Closed 2h 30m
Benny & Joon
Millburn
79

Benny & Joon NJ Reviews and Tickets

79%
(50 Reviews)
Positive
82%
Mixed
14%
Negative
4%
Members say
Entertaining, Quirky, Great acting, Delightful, Clever

About the Show

Based on the 1993 film starring Johnny Depp, this new musical is offers a comic and tender-hearted celebration of love: between children and parents; romantic partners; friends; and most of all, siblings.

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Member Reviews (50)

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78
Refreshing, Resonant, Entertaining, Enchanting, Ambitious

See it if If you like a nice brother and sister relationship show that is entertaining and warm.

Don't see it if If your not into serious musicals with a serious subject matter.

85
Fluffy, Clever, Funny

See it if You’re a fan of the movie. Bryce Pinkham is the perfect Sam

Don't see it if You want serious theatre. This is a fun, light show full of great physical humor.

Critic Reviews (17)

April 17th, 2019

"A sweet and innocuous musical...With only the safest explorations of its darker undertow...Sam remains the primary appeal...All you want is another peek at Sam's colorful inner life, dispensed by Pinkham in addictively entertaining spurts...It's when things flip back to traditional musical mode that ‘Benny & Joon’ loses its eccentric luster...Most of those unadorned moments unfortunately fall to Benny and his love interest...A dreary complement to the main event.”
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April 15th, 2019

"his new musical enjoys outstanding direction by Jack Cummings III, clever choreography by Scott Rink, and top music direction by J. Oconer Navarro with orchestrations by Michael Starobin. The show's marvelous cast brings the honest, touching, and entertaining story to life...The musical numbers are a great fit for the story and the vocal performances couldn't be better."
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April 16th, 2019

“’Benny and Joon’ isn't overly concerned with reality -- Most...problems were built into the source material, the 1993 film -- but musicalizing it accentuates them...’Benny and Joon’ has its offhand, off-the-cuff charms, but it is saddled with a too-sunny attitude about mental illness and a principal character who is spun out of pure celluloid. Even fairy tales need a kernel of truth if they are to be believed; this one has a prince who, despite a fine performance, tries too hard to be charming.”
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April 18th, 2019

"Transcends expected limitations and serves as the basis for a highly styled, richly inventive, sad and funny fantasy which employs classic silent movie pantomime to create a magical world of its own...Bryce Pinkham's award-caliber Sam is the heart and soul of this production. He gracefully and gently coaxes all of the humor out of the comic routines which he performs without ever sacrificing the integrity of his characterization."
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April 16th, 2019

"This is a lovable, witty, spry musical with an incredible cast...Pinkham gives a deliciously physical, marvelous performance with astounding grace, sincerity and warmth. It’s truly Pinkham’s show...A gifted, mesmerizing performance...The production’s music...is delightful. It completely captures the whimsy and the serious-mindedness of the film. The lyrics are mostly rhyming couplets but it works...Cummings III keeps things moving at a sprightly pace...Highly enjoyable.”
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April 27th, 2019

"Except for a few minor additions and alternations, the book by Kirsten Guenther is respectful of its source. Audiences unfamiliar with the film will need time to adjust to the collaborators' deliberately soft-peddle approach to the material. Thanks to a delightfully quirky performance by Bryce Pinkham, the musical achieves most of its goal as an affecting oddity...The always affable score adds appreciably to the romance set in motion by the needs of two scarred and scared people."
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April 15th, 2019

“The musical adaptation of the movie has found the way to cook up the flavor and the temperature that this fairytale-like story needs, taking the innocent wonder of the film, even though it and this musical has somewhat of an overly simplistic look at mental disorders and family dynamics, and turned it into a one-man pantomime...Bryce just can’t be outdone or ignored...Even when the show gives little time for his gorgeous voice, the performance dazzles.”
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April 18th, 2019

