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Choir Boy (Broadway)

From 427 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining

About the show

After staging its US debut in 2015, Manhattan Theater Club brings Oscar-winning writer Tarell Alvin McCraney's ('Moonlight') music-filled drama, about a gifted member of a school's gospel choir, to Broadway. More…

For half a century, the Charles R. Drew Prep School for Boys has been dedicated to the education of strong, ethical black men. One talented student has been waiting for years to take his rightful place as the leader of the legendary gospel choir. But can he make his way through the hallowed halls of this institution if he sings in his own key?

Member Reviews (427)


Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining
Avg Score

Relevant, Great writing, Great acting, Absorbing, Resonant

See it if You want to expand your heart understanding of just some of the challenges that young gay black men face. Beautifully written/acted/sung.

Don't see it if You’re homophobic or racist. You should, but don’t bother, you won’t get it.

Absorbing, Poignant, Disturbing, Sexual coming-of-age, Great singing

See it if Wrenching boarding school coming-of-age story. A flamboyantly gay student makes life hard for the others. Spiritual, moving acapella songs.

Don't see it if You aren’t up for confused, angry teenage characters dealing w/ school pressures & sexual discomfort. Frequent rear male nudity.

Absorbing, Cliched, Great acting, Great singing, Relevant

See it if McCraney's gay youth in homophobic world succeeds more in style, atmosphere & sharp writing than any new insights Pope's fierce lead shines

Don't see it if Dazzling musical interludes can take us out of dramatic action to its detriment Some characters cliched but well played Rises/falls on Pope

Relevant, Absorbing, Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if you'd enjoy a good story of fitting in by young men with different backgrounds trying to make it in school and in the choir.

Don't see it if you have no interest in real life challenges and struggles or do not like brilliant pauses in the action that make you dwell on issues.

Ambitious, Clever, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Warm-hearted

See it if you enjoy coming of age stories, problems gay guys encounter in a black private school, great a capella choir routines, resilient heroes

Don't see it if you're not a fan of gay stories set in high school milieu or into male choir singing, somewhat predictable plot line, bullying plot lines

Dramatic confrontation in black boys' prep school of gay behavior vs. schoolboy prejudices & institutional rules; combined w joyful singing and dancing

See it if sociologically precise depiction of dynamics in school; extraordinary a cappella singing & rhythmic dancing; strong affecting cast

Don't see it if no special insight into issues w gay behavior w/i black culture; cliche ridden; by end play just peters out

Great acting, Great writing, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Compelling

See it if you want to see an incredibly powerful, moving show about the lessons we, on purpose and inadvertently, teach kids who are "different."

Don't see it if n/a. Everyone should see this. It's exceptional.

Great singing, Great writing, Profound, Intelligent, Great acting

See it if you’re interested in shows that explore what it means to be the “other,” LGBTQ themes, school dramas, or great a capella singing.

Don't see it if you’re in the mood for something cheerful and uplifting.

Absorbing, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Great cast, Edgy

See it if Coming of age story set in a prestigious prep school for young men of color. Being a teen is difficult enough being gay makes it even harder

Don't see it if you are homophobic, uncomfortable with nudity, don't appreciate good acting, beautiful singing, a great cast & an amusing & tense story.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Masterful, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see a well-written, timely play about being gay in an oppressive culture. Great ensemble work!! Wonderful singing.

Don't see it if you are uncomfortable with gay-themed plays or male nudity.

Entertaining, Great singing, Energizing, Great direction, Polished

See it if Highly pleasurable show. Funny but not idiotic; weighty but not tortured & tearful. You like plays about characters swimming upstream.

Don't see it if want a teen fairy tale where they win nationals, pair off into complementary couples, correct the errors of their ways without consequence.

Also Succeeds where a lot of new plays stumble. If this was just another co... Read more Read less

Pharus replacement nails it

See it if Saw Jonathan Burke in 2nd perf replacing Jeremy Pope. Great voice, charismatic, maybe a little more nelly than Jeremy. Audience loved it.

Don't see it if I liked it better in the small space at City Center. But the play really soars -- filling the Broadway house. A must see.

Great acting, Great singing, Absorbing, Clever, Refreshing

See it if you're interested in plays about race, sexuality, and privilege. Unexpectedly refreshing. Great acting and singing.

