Already closed | Midtown W

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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great singing, Great acting, Absorbing, Relevant, Entertaining

65
Disappointing

See it if / I don't think I can rate this fairly, for reasons I explain below, but director/producers should think twice before allowing this again.

Don't see it if / see below.

Also I must have seen it on an off-night, because everyone raves about this... Read more Read less

50
Cliched, Banal, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow

See it if you enjoy good but very very very brief singing

Don't see it if you want an original story that makes you think.

Also It had the bad misfortune to come after "American Son."

68
Cliched, Relevant, Intelligent, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You want to hear young men with magnificent voices performing in a play that’s not as good as their singing

Don't see it if You are tired of performances out performing the play. The concept of the play is just a little tired in 2019.

65
Slow, Good choreography, Great acting

See it if Fairly good story with good scenes. Too many monologues, and story not really consistent. All the actor were good. Nice staging.

Don't see it if You expect greatness. Not as good as I'd hoped from writer of Moonlight. Some diction is hard to understand. The religion bugged me too.

60
Great singing, Great staging, Fluffy, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if You want to see some high octane stomp routines and gorgeous harmonizing.

Don't see it if Story drags on and on ending up in the shower scene which we all knew was coming.

Also This felt like a play trying to be set in today that was actually set ... Read more Read less

69
Great directing, good acting. somewhat boring

See it if Imaginative set design Good ensemble Good singing, for a non-musical

Don't see it if Not compelling A bit slow Cannot empathize with the oppressed character.

65
Indulgent, Ambitious, Great singing, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy good singing; stories about boys school and sexual awakening.

Don't see it if You are interested in real depth in terms of playwrighing. If you mind cliche treatment of subject. .

60
Overrated, Intelligent, Disappointing

See it if You like Boys to Men and that kid of music. Young talented performers with a surprising storyline.

Don't see it if You like women in shows and fun costumes.

68
Disappointing, Great singing, Slow

See it if You are ok with fairly explicit (considering that these are high school kids) scenes. I wasn’t expecting rear male nudity.

Don't see it if You want a fast paced show. This is VERY slow

During previews
66
Cliched, Disappointing, Indulgent, Overrated

See it if A story of young blacks at a prep school.good singing.

Don't see it if If you want a better story. Same old. If you do not want a show about gay young people at a prep school. If you want good acting.

During previews
55
Cliched, Disappointing, Nice singing, Uninventive

See it if u like Lifetime movies & u'd enjoy one about boys coming-of-age in an elite black prep school (w/nudity & d*ck jokes to make it "edgy").

Don't see it if ur in search of original ideas, original story, original songs, original characters or a fresh take on a familiar tale of sexual awakening.

Also A huge, empty chalkboard stands at the center of the set with a large ... Read more Read less

During previews
57
Disappointing, Cliched, Great singing

See it if you like a show with actors whose roles are very cliched. I couldn't understand most of what main character said. Singing good but plot not.

Don't see it if you don't like gay themed plots or lots of partial nudity. This show could have been so much better.

During previews
69
Great staging. good performances and good singing. story is old and worn and you've seen it many many times.

See it if You like shows about all boy's school an choirs.

Don't see it if If you want a fresh take on this old story.

During previews
60
Great singing, Overrated, Indulgent, Trying to be provocative but boring

See it if you want to see young energetic talented singers. Written by Tarell McCraney

Don't see it if You want a fresh take on school as a microcosm of life. You want to see a culture different from the usual frat boy club.

Also This is a story we have seen many times before; a prestigious boys sch... Read more Read less

During previews
60
Been here, seen it, know it, Disappointing

See it if you haven't had enough on Broadway about teenage angst, especially about sexuality. Or, if you want to see it with a different twist.

Don't see it if hearing the N word repeatedly is offensive or if you really care about this topic.

During previews
50
Cliched, Overrated, Disappointing

See it if You want to see great singing and actors trying their best with very poor material.

Don't see it if You want to see something new. So many cliches, so little time. Bullied gay character, savior white frumpy teacher, other boys using...

Also ....the Bible as a mask, typical prep school antics, headmaster over i... Read more Read less

During previews
51
Good acting, Great singing, Confusing, Nudity

See it if you want a message of tolerance and great singing.

Don't see it if you're homophobic or expecting a full musical.

During previews
50
Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Indulgent, Insipid

See it if Like men singing to fill in what's really a little one act.

Don't see it if What some meaning. Play goes nowhere and says nothing really.

During previews
50
Another manhattan theatre club missfire

See it if Beautiful a capella spiritual singing. Young Black actors who can harmonize and move well. An excellent point made regarding the ‘N’ word.

Don't see it if The stage and back wall are red. The color of passion, blood, anger. All of which are blandly explored in this story which does not qualify

Also as reaching the level of a play. There is a central gay character with... Read more Read less

During previews
57
Cliched, Disappointing, Overrated, Ambitious

See it if professional production with subject matter particularly attractive to american black. Presented with inevitable homosexual content.

Don't see it if above does not entice your interest.

During previews
60
Cliched, Disappointing, Great singing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you like great singing and slow moving plays that do not feature a likable lead character.

Don't see it if you enjoy original pieces of work. The play is one cliche after another. It's attempting to be edgy when it plays like one big stereotype.

During previews
65
Slow, Great singing, Banal, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if you want to hear great singing amidst a familiar story line. Heartfelt acting and some interesting staging but unfocused and flabby.

Don't see it if you want an interesting or novel take on a gay acceptance story set in the recent past. Well tread material but well-staged and acted.

Also Pendleton was great but what did his character add exactly?

During previews
53
Confusing, Great singing, Disappointing, Cliched, Poor writing

See it if you love a cappella singing. I wish they would have sung the entire show!

Don't see it if you are weary of edgy themes or hard of hearing. The dialogue was hard to follow. The writing weak, the plot and characters shallowly cast.

During previews
69
Good acting, Banal story, Funny

See it if you want to support theater that puts gay black men front and center.

Don't see it if you want something new and out of the ordinary.

During previews
65
Slow, Relevant, Great singing, Disappointing, Intense

See it if You can score tickets for a low price.

Don't see it if You’re not comfortable with male nudity.


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...
read more
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...
read more
January 8th, 2019
“Cullman has a buoyant feel for the play’s comedy and...gives ‘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...
read more
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 ...
read more

Related content