Shuffle Along
Closed 2h 40m
Shuffle Along
84

Shuffle Along NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(788 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
8%
Negative
1%
Members say
Entertaining, Great singing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging

About the Show

Tony Award winners Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Billy Porter headline this musical about the making of the 1921 Broadway hit 'Shuffle Along.'

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Member Reviews (788)

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75
Ambitious, Strong dancing, Weak storytelling, Long, Great singing

See it if you love tap. Lots of great dance numbers. Strong singing, too. The book is uneven with the story told haltingly. Modest sets. Bad sound.

Don't see it if you require strong plot.Concept's intriguing, but execution's weak and it's too long. Too often frenetic and loud. Still, I'm glad I saw it.

95
Thought-provoking, Great writing, Great staging, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like great singing, dancing, acting, costumes...it's got it all! In a season dominated by Hamilton this show gives it some competition!

Don't see it if You don't like amazing tap dancing.

Critic Reviews (47)

The New York Times
April 28th, 2016

“As staged by Mr. Wolfe and Mr. Glover routines first performed nearly a century ago come across as defiantly fresh...What’s new in this 'Shuffle Along' is the part written by Mr. Wolfe, and it’s what feels stalest...The clunky, shoehorned-in exposition doesn’t overwhelm the sweeping grace of ‘Shuffle Along’ whenever it sings or dances...Ms. McDonald is a one-woman time machine de luxe, who translates the precise stylistic quirks of a bygone era into a melting immediacy."
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Time Out New York
April 28th, 2016

“The first half is sensational; the second is difficult...But with a cast this incandescent and Wolfe staging a constant flow of miracles, there’s an overflow of joy and style that smooths over stylistic rough edges and knotty stitching of history to myth...We can luxuriate in a breathtaking piece of showmanship, featuring more talent crowding a stage than pretty much any other Broadway show at present (and yes, that includes 'Hamilton').”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
April 28th, 2016

"Wolfe bombards a core of ideas about race and culture with a billion showbiz protons to produce both a gorgeous spectacle and a big, smoking crater where your former ideas of Broadway once stood...If much of Act Two is a PowerPoint presentation, with astonishing slides but bullet-point arguments, the show as a whole is nevertheless life-changing theater. To the extent Wolfe has redeemed the lost artists of 'Shuffle Along,' he has also redeemed himself, and us."
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The Hollywood Reporter
April 28th, 2016

“Scene after scene dazzles in one of the most electrifying entertainments on Broadway...While the showmanship is extraordinary, ‘Shuffle Along’ could have benefited from a developmental run to hone the fluidity of its storytelling...The project's strengths far outweigh its flaws. The cast is magnificent...The energy and elasticity of Glover's work is astonishing…Even if the limitations of Wolfe's undertaking are unable to support the scope of his intentions, it's a genuine thrill to watch."
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Entertainment Weekly
April 28th, 2016

“A refreshing burst of energy, no caffeine necessary...Glover’s rhythmic tap is the true pulse of ‘Shuffle Along’. The clickety-clacks heard from 30-plus dancers at once ignite every seat in the theater and quickly become the only beat we need, hold the orchestra...A dazzling production that celebrates art, dreams, and equality. And when the man behind me emphatically screamed out, 'Damn!' after the final number, I had to nod my head and agree.”
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Variety
April 28th, 2016

"An incoherent book seems a small price to pay for the joy of watching Audra McDonald cut loose...McDonald takes the role and does everything in this show but fly...But what the first act giveth, the second act taketh away...At this point, the show is actively fighting with itself...It’s understandable that Wolfe would fall for this rich material, but he really should have stopped himself from cramming it all into this show."
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The Wall Street Journal
April 28th, 2016

“The first half of ‘Shuffle Along’ is the musical you’ve got to see...Savion Glover’s near-nonstop choreography explodes off the stage with the unrelenting impact of a flamethrower. But then comes intermission, and what had looked like a masterpiece goes flat and stays that way...While Mr. Wolfe has failed to weld the parts of ‘Shuffle Along’ into a convincing whole, his directorial touch is otherwise as sure as ever.”
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Deadline
April 28th, 2016

