Critics found A Beautiful Noise noisome. Bio jukebox musicals have succeeded in the past because of the interesting lives of the source (Beautiful: A Carole King Musical), phenomenal star performances (Tina - The Tina Turner Musical) and/or creative storytelling and weaving of the songs into the story (Jersey Boys). A Beautiful Noise seems to have struck out on all counts; despite a fantastic song list, the show stands as proof that music and sequins are not enough to make for good musical theater.
KPOP opened on Broadway to mixed reviews. Those who'd been lucky enough to witness the immersive Off-Broadway production found the remaking for Broadway lacking. Less of a jukebox musical than a concert, they found very little in the way of connective tissue between the story and the songs. Fans of the K-pop genre will at least be happy with the vocals and chroeo, although they might be better off saving their money to see the real idols instead.
It was a mixed bag of reviews for & Juliet, the new modern jukebox reimagining of how one of Shakespeare's most famous women might have gone on. Featuring a score of well-known hits by Max Martin that any millennial will know and love, and a silly and simple plot - this is jukebox fluff at its fluffiest, with a basic blend of feminist confetti thrown on top. Love it or hate it, the show is "Larger Than Life," which you'll either see as "F****n’ Perfect" or worthy of a skip.
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.
Yikes. Critics didn't care for Almost Famous, the latest film-to-stage adaptation to hit the Great White Way. With pandering over-the-top jokes, a not-at-all-adapted for the stage story, and abysmal lyrics, set and staging, the only saving grace were standout Broadway premiere performances by Casey Likes and Solea Pfeiffer. Overall, critics wished this production had leaned in to truly adapting the show for the stage, rather than creating a semi-original half-jukebox musical rehash of the film.
The Roundabout Theater Company's revival of 1776 opened to lackluster reviews. Though applying exciting casting with a fully female, transgender and non-binary cast, critics felt the rest of the changes made for this revival, from new arrangements and orchestrations to staging and acting was heavy-handed, muddy, over the top and cartoony. Though select performances and songs stood out and no one begrudged the casting updates in principle, many seemed to be wishing this mounting had been a new diversely cast musical exploring the founding of our country, rather than a heavy-handed reworking of an old musical, revolutionary for its time.
The Encores! transfer of Into the Woods opened at the St. James Theater to absolute rave reviews. The simplicity of the staging allows for the hilarious and heartbreaking performances from this star-studded cast to shine and Sondheim's wonderful score to soar. The critics are in full agreement on this one; you'd be a fool to miss this mounting of Woods.
The biggest day of the awards season is here and we are over the moon excited to join you all during all of tonight's Tony Award events. And best of all we'll be doing it all LIVE!!!
The Drama League Awards were presented today, and the prize for Outstanding Production of a Musical went to A Strange Loop. Company received the awards for both Outstanding Revival and Outstanding Direction of a Musical. And Broadway and Hollywood star extraordinaire Sutton Foster was given this year's Distinguished Performance Award for her portrayal of Marion in The Music Man.
Now that all the 2021-2022 season nominations are in, we wanted to tally up the totals for each of this season's musicals.