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A Wall Apart (NYMF)

From 10 critic and 41 member reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing, Delightful

About the show

Part of the New York Musical Festival: An original rock musical about a 30-year love story set against the backdrop of the Berlin Wall. With songs by Graham Russell of Air Supply fame. More…

With music by Graham Russell of Air Supply, this epic story examines three generations of family ties, brotherhood, love, and marriage. What is the price of liberty, and will the Wall divide or unite? An official selection of the 2017 New York Musical Festival Next Link Project.

Carole Di Tosti

"A thrilling production...This is a finely wrought production whose music is gobsmackingly good in its variety, its power and its touching poignancy. The book by Sam Goldstein and Craig Clyde highlights the period...The production is incredibly current...I would hope that this production sees a continuation elsewhere. It is that good especially in that its themes presented through the music and book are profoundly transcendent." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"A stunning and powerful new rock musical...The characters are well developed and their conflicts are realistic and believable and drive an engaging plot with a satisfying dramatic arc...Russell has composed a strong, driving rock score and written powerful lyrics for that music...Goldstein and Clyde’s book, though adequate, does not measure up to the music and lyrics...'A Wall Apart' is a rich metaphor for all that is currently dividing people in America, Europe, and around the globe." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Though a few of the tunes sound joyous and melodious, many of the songs leave one feeling less than wispy. Well-drawn characters are scripted by Goldstein and Clyde...The war scenes carry a good deal of weight...Great choreography by Andrews holds the intensity of the production...There is something terrific about the staging, with seamless blending from foreground to the background…Creators of this new musical have done a lot to capture the love and despair of the time period.” Full Review

The New York Times

"'A Wall Apart' is a smart, high-energy exercise in idealism, a rock musical with love and politics on its mind. And if its second act suggests that it’s still a work in progress, that’s part of what the festival is for — putting a show on its feet and seeing where it stumbles...In a confident production directed and choreographed by Keith Andrews, an excellent cast breathes life into fully drawn characters, while Mr. Russell’s music varies nicely from wailing guitar to gentle lullaby." Full Review

Front Row Center

“Romance driven by geopolitics makes for a risky venture and, despite solid performances throughout, the creators never quite find a proper balance…The book has other troubles with its humorous moments more cute than funny, and dialog that is less natural than it is expositional…Ms. Baldwin gets the lion’s share of the numbers and handles them with ease, though they would have had much more impact if we had better insight into why she is so dedicated to her dull man.” Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“It is filled with one-liners as the narrative speeds by to fit in 28 years of plot; there is very little character development...All the actors are excellent and elevate the material…The production is very polished and well designed…The music, while undeniably great and incredibly catchy, is not especially theatrical. The lyrics rarely illuminate the characters or tell us anything about the story we didn’t already get from the scene…‘A Wall Apart’ needs more politics, and frankly, more edge.” Full Review

Broadway Blog

"'A Wall Apart’s' premise has all the makings for a terrific musical...but the creative team’s realization of the story is riddled with holes and glaring onstage miscalculations. Director and choreographer Keith Andrews puts his cast through a ringer of poorly staged scenes and cliché choreography that feels more like a show choir than tumultuous Berlin...It’s still very much in the developmental stage and could use fine-tuning to allow the music to propel the story forward." Full Review

New York Theater

"Has a catchy score...sung by an eminently watchable cast of steel-voiced Broadway professionals. But its story...opts for a sentimental and frequently simpleminded version of history...Had 'A Wall Apart' appeared on stage six months ago, or maybe even three, it might have not been bothered as much about what’s left out of the history it is supposed to be depicting...A work in progress...If it’s easy to pick the script apart, it’s hard to dismiss Russell’s music, which holds some surprises." Full Review


"A limp but well-meaning new musical...Russell's score, and Goldstein and Clyde's book resemble relics of different eras...Russell's songs are all written in the musical-theater idiom of the mid-1990s...'A Wall Apart' never shakes the feeling that it was created after repeated viewings of 'Rent.' The movement is frenetic and the pace is equally frenzied...The principals have a hard time accessing genuine emotional moments due to the hasty direction." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

