Broadway Reviews: New York New York, Life of Pi & Shucked

New York New York

Official Blurb
: A spectacular new musical for a singular city, NEW YORK, NEW YORK features an exhilarating new score by the incomparable John Kander & Fred Ebb, an original story by David Thompson with Sharon Washington, additional lyrics by Lin-Manuel Miranda, and visionary direction and choreography by Susan Stroman.   It is 1946, the war is over, and a resurgent New York is beginning to rebuild. As steel beams swing overhead, a collection of artists has dreams as big and diverse as the city itself. Among them is New York native Jimmy Doyle, a brilliant but disillusioned musician looking for his “major chord” in life: music, money, love. The odds are against him getting all three until he meets Francine Evans, a young singer just off the bus from Philly, who is destined for greatness. If they can make it there, they can make it anywhere. With a unique blend of dazzling new songs and big band classics (“New York, New York,” “But The World Goes Round”), this jubilant new musical is destined to become the talk of the town.

My take: This Show had a bit of everything I want in a musical. Beautiful sets, music an costumes. There is also some amazing dancing and choreography and some stellar singing. It really had Susan Stroman written all over it. That dancing in the rain scene was spectacular, and I love the construction dancing homage to the classic NY picture. The whole thing was larger than life and yet intimate. At first the large cast of characters felt a bit weird but it ties in so well together at the end that I really did not mind. Colton Ryan is just the epitome of cool and Anna Uzele’s voice brings down the house. My only qualm I wanted more New York, New York. I don’t like making comparisons, but in this season sometimes you have to. This musical is what I Was expecting to feel when i went into Some like it hot, but didn’t get. It was accomplished here, old school musical magic.

Also a note for Lin manuel: was the shaved ice a nod to in the heights and you?. It has to be or at least it was in my head.


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Official Blurb: he seeds have been planted. Now all we need is a little water, a little sunshine, and a whole lotta love. SHUCKED is the new musical comedy from some of the hottest names on Broadway—and Nashville! Featuring a book by Tony Award® winner Robert Horn (Tootsie), a score by the Grammy® Award-winning songwriting team of Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally, and directed by Tony Award® winner Jack O’Brien (Hairspray), this corn-fed, corn-bred American musical is sure to satisfy your appetite for great musical theater.

My take: This might be the surprise of the season for me. This is where expectations come to play. I had absolutely no expectations for this show. Actually before the reviews and word of mouth started to come in I had negative expectations. Since i thought it was going to crash and burn, being so delightfully surprised was wonderful. it is a truly cute funny little musical, with tons of hearts and Alex Newell steals the show and brings the house down. In the vain of Kimberly Akimbo (although don’t get me wrong it is no Kimberly Akimbo, that is still the standard for gorgeous small musicals this season) a small heart tugging show that will leave a smile on you face way past the time you leave the theater. Also mayor kudos to the social media and marketing teams for this show – they are amazing!

Life of Pi

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Official Blurb: The Olivier Award-winning West End hit, Life of Pi is an epic tale of adventure that is “giving new life to Broadway” (The Today Show). After a shipwreck in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, a sixteen-year-old boy named Pi survives on a lifeboat with four companions— a hyena, a zebra, an orangutan and a Royal Bengal tiger. A truly remarkable story unfolds of hope, faith, and perseverance that speaks to every generation. Told through incomparable puppetry and exquisite stagecraft, Life of Pi creates a visually breathtaking journey that will leave you filled with awe and joy. Get your tickets now to this thrilling new production that “will make you believe in the power of theater” (The Times of London).

My take: This is an aesthetically gorgeous show. The story itself is good too, but I think you don’t come here for the story. You came here for what the craft and imagination of theater can provide in gorgeous puppetry and the wonder of bringing to the stage thigs that maybe you think couldn’t be staged. The puppeteers are all absolutely amazing. I saw it with Pi’s alternate Adi Dixit, and he was very good, but really the play was stolen by the wonderful puppeteers. Also the set design was spectacular.

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