Tony Award winners Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell, and Billy Porter headline this musical about the making of the 1921 Broadway hit 'Shuffle Along.' More…
In May 1921, the new musical 'Shuffle Along' became the unlikeliest of hits. It stumbled into town after a back-breaking pre-Broadway tour, deeply in debt, and set to open at a remote theater house on West 63rd. Its failure was almost a foregone conclusion. But with an infectious jazz score and exuberant dancing, 'Shuffle Along' ignited not just Broadway but all of New York City. Uptown and Downtown met and became one. This star-studded production combines the 1921 musical 'Shuffle Along' with the backstory of the people who brought it to life. 'Bring in 'Da Noise, Bring in ‘Da Funk' collaborators George C. Wolfe and Savion Glover reunite to direct and choreograph.
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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').” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"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." Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
"'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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
“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.” Full Review
See it if You enjoy upbeat music, great singing and would like to feel that you are in the show. The music is fantastic and contagious.
Don't see it if If you don't like great music
See it if You love dancing and music.The characters were constantly singing and dancing.It also appeals to those interested in the history of theatre.
Don't see it if You prefer plays.This musical was very upbeat and kept moving. If you don't want to know the history of black theater, sit this one out.
See it if You enjoy a traditional Broadway musical that provides plenty of singing, tap dancing and a great story line. Don't miss it!
Don't see it if You do not appreciate a show that has a historical background and displays dancing and singing.
See it if you want to see the best of the best. Sparks fly off the tap shoes, best talent B'way has to offer, historic production. Unforgettable.
Don't see it if no tix available. Hamilton shut-out forced many shows to close; a tragedy. Landmark show/landmark talent. Savion Glover is King of His Kind!
See it if you love oldfashioned musicals with tap and songs and an understandable story line fabulous costuming, snappy music
Don't see it if you don't understand black musicals and talk
See it if You want to have an amazing time at a phenomenal show, which brings back the classic feel of a flashy Broadway show with a twist.
Don't see it if You don't like big musical numbers with expertly choreographed tap numbers and phenomenal directing.
See it if You love musical theatre history, African-American history, tap dancing, Billy Porter, Brian Stokes Mitchell, amazing choreography.
Don't see it if You don't like book musicals or tap dancing.
See it if You love tapping because these dancers are phenomenal.I'm so sorry to see it close hurry before it's too late.Audra is as always a delight.
Don't see it if You don't like tap numbers!
See it if You are a fan of musical theater, period. If you do not enjoy musicals, but like tap or history or jazz see it. Basically SEE IT!!
Don't see it if You do not like having a good time.
See it if You want to see the best production on or off Broadway the season. George C. Wolfe's stagjng is splendid, and the performances are sterling.
Don't see it if You are dead, either literally or emotionally, or want to ignore the most exhilarating show I saw in NYC this season.
See it if just see it. I love Audra, but even if she is out, see it. The ensemble is everything. Mr. Porter's number in Act II, Mr. Mitchell's voice
Don't see it if seriously, just go see this show
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