"An idea is not a focal point, and so 'Shuffle Along' never resolves into a story. Instead, it’s a series of historical scenes that tell, rather than show, and that’s deadly for a musical. It’s unquestionably entertaining to watch the five principal actors here at work, none less than consummate...And yet 'Shuffle Along' struck me as both rough and unfinished...The show is conceptually flawed, and it’s hard to tell whether that ever can be resolved."
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The Washington Post
April 28th, 2016

“The goals of correcting the record so vie for primacy with the values of first-class entertainment in this vibrant, didactic, at times breathtaking and other times slightly condescending enterprise that you sense a war still raging over what exactly the show is striving to be...Were it not for the array of talent assembled here ‘Shuffle Along’ might feel too unresolved and heavy-handed….It does come across as a message-laden exercise. The joy here is lessened by the lesson.”
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Chicago Tribune
April 28th, 2016

"It is no mean feat to revive an archaic Broadway musical and create an entertainment that not only celebrates the classic material but ennobles it further...It is a yet-greater achievement to simultaneously offer what is essentially a lesson in theatrical and racial history... 'Shuffle Along,' has achieved all of this....It suffers from the scale of what it has attempted...An exceptionally important new show...'Shuffle' does all that historical stuff while putting on one helluva tap show."
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Los Angeles Times
April 28th, 2016

“Never has anything this educational been so sensationally staged...The powerhouse stage presences of Wolfe's actors have to compensate for characters who are only incompletely sketched...What ‘Shuffle Along’ lacks in drama it makes up for in sophisticated showmanship...The second best new musical of the Broadway year...The beauty, poignancy and breathtaking verve of this production are the product of a unique solidarity between troupers of different eras."
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New York Daily News
April 28th, 2016

“When the cast is singing and tearing up the floor with choreographer Savion Glover’s muscular and thrilling tap-dancing it’s pure unmitigated heaven. But between numbers...the narration turns entertainment into dull lecture hall...Mitchell, Porter, Dixon and Henry are terrific. But the ace in the hole in this enterprise is Audra McDonald...Even though the narration lacks drama, the tap-happy new show gleams with ambition and topnotch talent.”
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AM New York
April 28th, 2016

“A hot mess of the highest caliber—a dazzling and dizzying documentary mixed with star turns, syncopated rhythms, stylish attire, fierce tap-dancing and weak subplots...The storytelling is chaotic and choppy, and the characters are painted in broad strokes. The second act, set after the show has become an overnight sensation, comes off as superfluous...Still, there’s no denying its thrills and palpable excitement.”
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Theatermania
April 28th, 2016

“It's an enchanting night on old Broadway, overflowing with talent and kept in constant motion by the brilliant choreography of Savion Glover... It's not a typical Broadway musical by any means, and that is a good thing...Glover exceeds all expectations with his heart-pounding and scrupulously constructed choreography, executed with flawless precision by the ensemble...It keeps this two-hour-45-minute show from ever dragging.”
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Lighting & Sound America
May 3rd, 2016

"Wolfe, as director, hasn't completely pulled together the glittering materials at his disposal to create the dazzling meld of entertainment and social commentary intended here...'Shuffle Along' is an odd one--a show that frequently dazzles, yet rarely satisfies. By the time it reaches its surprisingly muted conclusion, so many things have been referenced, with adequate amplification, that one hardly knows where to start."
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Talkin' Broadway
April 28th, 2016

“It's a thrilling kaleidoscope, both comfortable and unpredictable...Glover's work is electrifying, but the arrangements and orchestrations of Daryl Waters so meld together the musical bits and pieces into one seamless whole that they might be more amazing and integral...The second act, charting the 'All That Followed' chunk of the title, lacks the dynamic narrative thrust of the first, and struggles to maintain the same vibrancy, only regaining it in full for the finale.”
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TheaterScene.net
July 18th, 2016

"Witnessing the struggles and victories of the principal characters in 'Shuffle Along' is exciting, not to mention mind-bogglingly entertaining...The collaboration of Wolfe and choreographer Savion Glover is inspired, although even they and their craft can’t quite relieve the heavy-handed story line and moralizing...The choreography is simply superb, not only recreating the era’s cheery virtuosity, but giving it a fresh, contemporary spin, performed by an expert, youthful cast."
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CurtainUp
May 2nd, 2016

