Four Broadway Musical Successes – “Shuffle Along,” “She Loves Me,” “Fun Home,” and “Tuck Everlasting”

This review aired on KBAQ June 9, 2016


New York City, NY

Musicals draw big Broadway crowds because audiences want to see them.  During this year’s Big Apple trip, seven of the ten shows I saw were musicals.  A disclaimer up front is in order.  For the first time in over 20 years of reviewing New York shows annually, I was unable to see Broadway’s biggest hit, “Hamilton” because there were no press seats until after this weekend’s Tony Awards.

Unfortunately, none of the Broadway musicals I saw are destined to become classics.  In this first of two looks at the musicals I attended, the focus is on successes including the “Shuffle Along” and “She Loves Me” revivals, last season’s Best Musical Tony winner, “Fun Home,” and “Tuck Everlasting.”

“SHUFFLE ALONG,” Music Box Theatre, New York, NY

“Shuffle Along” is a delight.  The original Noble Sissle and Eubie Blake songs were retained but the 1921 book was cleverly revised by George C. Wolfe who also staged the piece winningly.  Originally, “Shuffle Along” introduced Black performers to Broadway’s heavily White audiences.  Filled with toe-tapping Savion Glover dances, “Shuffle Along” stars three outstanding Broadway performers, the luminous Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Billy Porter.  They head a talented ensemble of singer/dancers.  For tickets, call the Telecharge box office at 212-239-6200 or order tickets online at

Grade: A

“SHE LOVES ME,” Studio 54, New York, NY

The Roundabout Theatre Company’s revival of 1963’s “She Loves Me” is a beautiful confection from a time when Broadway musicals were happier and possessed lovely scores.  Set in a 1934 Budapest parfumerie, the show exposes the shop’s many internal love affairs.  The set shows the shop’s exterior but opens to become the fabulously detailed store.  Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi’s feuding clerks who secretly admire each other plus Gavin Creel and Jane Krakowski’s more outwardly amorous clerks are comically and musically gifted.  For tickets, call the Roundabout Theatre Company box office at 212-719-1300 or order tickets online at

Grade: A

“FUN HOME,” Circle in the Square, New York, NY

last season’s Tony winning Best Musical, “Fun Home,” is a provocative new musical that deals with a struggling family and the challenges of growing up in today’s complicated society.  Much of the original cast remains in the show including the amazing Michael Cerveris as the father.  The musical score is a series of inward looking pieces that expose each character’s thinking in this complex family.  Staged in the intimate Circle in the Square Theatre, the audience surrounds the action making it part of the family’s challenging discoveries.  For tickets, call the Telecharge box office at 212-239-6200 or order tickets online at

Grade: A

“TUCK EVERLASTING,” Broadhurst Theatre, New York, NY

Based on the children’s story, “Tuck Everlasting” was a charming family musical that closed even though it is superior to the long-running “Finding Neverland.”  The dynamic staging and a superlative cast brought the story to vibrant life.  “Tuck Everlasting” is destined to have a big presence in regional and local productions.  “Tuck Everlasting” has closed.

Grade: B

Well staged and beautiful Broadway musicals always entertain adult theatergoers, dazzle young audiences, and promise to keep Broadway dynamic.