"The result: Boring and Jejune...This musical treatment, directed by Jack Cummings III, misfires on all cylinders. Those unfamiliar with the film will most likely be left scratching their heads wondering why there is so little dramatic tension. An even bigger question that looms: What is the point of all this singing when few of the songs move the story forward?...Somehow, Elless manages to rise about the material...Pinkham’s Sam is also a delight."
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April 14th, 2019

“Guenther has enhanced the script taking out unneeded material and making other material stand out. Add to that the lush enjoyment of some wonderful songs...I was in musical heaven...There were times I could not tell if I had tears because I was laughing or crying as the show is so emotionally charged. It is tender, sentimental and highly moving...Beautifully directed...Guenther’s book made me laugh, cry and fall deeply in love with this show.”
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April 17th, 2019

“Imaginatively directed...Finally, a musical with wit, warmth and whimsy. Cummings creates an environment where both reality and fantasy feel right at home. Pinkham is in his element...While light and breezy, the story manages to deal with serious issues through characters who are flawed, but very likable...The music by Gasser is pleasant if not memorable...Some vocals seem stretched.”
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M
April 26th, 2019

"Elless’ strong, pure, effortless voice and sprightly charm as Joon in Paper Mill’s 'Benny & Joon' is one of the best things about this sweet, if predictable, musical...How much you enjoy it will depend on your appreciation of whimsy...Director Jack Cummings III nicely juxtaposes pathos and comedy. 'Benny & Joon' is the very the definition of a feel-good musical: it wants you to feel good about family, about love, about possibility. That deserves (predictably) applause."
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April 16th, 2019

“’Benny & Joon’ is, essentially, a romantic comedy, so there must be obstacles to be resolved...Book writer Guenther has a delicate balancing act to perform...It’s too much for one mortal writer to pull off. As a result, this ‘Benny & Joon’ ultimately seems too contrived to be fully satisfying...The musical didn’t really work...as a story. Still, it has some good moments, mostly from Pinkham as the truly one-of-a-kind Sam...The songs are pleasantly melodic but a bit bland.”
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April 19th, 2019

“This improbable musical is a truly creative and moving adaptation of its original source material. If anything, this entertaining work expands and embellishes the story further in unexpected ways...The main leads are completely believable and the inter relationship dynamics are spot on...The music and lyrics are melodic and amusing...Cummings III doesn’t shy away from the darkness by any means...This film to musical incarnation is infused with a graceful warmth."
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T
April 15th, 2019

“Guenther has given the stage adaptation fuller-developed characters than were in 1993 romantic comedy...Here, in the Paper Mill’s 1,200-seater, even with the further work that’s gone into it, doesn’t exactly leap to the stage...It doesn’t offer intimacy when intimacy is ideal. The musical is filled with whimsical and sentimental moments, including bits of small magic. Some get lost on the mammoth stage."
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April 15th, 2019

"The rare example of a thing not lost, but found, in translation...The stage version follows the film pretty closely. It's hard to pinpoint exactly why it plays better...The songs — somewhat generically Broadway-sounding, but good of their kind — do most of the heavy lifting...What gives ‘Benny & Joon’ its periodic lift is the stuff Pinkham brings to the table...Pinkham is the show's wild card...The book...improves on the original screenplay by fleshing out the story of Joon.”
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T
April 18th, 2019

“The musical version captures all the things I loved in the movie and brought them to life on the stage. This musical will make audiences laugh as well as take them on a nostalgia-filled emotional journey...With an exceptional cast, a stunning set and beautiful music...As much as I loved the show and the nostalgia it brought forth I found some of the musical numbers in act one a bit pointless and almost distracting.”
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April 19th, 2019

"The musical begins disappointedly on the lower end of the entertainment arc...There is no real spark until Sam, played by a brilliant Bryce Pinkham, enters the proceedings. He is charming and whimsical...Ending under a stage of sky blue, 'Benny & Joon' is itself a little crazy and a lot magical. On the arc of spectacle to spectacular, it is super spectacular."
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