See it if you're interested in black people's perspective of life in the midwest in the 1940s, or if you enjoy seeing new shows that have potential.
Don't see it if you're expecting a full-blown musical or a script with interesting or captivating characters and natural language.
See it if don't mind jazz-inflected musical snippets rather than real book musical songs. Left at intermission as nothing had happened in all of Act 1
Don't see it if are annoyed by overly poetic dialogue and stock characters. A fabulous subject (all-female, all-black jazz group in 1940s) is squandered
“ Ruben Santiago-Hudson expertly directs the production. This show is a treasure. Beautifully crafted and presented, it blends music, poetry and storytelling...The cast couldn't be better. They capture the humor and the drama of the story as it unfolds...You'll be very impressed by the music that accompanies ‘Oo-Bla-Dee’ and the musicians that make it happen...An insightful show, a jazz lover's experience, and one that you should put on your summer entertainment schedule.”
"Under the direction of Santiago-Hudson, this jazz musical hums with tones both celebratory and somber. It is not a piece of work as successful as 'Crowns,' weighed down at times by dialogue that withholds music, but its high points are nonetheless exuberant, and its social commentary poignant and uncompromising...'Oo-Bla-Dee' develops unique and compelling texture to its story...Despite all its rhythm, the play also cultivates a curious stodginess in its non-musical moments."
"Has some intriguing elements but lacks a compelling central story to tie it all together. And so it never really coheres into something that’s fully engaging...In one of director Ruben Santiago-Hudson’s best touches, the actors don’t really pretend to be playing, but move gracefully, almost like dancers, as the musicians expertly handle the actual music. We feel like we’re seeing the music, in addition to hearing it."