"George C. Wolfe's combination of putting-on-a-show story and history lesson about the groundbreaking contributions of the 'Shuffle Along' team to musical theater has so many riches that it's easy to forgive its somewhat disappointing execution of the 'All That Followed' second act...Brilliantly choreographed by Savion Glover with a large, to-die-for, top-to-bottom cast...'Shuffle Along' is a most enjoyable, invigorating new look at a savory and worth thinking about slice of musical history."
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Front Mezz Junkies
April 28th, 2016

“The drive of Act One left Act Two with little to no destination in mind...A lot of time is wasted on material that just doesn’t have the drive or the passion that vibrated off the stage during Act One...Throughout the whole show, I have never seen such powerful tap dancing in my life...but at the three hour mark, we are all a bit ready to step outside and rejoin the current Broadway’s sparkling lights and excitement.”
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T
May 4th, 2016

"The first act is pretty much pure joy from start to finish...It is chock-full of dancing, song, dazzling costumes, and you could probably leave at intermission and feel totally satisfied…George C. Wolfe is a more dazzling director than succinct writer. You can almost feel the energy dissipating as we get near the end, but the performers just keep keeping on…It’s not perfect and it’s not the game changer the original was. But I hope it stays put for a long time."
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C
May 1st, 2016

"A history lesson wrapped in a vivid theatrical entertainment wrapped in a rebuke...It may be too much, but you most definitely don’t want to live without it!...Wolfe stunningly recreates numbers from the show onstage and backstage, with the invaluable help of the magnificent tap choreography of Savion Glover...The show’s second act fares slightly less well, as it gives us more of a paint-by-numbers recap of the fates of these characters...Get tickets while they last."
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DC Theatre Scene
April 30th, 2016

“It is cataclysmically entertaining...Glover’s thrilling choreography is enough alone to make the show worth seeing...Wolfe’s ambition to tell the story behind the musical...quickly starts feeling as if he were a PhD student defending his thesis about the significance of this 'sadly neglected' musical...Luckily, Wolfe the savvy showman often wins out over Wolfe the pedant, and there are moments of ‘Shuffle Along’ that are as electrifying and sublime as any this season on Broadway.”
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The Guardian (UK)
April 28th, 2016

“A sometimes inspired and sometimes listless exploration of a path-breaking theatrical work...Despite the excellence of the leads, it comes to seem as much a lecture-demonstration as a drama. This 'Shuffle Along' is sometimes edifying and sometimes entertaining, but rarely do these twin aims coincide...It’s only when the feet are tapping, the fringe is swaying and the voices of the leads and chorus are celebrating the thrill of syncopation that the musical lives again.”
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B
June 1st, 2016

"Wolfe keeps the show moving energetically. It is the book, also by Wolfe, that I found wanting. The story of mounting a show against all obstacles seems clichéd...With five main protagonists, there is too little time to develop any of them very deeply…Nevertheless, you won’t find more talent on one stage anywhere else on Broadway. With all the book’s flaws, the story represents an important piece of theater history and black history that should not be forgotten."
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The Huffington Post
April 28th, 2016

“The Broadway season ends with a theatrical explosion from George C. Wolfe and Savion Glover...Add in a half-dozen stellar performances, a sterling production, and an astoundingly talented ensemble and you have a musical that moves in a manner we haven’t seen since ‘Dreamgirls’...It is the combination of Wolfe and Glover that makes ‘Shuffle Along’ a veritable explosion of theatricality, an unorthodox and vital new-style Broadway feast.”
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The Wrap
April 28th, 2016

“A very didactic approach, but whenever their words threaten to turn into a Wikipedia entry, Wolfe the writer hands the reins to his better half: Wolfe the director, with an assist from Savion Glover the choreographer. Both have no equal on Broadway this season. In a year of pandering, corn-pone musicals, ‘Shuffle Along’ exudes elegance and intelligence at every turn. While it’s big in its ambitions, theatrical thrills, and the emotions it stirs, Wolfe achieves much in very small ways.”
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USA Today
April 28th, 2016

