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
Avg Score

Entertaining, Funny, Dated, Relevant

See it if You want to see a musical comedy about the first publicly elected gay man in San Francisco, told by a friend.

Don't see it if You dont like musicals, the subject or hearing about the holocaust.

Absorbing, Great acting

See it if a very touching play. A competent cast guides us through moments full of humor, to moments of special poignancy.Julie Knitel is superb!

Don't see it if you are expecting a hilarious comedy. This is more of a thought-provoking drama.

Open the letter

See it if Fun family show in great convenient venue. Strong leads sell POVs.

Don't see it if Can be a bit schmaltzy. Diner scenes are a bit lengthy and feel like filler bologna.

Also Adam Heller and Julia Knitel are great in their roles and have excelle... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great staging, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you like tuneful music that isn't amplified too horribly, you can appreciate interesting characters and their interactions

Don't see it if you want a big splashy Broadway type musical with elaborate costumes and sets

Also This is a simple story of an unusual friendship, beautifully rendered ... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Slow

See it if You want a simple show about an interesting topic

Don't see it if You want production numbers and a big finale

Great acting, Great singing, Great writing, Masterful, Must see

See it if Interested in Harvey Milk. Staging greatExcellent lyrics. Cheryl Stern priceless Story line is tearful and hilariousGreat cast & direction

Don't see it if Not interested In gay issues

Good acting, Good singing, Relevant, Timely

See it if you like shows that are timely and relevant and not completely predictable.

Don't see it if like shows that mix historic events and fiction.

Clever, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you want to see one of the most gripping, horrifying (but necessary) scenes in recent memory that will stay with you for days

Don't see it if you can't sit through a slow start or are triggered by the Holocaust

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if you have an open mind and don't mind unevenness throughout the show. The beginning is very slow, it picks up towards end.

Don't see it if you want good singing, or memorable music.

Where's harvey?, Clunky lyrics, Nicely orchestrated, Cliched, Dated

See it if you're willing to meander through some pleasant, well directed scenes and songs along the way to an unsurprising conclusion

Don't see it if you expect polished lyrics or expert integration of book & songs; are looking for a nuanced treatment of themes of acceptance & persistence

Also Despite the show's title, Harvey Milk has only tangential relevance to... Read more Read less

Intelligent, Quirky, Relevant, Thought-provoking

See it if you don't mind 1970's stereotypes of gays and Jews in a musical.

Don't see it if you object to musicals being made on any and every subject; you hope to learn anything significant about Harvey Milk.

Delightful, Great acting, Enchanting, Great singing, Resonant

See it if Small thoughtful play w/ songs & humor. Creative piece touching on past & present, sad & funny & unlikely relationships

Don't see it if You prefer big showy musicals—are anti-Semitic or homophobic.

Cliched, Forgettable, Boring score, Disappointing, Average

See it if the main storyline of a teacher/student - young girl/older man friendship is nicely done. All jewish/gay developments are cliched.

Don't see it if you don’t want to settle for average. Non-memorable music, just ok singing and acting, disappointing overall.

Great acting, Great singing, Great writing, Hilarious, Must see

See it if Get a glimpse of life of legendary Harvey Milk,through his friend.Fantastic acting and singing, as well as humor makes the 90 min go so fast

Don't see it if You are homophobic, doesn’t like gun, gunshots, scenes from concentration camp.

Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing, Thought-provoking

See it if you are in the mood for a heartwarming story about the healing power of writing and reading + a lesson in seeking and keeping relationships.

Don't see it if you are not open to the inspiring stories of a gay politician, a searching lesbian teacher, and a widowed Jewish senior citizen, with humor.

Confusing, Problematic, Ambitious

See it if you'll go in with an open mind and you find the concept interesting. Julia Knitel stands out vocally. Be willing to go along for the ride.

Don't see it if you want to see something polished. The premise has potential, but the execution is uneven. That applies to the book, lyrics, and the cast.

Great acting, Great singing, New play

See it if You are interested in LGBT issues and/ or enjoy Jewish humor.

Don't see it if You want a showy musical

Absorbing, Clever, Great acting, Great singing, Profound

See it if You like a storyline that is thoughtfully done with music and humor

Don't see it if You are not a fan of musicals

Great acting, Great singing, Great song lyrics, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if This upbeat musical examines the prejudices against the gay people from the perspective of an old fashioned loving Jewish couple.

Don't see it if you do not like old fashioned peoples

Also It turns out that the husband (the wife is dead) behavior is of utmost... Read more Read less

Uneven, Overly sentimental, Great music

See it if you're looking for a simple, well-intentioned, small scale musical with a lovely score, that wears its heart proudly on its sleeve.

Don't see it if you're looking for anything above community-theater grade, resent a contrived plot, stereotypical characters and obvious emotional appeals

Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent, Absorbing, Cliched

See it if you like musical dramas with humor that are intimate, deeply felt, and despite having one rather broad stock character, is ultimately moving

Don't see it if you like tunes you can go home humming, don't like dramas, or want more opulent and flashy shows

Great singing, Funny, The little play that could

See it if bittersweet stories are of interest to you.

Don't see it if you can't appreciate a little production with a big message about mental / emotional survival.

Also this show was nicely done. it presented tragedies and hidden sadness w... Read more Read less

Great acting, Thought-provoking, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if learning how two groups of people have one thing in common yet are so divided in present time. Jewish and Gay.

Don't see it if Jewish or gay history doesn't interest you

Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Great staging

See it if You are interested in the life of HarveyMilk and what precipitated the events leading up to his death. Very good acting. Very entertaining.

Don't see it if You are not interested in the life of Harvey Milk and San Francisco in the 1980’s.

Absorbing, Great singing, Relevant

See it if you like an entertaining evening of Jewish nostalgia and LGBTQ content.

Don't see it if if you aren't interested in LGBTQ problems and the excavation of memories.

Also A musical with clever lyrics and very nice music. The three major play... Read more Read less

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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