Already closed | 1h 35m | Midtown W

A Letter to Harvey Milk

From 337 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

About the show

Set in San Francisco in 1986, this musical deals with issues of friendship and loss, the grip of the past, and the hard-won acceptance set in motion by the most unexpected people.  More…

What could Harry, an amiable but lonely retired kosher butcher have in common with Barbara, his young lesbian writing teacher at the senior center? Is it enough to bridge the divide?  When Harry fulfills a writing assignment to compose a letter to someone from his past who’s dead, he writes not to his late wife Frannie, but to Harvey Milk, the first openly gay political leader in California. Barbara is stunned. Harry's letter evokes life-changing revelations that neither could have foreseen. 

Member Reviews (337)


Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great acting, Thought-provoking

Campy, Cliched

See it if you like Jewish themes in a musical, easy to follow story line, good singing

Don't see it if the plot leans heavily on cliches

Resonant, Cliched, Banal, Great staging

See it if You feel a need to see every new work in NYC.

Don't see it if You like a coherent storyline and appreciate well written lyrics.

Also Evan Pappas has staged this as well as anyone probably could. He does ... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Disappointing, Dated, Great singing

See it if you enjoy Borcht Belt humor, don;t mind a stylistic mish-mosh. Enjoy a quality production of less than stellar material.

Don't see it if Stereotypes, sloppy lyrics or muddled plot offend you,

Also 90 minutes is a short time to try to cram all of the plot points into ... Read more Read less

Confusing, Dated, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if I did not care for this show and do not recommend it.

Don't see it if if you have another show you would like to see

Slow, Disappointing, Banal

See it if You like just any gay-themed show.

Don't see it if Expecting a show really about Harvey Milk.

Clever, Entertaining, Disappointing, Dizzying, Slow

See it if History of Harvey Milk with a 'twist'

Don't see it if Music playing on stage was so loud it was at times difficult to hear dialogue

During previews
Earnest, Clunky, Tired humor, Weak lyrics, Touching

See it if you're patient. ALTHM's ending satisfies, but some meh material to get there. High prodn values, but disappointing songs, uneven tone/acting

Don't see it if you want clever lyrics (1 song offends w/reference to Nazis) or a sophisticated book. Still teacher/student have some charm. Good message.

During previews

See it if Some poignant moments in the last 10 minutes during the flashback scene. Older man & older woman are both talented actors.

Don't see it if Most of show moves along slowly, with some cringe-worthy lyrics for the year 2018. And it's hardly about Harvey Milk/gay plot at all!!!

During previews
Superficial, Stereotyped, Cliched, Excellent "message", Somewhat pleasant

See it if like musicals about sexual identity, delivers excellent "messages," pleasant moments, "obvious" humor and some good singing.

Don't see it if you prefer non-stereotyped characters, in-depth rather than superficial handling of issues, nuanced humor and high levels of singing ability

During previews
Ambitious, Cliched, Dated, Thought-provoking

See it if Cringe-worthy at times, yet it ultimately succeeds in spite of itself. Better suited to Del Boca Vista dinner theatre than off-broadway.

Don't see it if Has something to say about tolerance and acceptance, but its cheesiness doesn’t do the subject justice.

During previews
Cliched, Disappointing, Insipid, Indulgent, Slow

See it if you want to see a schmaltzy musical with schmaltz. Really. Adam Heller is wonderful but the rest of it is bad.

Don't see it if YOu are looking for something excellent. The book is insipid.

During previews
Disappointing, Indulgent, Cliched

See it if You are open to history

Don't see it if You are looking for deeper meaning

March 6th, 2018
"Surprisingly fierce little musical...Ginsburg's lush orchestrations for piano, cello, and woodwinds give the music a sentimental air ideal for a story about the dredging of feelings long thought drowned. At the same time, the lyrics are honest and playful...Pappas juggles the overlapping plot li...
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March 8th, 2018
"There's a lot to like about this show, but it isn't wholly successful for a variety of reasons. First of all, in my opinion, 90-minute musicals rarely work. It's a tall order to develop characters, as well as relationships...While partially due to the short duration of the show, part of that is ...
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March 7th, 2018
"This is an old-fashioned laughter-and-tears exercise that combines wheezy gags with weepy revelations and the tasteless exploitation of certain world-historical events...The dialogue sounds like something thrown together in the writers' room of a mediocre television sitcom...Under Pappas' direct...
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March 6th, 2018
"Mixed-bag of a musical...The plot and characters are potentially quite moving. Unfortunately, the material is undercut by a bland and generic score...The performances are better than the material...Some of the early scenes move along a bit sluggishly, but director Pappas creates some effective s...
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