“In this season of ‘Hamilton,’ it's been a tall order for any new Broadway production to rise to the level of an event. But ‘Shuffle Along’ qualifies...The stars, all excellent, provide portraits that are at once recognizably human and lavishly entertaining...The new ‘Shuffle Along’ also benefits, greatly, from the exuberant gifts of choreographer Savion Glover...Exhilarating.”
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Newsday
April 28th, 2016

“A bold and wistful, playful and important musical-about-a-musical. It is overstuffed with ambition and talent, sure, but why shouldn’t it be?...There is a lot of exposition, a few too many back stories and, every so often, the narrative inertia of an illustrated history. But what illustrations these are, choreographed for the terrific dancing chorus by Glover with both a combination of the dazzling, syncopated black-tapping tradition and his own special full-footed, stomping identity.”
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The Stage (UK)
April 28th, 2016

“This astonishing musical is part thrilling re-construction and part vivid deconstruction of the process of putting on a 1921 Broadway show that had a seismic impact on the art form...The drive and passion of George C Wolfe's utterly gorgeously executed musical is the percussive tap dancing of choreographer Savion Glover. It propels the stage in a symphony of movement...This is an important musical, in more ways than one, but it’s also fantastic entertainment."
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Towleroad
May 2nd, 2016

“Wolfe brilliantly explores important questions about race, power, and representation...While it’s easy to invest in the talented stars and the history they’re unearthing, ‘Shuffle’ is not necessarily character-driven, so when their personal fates become the focus, the results are somewhat less compelling. All the same…‘Shuffle’ itself feels like a long-overdue celebration — of Black artists and Black Broadway history.”
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NorthJersey.com
April 29th, 2016

"Mitchell, Porter, Dixon and Henry are all top-rung Broadway performers, and invest their characters with distinctive personalities, as well as singing in their own special styles...But as in every show in which she appears, McDonald stands out...She's proved that she can do anything, superbly...You leave 'Shuffle Along' with the feeling that if everyone tap-danced, the world would be a much happier place."
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Financial Times (UK)
May 3rd, 2016

"The Pirandellian meta-musical is at once an old-fashioned all-singing, all-dancing extravaganza and a thoughtful meditation on the history of race relations…The real star power comes from Audra McDonald, a Broadway legend playing a 1920s version of herself with infectious exuberance and sass…Wolfe lays on the exposition a little thick at times. But his 'Shuffle' is a courageous work on many levels...Their story reminds us that, once the music stops, life does just shuffle along."
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WNBC
April 28th, 2016

“‘Shuffle Along’ is stylized to evoke an era and focus on big scenes, which can become burdened with exposition...These necessities push individual personalities into the background, which keeps us from getting to know better the ensemble...Choreographer Glover brings to life elaborate tap sequences…‘Shuffle Along’ is moving, in fits and starts, as a story about artists who risk their critical and financial fortunes...instead of toning down that spirit for mass consumption.”
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M
May 2nd, 2016

"'Shuffle Along' is for most of its overstuffed duration an exuberant entertainment. It’s also a social and show business lesson that’s told with unquestionable pride and elegant passion...The actors are totally engaging. Their immediate rapport with the audience is a large part of the show’s appeal...Choreographer Glover, one of the primary forces in modern tap, demonstrates he also understands the infectious joy of vintage combinations. His dances and the dancers are excitement incarnate.”
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Out Magazine
May 2nd, 2016

"Dazzling but a little unfocused; eye popping but somewhat exasperating...Everything keeps moving and entertaining—with the help of narration—but it doesn’t really mount, so you savor the fine moments...The show develops more gravitas in Act Two, but, some of the characters’ freak outs don’t seem properly motivated...But the show is lifted by its aspirations, theatrical flair, and talented ensemble, making it one of the season’s must-sees."
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NJ.com
April 28th, 2016

“This proudly flashy, impressively ambitious show is the very last production to open in the 2015-16 Broadway season. Talk about finishing on a high note...Sometimes bites off more than it can chew...After the rousing first act, the second act seems to meander...But what a dream team Wolfe has assembled here, and what unadulterated joy they evince at being able to perform together.”
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W
May 1st, 2016

"After an exuberant, thrilling first act, the weight of all that history drags down the second...There's no lack of talent, certainly...But Wolfe doesn't just want to entertain. He wants to get across that the forefathers and foremothers of these talented artists were crippled by American racism...Instead of sweeping us up in the history, it turns to lecturing...That's too bad, because that first act is really astonishing."
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StageZine
May 11th, 2016

