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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

Intelligent, Refreshing, Resonant, Relevant, Funny

See it if you to see a moving play about how an elderly Jewish man comes to terms with his relationships with LGBT individuals.

Don't see it if you are not interested in plays about LGBT issues.

Absorbing, Intelligent, Quirky, Resonant

See it if If you are interested in a musical that is about important figures in time. If you like to see how everyday people relate to historical

Don't see it if If you are expecting a serious examination all the way through. The beginning and end of the show felt like two different shows to me

Ambitious, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Profound

See it if you enjoy quirky new musicals or themes that involve the history of gay rights or the Holocaust.

Don't see it if you expect a traditional musical with flashy costumes and happy-go-lucky songs.

Cliched, Disappointing, Great singing, Slow, Ambitious

See it if you like new musicals. The singing is good. The songs, not so much.

Don't see it if you hate seeing everything sung or you hate overwrought dramatic stories. It's a little nothing of a story until it's simply too much.

Cliched, Resonant, Slow, Absorbing, Great singing

See it if you would like to see a good musical with nice singing with some sort of twist at the end.

Don't see it if you expect a great score... some of the songs are neither here nor there. Story telling could be better..

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Absorbing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy lovely musicals with wonderful characters you truly care about and want to see happy. Simply staged, touching and thoughtful.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy character driven musicals and prefer lots of special effects and fancy costumes.

Good singing, Ambitious, Slow, 10 shows in 90 minutes, Thought-provoking

See it if Extremely Jewish humor and language. A man's interesting story, told in an interesting but overly ambitious way. Good singing voices.

Don't see it if Takes on too much for 90 minutes. The "dead wife" is so sterotyped and Ham. A few boring bits, and one awful. Too many musical styles.

Entertaining, Absorbing, Good writing, Musically sophisticated, Indulgent in ethnic (jewish) shtick

See it if If you want to see a show about ethnic (Jewish) characters, one with secrets the other not secretive enough?

Don't see it if you don't like late in the show revelations of important matters.

Absorbing, Great singing, Intelligent, Relevant, Intense

See it if You want to understand our many histories of identity struggle and survival and how it changes us

Don't see it if You don’t like musicals, challenging subjects or laughing at some old jokes in the right way.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if wanty to be entertained

Don't see it if your scared of lesbian issues

Delightful, Entertaining, Thought-provoking

See it if you like musicals about unlikely friendships. The songs are catchy and the performances are very special.

Don't see it if you don't like basic sets and some corny comic relief while a company tackles some very layered and complex issues.

Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy interesting lyrics and a story that has a twist towards the end, the leads are good

Don't see it if if you expect a linear story line

Disappointing, Indulgent, Cliched, Too sentimental, Good voices and arrangements

See it if Jewish and Gay themes; outstanding acting and singing; nicely staged and orchestrated.

Don't see it if Cliches/stereotypes. Misguided untalented book & music camouflaged by a talented cast, band & polished production values.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great singing

See it if Want to know the real reason Harvey Milk was killed, and the camaraderie, that he had establish with a dear friend, that was not gay.

Don't see it if Don't like Gay Themes in portraying the rise and fall of a out spoken activitist, for human rights, for all genders.

Entertaining, Delightful, Ambitious, Earnest,, Interesting

See it if to learn a bit about bit Harvey Milk. To see an earnest musical from left field.

Don't see it if You are looking foe a polished Musical.


See it if You like schmaltzy shows in an intimate setting

Don't see it if You are bored with schmaltzy shows

Entertaining, Funny, Dated, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if IF you like light musical comedy with serious undertones

Don't see it if The show might be considered too ethnic, typical jewish humour

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

See it if I t makes you think about people who have influenced your life if you met them or not

Don't see it if If you do not get Jewish humor or don't like to hear about gays

Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you enjoy May/December friendship, marriage, well-written, performed, & directed new musicals, Yiddish humor, gay history, memoirs

Don't see it if you forgot to bring tissues. You will cry at this one. This is not a history play. It's inspired by Harvey, not about Him

Entertaining, Great singing, Funny, Cliched, Quirky

See it if You enjoy pleasant, small musicals that are a bit quirky - combo of Jewish & gay themes. Leads are charming - See for Julie Knitel - terrifc

Don't see it if You like big splashy musicals or are not interested in the unusual link of Jewish and Gay themes. Show is a bit cliche re: Jewish characters

Also Enjoyed the show - mostly due to the warm performances by the cast. Es... Read more Read less

Relevant, Thought-provoking, Clever

See it if you don't mind that the main themes revolve around Judaism and the LGBT community.

Don't see it if you disapprove of the LGBT lifestyle

Ambitious, Great acting, Intelligent, Clever

See it if You want some interesting character studies and very good acting. Clever plot points and twists.

Don't see it if You have no interest in gay history, cultures coming together, or have no heart.

Absorbing, Great singing, Resonant, Moving

See it if You want to see a intimate, sweet, and moving musical; you are a fan of Harvey Milk and support LGBTQ; you're Jewish

Don't see it if You don't like cliches; though I must say this show worked them very well and it was ultimately quite profound and moving

Cliched, Fluffy, Banal, Disappointing, Meh

See it if You are a resident of a Jewish retirement home on eastern Long Island and want an afternoon entertainment.

Don't see it if You expect more than stereotypical characters and “feel good” shows about gay rights, the Holocaust and the death of Harvey Milk.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Relevant

See it if the political subject is of some interest. I greatly enjoyed the first preview night!

Don't see it if gay subject material does not interest you.

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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