Don't see it if you want to see a full scale musical, rather than a play with some singing.

Great singing, Ambitious, Cliched, Intense, Overrated

See it if The music was sublime. The actors performed brilliantly. Their singing and dancing was mesmerizing.

Don't see it if The story was kind of meh. It’s nothing we haven’t seen before, in all kinds of settings. A disappointment.

Great writing, Great singing, Great staging, Thought-provoking, Resonant

See it if you enjoy themed pieces on segments of our society and gospel music accompanied by great choreography as well

Don't see it if a story about young African-American men at school doesn't interest you

Great singing, Absorbing, Relevant, Great acting, Touching

See it if coming of age of a young black man in a Prep school - his coming of age,& the discrimination he faces; wonderful a cappella music

Don't see it if don't want stories about gay males, back nudity (although brief, well done & important to story)

Also Jeremy Pope was amazing as the discriminated young man. But all of the... Read more Read less

Great acting, Funny, Relevant, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if you’d enjoy a narrative that challenges you to think of your own privilege, and how much more precarious your life would be without it.

Don't see it if you didn’t make it before the end of the run.

Delightful, Great staging, Great acting

See it if a contemporary, black version of Dead Poet's Society sounds interesting (minus the dying).

Don't see it if you don't care for stories about young, gay, black men. The only white character's entire storyline felt out of place and strange.

Enchanting, Fierce

See it if Moonlight (film) but out in a black prep school. From idealist boys to real men navigating class, sexuality, and acceptance. Emotional songs

Don't see it if Gay, Black culture, coming of age stories aren't your thing. More a play with a capella singing than musical (no orchestra).

Also Ticket from MTC's 30 for 35 for $30. Seat was at the edge of mid mezza... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if A look into one of the aspects of the African-American LGBT communities.

Don't see it if If examining homophobia is an issue for a the ticket holder, do not attend.

Also Tarell Alvin McCraney has treated the theatrical community to a powerf... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great singing, Great staging, Relevant, Emotional

See it if if you want to witness great acting and singing. Jeremy Pope is wonderful (real tears!) and the whole cast performs as a tight ensemble.

Don't see it if you're put off by gay characters and some vivid sexual scenes.

Great staging, Intelligent, Profound, Intense

See it if well-written play staged effectively with good performances. viewpoint one does not normally see.

Don't see it if some characters are more types than fleshed-out but still effective

Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Thought-provoking

See it if So much has been said...just go and relish the experience

Don't see it if Don't like message pieces or thinking about unexplored issues in new ways

Character-driven, Absorbing, Relevant, Touching, Great singing

See it if you would appreciate a character-driven play with gospel songs that elucidate elements of the storyline and character development.

Don't see it if you are expecting a musical, this is not, or are not interested in coming of age stories including that of a young gay man.

Also The story has a familiar edge to it, but the performances are sincere ... Read more Read less

Thought-provoking, Raunchy, Profound, Great writing, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a great written play.

Don't see it if you want to see a musical

January 8th, 2019
"When ‘Choir Boy’ sticks to that idea, focusing on Pharus’s discovery, through exuberant music, of the brawn inside his perceived weakness, it is captivating and fresh. The portrait of his adversaries — choral and otherwise — is less so...A production, that is far more powerful than its flaws mig...
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January 8th, 2019
“In McCraney’s absorbing drama...the superb Pope plays Pharus...For Pharus, music is both an escape route and a destination unto itself, and ‘Choir Boy’ is suffused with it...The choir performs gorgeous musical numbers...Most are traditional Negro spirituals, and they feel transcendent...The rest...
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January 8th, 2019
“Cullman has a buoyant feel for the play’s comedy ‘Choir Boy’s’ songs the front-and-center treatment they deserve. The play is an undercover, and gorgeous, a cappella musical, kept aloft by the extraordinary vocal talents of its cast...McCraney’s scenes don’t always boil with the same...
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January 8th, 2019
"The specificity of a black middle-class milieu, plus the writer's sharp ear for dialogue and his observations on class, race and sexuality, give McCraney's play distinctive qualities that outweigh its more conventional aspects...Cullman guides the production with a brisk, assured hand...but the ...
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