REVIEW ROUNDUP: “Paradise Blue” Opened with a ShowScore of 82

Show-Score | May 15, 2018
“Paradise Blue”, written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson opened on May 14, 2018 in New York City. “Paradise Blue”, written by Dominique Morisseau and directed by Ruben Santiago-Hudson opened on May 14, 2018 in New York City.


7 critics reviewed the show, resulting in a weighted average of 70.

Jesse Green 
The New York Times 
ShowScore: 65 
"Oddly in a play that features so much talk of jazz and poetry, the real estate story is the most compelling aspect...So overplays its genre tropes that the characters feel like incoherent afterthoughts. Especially in the second act, as the plot tries to wind itself into a climax, they stop making sense...The performances are hot and compelling in the way a five-alarm fire is, making you want to keep watching but also keep your distance...Feels like a work that merits deeper and longer reconsideration."

Marilyn Stasio

ShowScore: 60
"The play restricts itself to being an atmospheric but insubstantial slice of dramatic life. In this staging, Kristolyn Lloyd gives a lovely, self-effacing performance as Pumpkin...In lieu of a plot, Morisseau presents us with a cast of full-bodied characters...The characters are a few players short of the swinging band this play needs. But under the confident direction of Ruben Santiago-Hudson, the thesps have a good handle on their characters."
Frank Scheck
The Hollywood Reporter
ShowScore: 70
"The thin storyline takes a back seat to the rich language on display; like many a jazz composition, 'Paradise Blue' doesn't cohere very well, but there are some dazzling solos...The play feels very much alive anyway, thanks to Morisseau's prodigious gifts for language and creating small moments that register with significant emotional impact...'Paradise Blue' may be an imperfect play, but it's receiving a nearly perfect production."

“Paradise Blue” was also reviewed by Raven Snook of Time Out New York, Thom Geier of The Wrap, Howard Miller of Talkin' Broadway, and Brian Scott Lipton of CitiTour.


The show was also reviewed by 46 Show-Score members, whose collective ShowScore is a weighted average of 84.

Top five adjectives describing the show:
Great acting, Absorbing, Great writing, Entertaining, Resonant

Maggie 22, ShowScore: 98
See it if…"You like powerful, detailed character-driven theater with extraordinary cast and great staging; explores a slice of a musician's life." 
Don't see it if…"You don't like powerful, intimate theater, plays that are character driven and detailed, intense playwriting."
Rena Plays, ShowScore: 90 
See it if…"You appreciate a well-crafted play that resonates to classic American theater by August Wilson and Tennessee Williams." 
Don't see it if…"Familiar character types and situations will annoy you or classic theater pacing will bore you."
Jim Jim Jim, ShowScore: 88
See it if…"You like gripping, naturalistic theater that works toward a transcendent climax.
Don't see it if…"You feel you can't relate to the struggles of 5 characters who live in a post-war Detroit neighborhood about to undergo enormous change."

See the Show Page with all critic and member reviews.

Note: The ShowScore displayed above is current as of right now, and may be different from the ShowScore when the article was published.