Chris Caggiano

Chris Caggiano is a critic with About Entertainment. This account has been auto-generated, and does not indicate that this person is an active member of Show-Score.com. That said, if you "follow" this member, you will automatically be updated whenever s/he writes a new review.

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Reviews (54)
The Arts Fuse

"Although 'Beetlejuice' the musical may improve some on the movie, it’s not high quality musical theater. There’s way too much business — via Alex Timbers’s by-the-numbers direction and Connor Gallagher’s pedestrian choreography — and not enough heart...A game cast of Broadway stalwarts struggles to make an impression amid the antic busyness. For some, Brightman’s energetic turn may be enough reason to see the show...It is occasionally humorous and rarely dull." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“I would love to report that 'Be More Chill' is a refreshing and exhilarating experience, but I found it frenetic and grating...The show itself is a bit shaky...Looks like a show struggling to find an identity of its own...Some of the drama of the story feels manufactured...The characters are clearly meant to be endearing, but they mostly come off as just whiny...Most problematic is the show’s denouement...Even by the belief-suspension standards of science fiction, this strains credulity.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

“There’s no natural affinity between the story and the songs, so the songs at best become diversions from the story, if not outright impediments...Amiable enough, and is frequently quite funny...But certain plot devices lack justification...Despite the mostly first-rate cast, the production has a summer-stock feeling to it...Static choreography...Lazy writing.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

“Other than the piece itself, the two main attractions in the current production lie in its talented cast and expert production team. Bean is sharp and funny...Pfeiffer is full voiced and sweet...but with a slight tendency to hyper-emote...The clear audience favorite in the cast was Kilgore, a very animated and appealing performer...Harris’ choreography created a sort of connective tissue for the production, drawing the feel of one song into the world of the next.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

“A fluid and brisk production...The physical production is downright resplendent...There’s magic aplenty...The tricks never upstage the action, nor do they become the sole reason for the show’s existence...Beyond the physical production, the play’s biggest asset is its ability to make us care about these characters...The story is intricate and surprising, but it’s never confusing...A far cry from your typical Broadway brand extension, and in many ways...an improvement over the quality of the ... Full Review

ZEALnyc

"An ambitious and intermittently thrilling revival...Each cut, even those that are dramatically defensible, causes problems of its own...Far more effective are O’Brien’s staging choices elsewhere in the show to address additional problematic aspects of the piece...Two of the main reasons to see the current production of 'Carousel,' which are the first-class cast and the thrilling choreography...Henry’s 'Soliloquy' was absolutely on fire." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"From the very beginning you can tell you're in the presence of greatness...Despite the dour nature of the show's theme, it surprisingly never becomes depressing...There's much humor to be found but never at the expense of Albee's words...Simple, but elegant, spare in terms of action but rich in emotional resonance...A deeply compelling play by an American master, directed to near perfection featuring two of the most powerful performances you're likely to see in this or any season." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The ambition and scope of 'Angels in America' would be laughable if Kushner weren’t so deft a playwright. Kushner weaves his grand themes about democracy, progress, and the limitations therein into the intimate lives of his characters, and therein lies the true emotional power of the piece...Nothing about Kushner’s dialogue feels dated, and the themes of power and its exercise — or rather its misuse — have a grim resonance...The cast is universally outstanding." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The score to 'Subways' represents Styne at his most delightfully tuneful...As good as the score is, the book surrounding it is borderline ridiculous...The denouement is thoroughly contrived, reaching just shy of deus ex machina territory...All that said, the characters are pretty darned appealing, especially as revered by the York's current cast...It's more than worth seeing for the delightful score and wonderfully committed cast. As for the book, well…did I mention the wonderful songs?" Full Review

Hey, Look Me Over!
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Spectacular lineup of Broadway performers assembled...Martin's patter is alternately charming and naughty, funny and quirky, with just enough edge to maintain the curmudgeonly nature of his beloved 'Drowsy' character. True, the narration doesn't always serve the musical he's setting up, and the jokes don't all land. But he more than matches the affection that many audience members have for these historical shows." Full Review

