BRIAN STOKES MITCHELL     DONNA BULLOCK   JOHN RUBINSTEIN

AUDRA McDONALD    MARK JACOBY

 

There aren't many new musicals opening on Broadway, but this one seems to have found an audience willing to try something new.

With a complex story and lots of characters, E. L. Doctorow's best seller, wasn't an easy task to be told into a few hours (several years ago there was a movie adaptation that failed to do so). What we have here is a heavy book-musical, serious and a little boring. On the first part the characters are introduced and you start thinking if you will be able to recall them all until the end of the show. On the second half there's more action and the story unfolds.

Although the cast is very talented and some of the actors delivered great performances, what will be remembered of this show are the fabulous images created by director Frank Galati. From the brilliant conceived opening number to the simple Mother's solo on the beach, the images are perfect and sometimes breathtaking. You fell that the entire show was produced with love and care. Unfortunately the dance numbers aren't very exciting and a few aren't really necessary.
Back to the cast, what can I say of Brian Stokes Mitchell? The guy is wonderful and has a powerful voice and stage presence. At his side Audra McDonald is as fragile as her character. John Rubinstein is a perfect Tateh and Donna Bullock is more than convincing as Mother.
The score is emotional and it sounds like Broadway. I believe that songs like Wheels of a Dream, New Music and (my favorite) Back to Before will live long after the show.

As I said before this musical is long and sometimes boring, but it has several great theatre moments.



Music by Lynn Ahrens    Lyrics by Stephen Flaherty     Book by Terrence McNally

Musical Staging by Graciela Daniele     Directed by Frank Galati

Rated by Jorge: +++