“Act I is entertainment of dizzying heights. Act II plods with the usual heavy-handed dialogue that only George C. Wolfe can churn out. What a blissful, deliriously enjoyable and heavenly evening could have been achieved had the director Wolfe toned down the lugubriously preachy writings of writer Wolfe...However, the evening’s real hero is Savion Glover...In large part due to Mr. Glover’s vision, this heavy-handed musical soars into the stratosphere.”
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The Associated Press
April 28th, 2016

“It's not a review or revival. It's more like a history lesson that will blow you away...There is a bit of bloat, too much exposition and with five stars who each need a backstory, the plot sometimes slows, but Wolfe nicely captures the timeless craziness of creation and the glory days of a special show.”
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Reviewing The Drama
April 28th, 2016

“Wolfe does a masterful job...Nothing feels rushed or packed in, and nothing feels pious or too precious. It is brought to life by an outstanding ensemble taking on tap living-legend Savion Glover's breakneck, pulsating, soulful choreography...Not a history lesson but a celebration of our history...and with George C. Wolfe's vision come to life, even more history is happening in Manhattan.”
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BroadwaySelect
May 9th, 2016

"I was galvanized by what Wolfe had to say and show — until intermission. Wolfe’s Act Two dealt with my bugaboo: 'Shuffle Along' collaborators’ personal lives...If we’re to learn about “the making of the musical,” we need to hear and process that information; making our heads work in tennis-match fashion by going from one speaker to another, trying to find who’s talking now, making each line harder to hear results in a far less enjoyable and informative show."
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Show Showdown
May 15th, 2016

"Some of the best dancing you'll see on a Broadway stage this season (or any), and a top-notch cast featuring some of the most well-known and beloved stars of the genre. There are some truly stunning production numbers, some laugh-out-loud gags, and a lot of warmth. I couldn't stop smiling through the entire first act, and while I struggled more with the second, I'd hardly call it a crashing bore by any stretch."
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Theatre Reviews by John Clum
June 5th, 2016

"Wolfe's book is intelligent and always absorbing. The musical numbers are all from the score of the original 'Shuffle Along' and they're terrific...The five leads are the crème de la crème of current musical stars...How often does one get to see this many great stars in the same show?..Nobody seems to be able to talk about anything but 'Hamilton' right now. 'Shuffle Along' is also a great show. Even the band is special. Don't miss it."
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Showbiz 411
April 28th, 2016

“The first act is very good, and you could easily leave at intermission and never miss a thing...A huge freakin’ mess of a show that could use another few months to sort itself out...In Wolfe and Glover there is talent and genius to spare...They stage 'Shuffle Along' as brilliantly as they can...It also has a star–Audra McDonald–who radiates on stage. You can’t get enough of her...Go, and be razzle-dazzled by these players and the sheer ingenuity of how this has been attempted.”
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Peconic Public Broadcasting
May 5th, 2016

"This show is, as the critics used to say, stupendous!...It’s not the story line you care about. It’s the performers who spend most of the night tap dancing, singing and prancing around the Music Box stage to music you might remember from way back when…It’s the best bang for your buck on Broadway…Run, don’t shuffle off, to the box office as soon as you can."
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Village Voice
May 11th, 2016

"The talent keeps coming at you. There's strong music and movement by a crackerjack ensemble; enduring songs; and blizzards of Glover's tap choreography, historically on point and inventive...There's not much of a book — the original show had a bad one, and Wolfe's replacement doesn't triumph...Essentially a lecture-demonstration with spectacular production values, 'Shuffle Along' should claim a berth on Broadway for at least as long as 'The Lion King.'"
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Z
April 29th, 2016

"A cast of Broadway’s biggest talents dazzle in the disappointing 'Shuffle Along'...There is so much to love about this re-imagining of Eubie Blake and Noble Sissle’s ground-breaking 1921 Broadway musical...Where 'Shuffle Along' fails, and quite spectacularly given the talent associated with the project, is in the show’s book...Wolfe fails to wrench a theatrical journey from a single point...A noble effort. But just because it happened, doesn’t make it interesting."
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