Brigadoon
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"This is one lustrous 'Brigadoon,' thanks to a first-rate cast of performers and the magical ministrations of director/choreographer Wheeldon. I had forgotten just how lush and sweeping the score is. Loewe’s music is flowing and supple, alongside Lerner’s intelligent and often cheeky lyrics...Lerner’s libretto is certainly chockablock with his signature wry wit, but it’s also a little on the static side...I’d be willing to see this production again in a New York minute." Full Review

Curvy Widow
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"There’s liberating, and then there’s crude. And 'Curvy Widow' is far more of the latter than the former...Goldman’s humor is decidedly of the Borscht Belt variety, although I do have to admit I laughed a few times...The songs feel shapeless, flavorless, and feature bland, repetitive lyrics...'Curvy Widow' is the kind of show where you sit and pity the poor performers for the varied indignities forced upon them. One of the production’s few saving graces is its star, the herculean Opel." Full Review

1984 (Broadway)
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Whereas the message of '1984' is as timely as ever, this particular interpretation lacks the visceral impact of the Orwell original...This '1984' is not so much shocking as distasteful. The show certainly involves a lot of stage blood. What it lacks is the novel’s overwhelming sense of dread, the chilling paranoia with which the original story is replete...The production features impressive stagecraft, but most of it serves to distance us from the story rather than envelope us." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“The show never sets on a consistent tone, nor does it successfully bring all the disparate strands of the story together. The result is episodic, sprawling, and wan…The whimsy of Childs’ story falls a bit flaccid in O’Hara’s static treatment of the material. The second act is especially loose, and could easily have been trimmed by 20 to 30 minutes…Child’s lyrics show considerable craft…There’s enough here in 'Bella' to make me hope that Childs keeps writing." Full Review

The Golden Apple
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Despite the impressive music and clever lyrics, 'The Golden Apple' never quite becomes engaging, let alone transportive. The characters are of the one-adjective, two-dimensional type. The book is plodding, and there’s an artificial quality to many of the songs...The show just feels mechanical. The drama never becomes real, nor is there any discernible genuine emotion." Full Review

War Paint
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"A confident, unapologetically old-style musical, whose main accomplishment rests not in merely giving two fabulous Broadway divas a chance to belt their faces off, but also in making real people out of these two icons, and in giving heartfelt expression to their struggles...LuPone has never been funnier, but the performance never feels like it’s too much. Ebersole has never sounded sweeter...Wright’s dialogue is priceless." Full Review

The New Yorkers
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“Unapologetically silly, but refreshingly tuneful…Despite its obvious shortcomings, ‘The New Yorkers’ wound up being a lark and a half…Damned if this one isn’t genuinely funny, or perhaps it was the stellar cast of Broadway regulars here who really seemed to know how to make the hoary jokes work…Part of the fun of this version of ‘The New Yorkers’ lay in the fact that the cast knew exactly how ridiculous the show was, and acted accordingly." Full Review

Kid Victory
Gramercy
ZEALnyc

"The show is deeply unsettling, but strangely not because of the subject matter. Rather the uneasiness comes from the regrettable juxtaposition of heartrending drama and jaunty production numbers...Kander’s music is lovely, except that his style here is totally at odds with the tone of the show...It seems as though Tommy didn’t quite know what to do with the musical material, although she does a fine job with the dramatic scenes...The cast of 'Kid Victory' is impressive from end to end." Full Review

Big River
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"Even if one were to accede that 'Big River' could pass as a play with music rather than a traditional musical, the play itself is no great shakes. Hauptmann's book plods and meanders...The inert Encores! production certainly didn’t do the broad-brush songs and ambling script any favors. DeBessonet’s static staging only seemed to make the many dull stretches in both acts of the show seem to go on even longer. What few joys this Encores! staging provided were in the casting." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The score features an unequaled collection of absolutely sterling songs, each one more melodic and appealing than the previous one…The show’s book is another story...The libretto plods along from scene to scene, without any apparent forward motor to the plot…Director Moore and choreographer Barry McNabb make the most of the tiny stage, and the results are sometimes quite lively…Most of the featured performers seem to have been born to sing these songs." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"With 'Holiday Inn,' co-librettists Greenberg and Hodge have come as close as anyone before them to creating what feels like an organically crafted musical from a set of inorganic parts...This 'Holiday Inn' is an admittedly slight but charming diversion that’s old-fashioned in feel, but full of modern storytelling and staging know-how...Perhaps the most impressive achievement comes from choreographer Denis Jones, who whips up two crowd-pleasing, keister-kicking showstoppers." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“Part of what makes ‘Rosewater’ so appealing, other than the terrific songs, is the yearning humanity that Ashman’s book brings out in the people of Rosewater’s eponymous hometown...The production is blessed with a near-perfect cast...The show is far from perfect. I’ve been rereading the script and still can’t quite figure out the logic of the show’s denouement. And some of the satire falls a bit flat. But on the whole, it’s a delight.” Full Review

