a crowd pleaser by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire’s captivating book and lyrics, Jeanine Tesori’s delightful music that, like Kimberly Akimbo itself, works its way into your heart with a jauntiness that both hides and ultimately amplifies its serious ambitions. Add to all that a winning group of singing actors, from young newcomers to stage veterans, that work together with an ease and chemistry that’s apparent from the start and only grows in power toward an emotional and thoroughly satisfying end.”

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The New York Times Review for Kimberly Akimbo

“Though an underground river of sorrow gives ‘Kimberly Akimbo’ its keenness, the surface is shiny comedy. That was already the case in the play by David Lindsay-Abaire on which it is based, a play that begins, as the musical does, with a visual joke: a grown-looking woman, outside a skating rink, dressed like a teenager and nibbling a candy necklace. That’s upbeat Kimberly, as usual trying to make the best of life’s bad situation. And now, with the addition of songs (music by Jeanine Tesori; lyrics by Lindsay-Abaire) that turn the carpe diem dial to maximum, the director Jessica Stone has turned up the hilarity dial as well, to keep all that emotion in balance. Clark is responsible for the carpe diem part.”

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New York Post Review for Kimberly Akimbo

“Clark, better known for playing grandiose characters who aren’t teenagers in plaid shirts, radiates compassion in the part. What makes Kimberly not cloying, as adults pretending to be kids usually is, is that she is an old soul because of her hard life. The performance is a pleasant blend of optimistic and worldly. … Cooley, by the way, is a gifted comedic actor who nails every punchline. Also funny is Milligan’s Debra, a ‘Strangers With Candy’-like, foul-mouthed clown who speaks of committing felonies as a cute little hobby, like knitting or pottery. … ‘Akimbo’ can be a puzzle of a musical, but, like a clever anagram, you smile when it all comes together in the end.”

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