Broadway Musical Failures – “American Psycho – The Musical,” “Finding Neverland,” and “Waitress”

This review aired on KBAQ June 20, 2016

New York City, NY

Musicals will always be Broadway’s biggest favorites but sometimes new musicals come up wanting.  During my recent New York City trip, two musicals were sad misses and one disappointed considering the movie it was based on.

Two weeks ago I reviewed the musical hits including the “Shuffle Along” and “She Loves Me” revivals, last season’s Best Musical Tony winner, “Fun Home,” and “Tuck Everlasting.”  This season’s Broadway musical duds were “American Psycho,” based on the 2000 horror film proved the goriest musical I’ve ever seen.  A musical version of “Finding Neverland”  negatively changed the film’s charming story in a boring production that was further impacted by seeing five understudies and placement cast who failed to instill magic in the altered story.  “Waitress” is blessed with a marvelous cast in a better adaptation but the musical version adds nothing to the original film.

Gerald Schoenfeld Theatre, New York, NY

Since “American Psycho” was a movie dud, the question of why it was adapted as a musical is never answered.  The score is forgettable and unless you love a blood splattered stage, there’s nothing interesting here.  Star Benjamin Walker apparently loved parading around in his underwear because he has no musical or acting talent.  “American Psycho’s” brief Broadway run ended almost as soon as it began.  “American Psycho” has closed.

Grade: D

Lunt-Fontanne Theatre, New York, NY

“Finding Neverland” is an awful adaptation of a successful movie.  It tells of J. M. Barrie’s creation of his immortal “Peter Pan” but the Broadway adapter James Graham messes with the popular story just enough to ruin its charm.  The performances were miserable except for Laura Michelle Kelly who tries hard to make the boy’s mother winning to Barrie.  “Finding Neverland” is due at ASU Gammage and it’s one to skip.  “Finding Neverland” continues to August 21.  For tickets, call the Ticketmaster box office at 877-250-2929 or order tickets online at

Grade: F

Brooks Atkinson Theatre, New York, NY

The charming 2007 film “Waitress” tells about Jenna, a small town waitress married to an awful guy who finds herself pregnant.  When she meets the town’s new doctor, she has the courage to divorce her husband.  The pleasant story doesn’t get too muddled and the show boasts three remarkable leads.  Jessie Mueller’s Jenna, the pregnant waitress. finds the role’s touching sincerity and she forcefully stands up to her husband.  Kimiko Glenn’s Dawn and Keala Settle’s Becky, Jenna’s fellow waitresses, encourage her to get rid of her husband.  The lackluster score adds nothing and director Diane Paulus fails to instill anything musically charming into the story.  Of the three musical misses, “Waitress” partially succeeds because of the superlative cast.  “Waitress” continues indefinitely.  For tickets, call the Ticketmaster box office at 877-250-2929 or order tickets online at

Grade: C

A few comments about attending Broadway shows.  Although tickets are expensive, attending Broaway theater has become anything but pleasurable.  Lines now form outside before the theaters open and you snake slowly before you enter the theater.  Although Broadway’s old theaters remain great spaces to see shows, Broadway theaters are tight and uncomfortable.  Inadequate restrooms are hidden down steep stairs in the basement and it takes forever to reach them during intermissions.  Considering the price of tickets, Broadway needs a renaissance so theaters become more hospitable.