Paramour
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"The creators of 'Paramour' don’t seem to have given a lot of thought as to what larger meaning these admittedly impressive acts should have in the larger narrative of the show...The randomness of most of the circus acts might be a bit more forgivable if the words and music surrounding them showed a bit more craft. However, the songs and the dialogue are unremittingly bland. With all of its financial resources, is this really the best script and score that Cirque could come up with?" Full Review

Waitress (NYC)
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"As strong as the show already was, these women have somehow found ways of making the show richer, smoother, and even more deeply affecting. The primary achievement of 'Waitress' lies in taking these ordinary people and making them real. It’s a show that makes you shiver with recognition and tear up with empathy almost throughout...For my money, 'Waitress' is a significantly better show than 'Hamilton.'" Full Review

Sylvia
Midtown W
About Entertainment

"The source of most of the show's humor comes from the fact that we have a human playing the dog, and in taking full advantage of the comic potential, Ashford certainly doesn't disappoint. The production is worth the trip for Ashford's antics alone. The play, and the production, are certainly diverting...I experienced quite a few laughs of recognition at all the kooky canine shenanigans. But other than that, there's really not much to the play." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“A not-entirely-unpleasant evening, even if it doesn’t even come close to quality musical theater...But somehow, you can’t help rooting for these characters, especially as played by the eminently appealing Karl and Barks...The songs... are serviceable but uninspired. The score plays like a collection of Bryan Adams B-sides...The lyrics are painfully generic...Mitchell’s direction favors action over clarity. There’s too much business and not enough focus." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Yeah, it’s schlock, but it’s amiable schlock. No, it doesn’t break any new ground, and it will hardly go down in history as one of the greats. And in truth, it’s not particularly well written. But the celebratory atmosphere of 'Gettin’ the Band Back Together,' its tongue-in-cheek tackiness, and the affable nature of both the characters and the performers inhabiting those characters begrudgingly won me over...'Gettin’ the Band Back Together' nonetheless charms with its good-natured humor." Full Review

Gone Missing
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“Friedman’s songs for ‘Gone Missing’ are charming in the extreme, tuneful and buoyant, from the jaunty opening and title number to a sprightly Burt Bacharach pastiche...At times howlingly funny...Part of what made Gone Missing such a delight was its versatile cast of six...Only minor disappointment in the cast was Taylor Mac, who seemed to be in a totally different world.” Full Review

Carmen Jones
East Village
ZEALnyc

"A moderately successful revival...Doyle usually knows how to stage a show fluidly, without the show looking like someone actively staged it. Here, his hand is clearly visible, and the result is at times amateurish...The overall lack of a steady hand at the helm robbed the piece of a lot of its punch. Tony winner Anika Noni Rose as Carmen is a delight, with a natural stage presence, a rich and wide-ranging voice, and a devilish playfulness. Clifton Duncan as Joe was more problematic." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The show felt sluggish, clocking in at about 3 hours, and the performances were hesitant...What Ambrose lacks is gumption, determination, strength of will. Her character barely travels past the lip of the stage...That said, Ambrose does have some lovely comic moments...and fares far better as wounded Eliza than angry or churlish Eliza...The production comes intermittently to life when Norbert Leo Butz enters as Alfred P. Doolittle. Butz is a sharp and robust as ever." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Dull, disjointed, and pretty darned dreary...Lost quite a bit of its magic in the translation. What soared in the movie theater meanders and plods on stage...The songs alternate between forced expository chorus numbers and manufactured showstoppers...Much of the dialogue is clunky...The story features a succession of plot points with ill-defined justification...The story seems to meander from event to event, with vague conflicts that ebb and flow...Lost amid the clutter is a terrific cast." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The staging is sharp, the pace is swift, and the physical production is dazzling, but, as was true of Tune's efforts, they only serve to gloss over the inherent flaws in the piece. One major liability remains the show's spotty score...Despite Peter Stone's efforts, the book to 'Grand Hotel' remains diffuse, with far too many minor characters taking up valuable stage time...That said, there are still moments of great joy to be found." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"Much of the comedy comes from the juxtaposition of high art and low vulgarity. But hearing four-letter words delivered with operative zeal gets old after a while...If you’re going to perpetrate the umpteenth variation on the Faust legend, you had better have something new to say, which Thomas and Lee apparently have not...It’s worth taking in if you’re just looking for raucous fun. Just don’t expect it all to add up to anything particularly meaningful." Full Review

Bar Mitzvah Boy
Midtown E
ZEALnyc

"This is exactly the kind of show that the York should be doing as part of its Musicals in Mufti series. It’s also pretty darned awful...It’s pretty clear that the authors were aiming for a show that was funny and heartwarming, and now and then we see faint glimmers of success in this regard...But the show gets weighed down in irritating family quirks and stock Jewish characterizations that feel like a Central Casting sampler." Full Review

Hallelujah, Baby!
Midtown E
ZEALnyc

"The show certainly has its heart in the right place...But that’s just the problem: it drips with liberal guilt...'Hallelujah, Baby!' also fails in terms of basic storytelling...The show comes off as both plodding and didactic...Manufactured plot complications seem to arise and abate...robbing the story of dramatic build...Conflicts arise without a clear reason...and the characters feel like ideas rather than people...Fortunately, the cast helped make the proceedings a good deal less painful." Full Review

Everything Musicals

for a previous production "A frothy atmospheric production complete with beach balls, picnic tables, and plastic wading pools. The atmosphere is true to the playful spirit of the original show, while adding some lovingly ridiculous elements of the group's own devising...The real fun here comes from the spirited and arch direction by Sean Graney, and the lovingly over-the-top performances...'Pirates' doesn't try to be anything beyond what it is, which is a rollicking good time." Full Review

Jerry's Girls
Midtown E
ZEALnyc

“Christine Pedi is a treasure, but here she felt under-energized at time…More consistent in her commitment and animation was Tony nominee Stephanie D’Abruzzo…Best of all was Stephanie Umoh, whose rich voice, sparkling eyes, and playful manner made her a clear audience favorite…The show could probably have used a little more shape…It’s well worth your time if you’re looking for nothing more than a marvelous collection of songs put over by a talented trio of performers.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

"The glorious Donna Murphy is more than filling Bette Midler’s shoes...She’s predictably a physical dynamo as Dolly Levi, with her hips all a-swivel, and her eyes all a-roll...As wondrous as Donna Murphy is, she does have a tendency of coming off as a bit cold and calculated. But Donna is more physically animated than Bette. She makes braver, more deliberate comic choices, some of which admittedly fail to land. And, in terms of pure singing, Donna blows Bette out of the water." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"This might have worked had Sohne’s book had a little more poetry in it, a bit more subtlety. But the dialogue and the emotions therein feel as though rendered with a trowel versus a paint brush...Sohne and Rossner’s songs have an authentic, idiomatic sound to them, and yet are rendered in a cozily familiar musical theater style...Iwata seems to be a young performer worth watching...The rest of the cast feels oddly stilted...Wish Sohne and Rossner could take another crack at the show." Full Review

ZEALnyc

“‘The Little Foxes’ is a bit of a guilty pleasure. It’s a preachy, creaky, potboiler of a play, with starkly drawn two-dimensional characters, bald-faced moralizing, and not a single note of subtlety. But it’s just so much fun to watch…The current production plays as if director Daniel Sullivan was trying for realism, when the play benefits from more of a melodramatic tone. The production has too many soft edges, and the scenes are often under-energized.” Full Review

ZEALnyc

for a previous production "Even if it lacks the intricate construction of 'Noises Off,' or the commedia dell’arte pedigree of 'Guvnors,' the show is nonetheless remarkable in its ability to keep varying and building upon the disasters...Director Bell keeps the calamities coming at a breakneck clip...Sure, it all gets old after a while, and the show goes on for about 15 minutes longer than was probably wise...If all you’re looking for is a chance to laugh, loudly and often, 'Wrong' may be your best bet of the season." Full Review

ZEALnyc

"As rousing, entertaining, and tremendously moving as any other show currently playing in New York...The show never gawks, sensationalizes, or trivializes the horrific events of that day. Rather, it renders the incomprehensible in real, richly human terms...If the show falls short in any way, it’s in its ambition to do too much...Director Ashley’s staging is, for the most part, slick and efficient, achieving the show’s multitude of character and location changes with dazzling effectiveness." Full Review

The Outer Space
East Village
ZEALnyc

"Lipton is an oddly engaging performer, with a singing voice that hovers around a half-whisper and an endearingly understated comic sensibility...Lipton creates a charming fictional world...The success of 'The Outer Space' hinges on Lipton’s unassuming charm, his chipper songs, and his endearing way of delivering them. Lipton is backed up by a very skilled set of musicians, who collaborated with Lipton on the score, but who nonetheless looked rather bored with the proceedings." Full Review

Milk and Honey
Midtown E
ZEALnyc

"'Milk and Honey,' despite some flaws, is a real charmer...Jerry Herman’s score reveals a future master of melody at the beginning of his promising career, not to mention a deft and clever lyricist just cutting his teeth...Don Appell crafts a sweet, intimate story, even if he peppers it with just a skosh too much hoary Jewish humor than is probably wise...A major contributor to the emotional impact of the show is the cast of New York professionals." Full Review

Falsettos
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

"The first act took a while to recover, with lagging pace and loose staging...Once the second act got underway, I realized that act one needs to be fragmented, the people need to be irritating, for the second act to be as powerful as it is...The revival cast is nearly flawless, each member showing more nuance and complexity even than in their most recent stage roles...Lapine has found an even more powerful way to bring the show to a close." Full Review

Fiorello!
East Village
ZEALnyc

"Taken what is in essence an old-fashioned and somewhat creaky show and whipped it up into a sprightly and engaging concoction...What makes this 'Fiorello!' even more winning is the fresh-faced group of twentysomethings who comprise the show’s talented cast. It’s a wonderfully appealing group...As for the show itself, its main attraction as a piece is the splendid score...Quibbles aside, this is a production that no fan of classic musical theater will want to miss." Full Review

Himself and Nora
West Village
ZEALnyc

"The danger, of course, in writing a show about one of the greatest writers ever lies in crafting words that do the great man justice, which 'Himself and Nora' patently fails to do...Beyond the biographical disservice, his show fails at even the most basic dramaturgy...Interspersed amid the clunky book are the generic music and lyrics...One real reason to see the show would be to see a fine group of performers doing their damnedest to make Brielle’s show work." Full Review

Do I Hear a Waltz?
Midtown W
ZEALnyc

“What do you get when you team the greatest composer of Broadway’s Golden Age with the man who would essentially create the modern American musical? Unfortunately, you get the pallid, static mishmash that is ‘Waltz’...The resulting show is thoroughly professional in its craft, but devoid of inspiration…The songs in ‘Waltz’ are always professional, sometimes inspired, but rarely transportive.” Full Review

About Entertainment

"On the whole, 'School of Rock' is incredibly hard to resist. Why did no one think of putting a bunch of kids on stage playing rock and roll before? It's frickin' adorable. Despite the formulaic nature of the story, 'School of Rock' drew me in and had me on my feet cheering almost despite myself." Full Review

About Entertainment

"For me it's just that same middling show in an ambitious and well-meaning new package...Director Michael Arden has reimagined every inch of the show, seamlessly interweaving hearing and deaf actors, spoken word and American Sign Language (ASL), into a production that rivals 'Hamilton' in terms of its sheer fluidity and forward motion...This is about as cohesive and powerful a production of this show as I'm ever likely to see." Full Review