“Due to the rangy score, the cast struggles for notes at one point or another. They also have a hard time creating fleshed-out characters as the book gives them very little to work with...Goldstein and Clyde’s book is trite and has no relevance in today’s climate…Russell’s score seems out-of-date and not fresh or exciting...Andrews’ direction and choreography don’t help either. The whole show seems as if it were created on speed. The movement is frenetic and awkward." Full Review

Delightful, Great singing, Must see

See it if You enjoy musical based on historical events, are a fan of rock music and particularly Air Supply

Don't see it if You don't like rock music. Anyone else will love this show!

Also A fantastic production. I'm rooting for this show to go places.

Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Relevant

See it if You are interested in shows with historical back drop and interesting stories about families.

Don't see it if You prefer fluff pieces that don't require you to think and care

Also I really enjoyed the production. One of the lead actresses was unable ... Read more Read less

Great original songs and lyrics

See it if You like well written songs

Don't see it if You wish NYMTF was something more

Absorbing, Great singing, Engaging

See it if You like new theater in development and enjoy rock music

Don't see it if You are bored by history

Also I thought the show was really well done and although there were some t... Read more Read less

Relevant, Refreshing, Great music, Thought-provoking

See it if You like historical based shows. You like rock and roll music. You like shows that focus on a family to tell a bigger picture.

Don't see it if You are looking for a fluff piece.

Also This show was the type of gem I hope to find at NYMF. From the first s... Read more Read less

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

See it if you enjoy a well-staged show with a talented cast. Loved the music.

Don't see it if you want a comedy. After WWII Berlin was vivisected and life was hard. The show portrays this well.

Also The German word for Aunt is "Tante." The final e is pronounced as a lo... Read more Read less

Delightful, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you want to hear some truly great songs

Don't see it if you don't like NYMF musicals or festivals

Also Full disclosure: I know and worked with Graham Russell and I am a fan.... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining

See it if You like rock music and want a fun night

Don't see it if You want a Broadway production with tried and true singers

Disappointing, Great singing, Relevant, Ambitious

See it if you like rock and roll performed by great singers and musicians; competent acting; disappointing choreography.

Don't see it if have high expectations because of the composer's past or want characters with whom you can identify.

Good singing, Good staging, Good acting, Romantic, Disappointing

See it if you like stories about star crossed lovers that provide unique reasons for the lovers being star crossed.

Don't see it if don't like a shows are not completely happy and/or where the plot abruptly skips a head a bunch of years.

Great singing, Slow, Entertaining

See it if Family as part of love story. Historical based musicals.

Don't see it if dislike history. Want a musical with a strong book.

Excruciating, Insipid

See it if it could be like watching "Superstar", close your eyes and listen to the music and lyrics.

Don't see it if you can't watch a play in need of a playwright. Tries to be "Here Lies Love" without the writing skills.

Also The Actors sound more like modern pop singers, than trained vocalists.

Cliched, Disappointing, Insipid, Banal, Slow

See it if you appreciate early works that are very rough. the dialogue was awful, there were a few good songs, most were cliched

Don't see it if you like good musicals ready for off bwayry or bway

Also i appreciate this may be early in its creation process and the idea of... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Ambitious, Awful music, Poorly written, Lazy

See it if You're so eager to see a musical about the Berlin Wall, you'll settle for anything.

Don't see it if You want to see a legitimate musical about the Wall, instead of a show that appropriates the emotional impact of the Wall w/o making u care

Also The lyrics in this show are painfully, almost hilariously, bad. They r... Read more Read less

Banal, Disappointing, Great singing, Excruciating

See it if You are so into this part of history you don't care if it's bad and doesn't present anything new or interesting.

Don't see it if You want to see a good show.

Also The writing for this play was just terrible. It was embarrassing to wa... Read more Read less

Loud, Poorly staged, Book needs a revamp, Disappointing, Indulgent

See it if you like poorly staged shows, actors who will never be stars, cliched book, Music is somewhat better than lyrics. A total misfire.

Don't see it if you have more sophisticated tastes in theatre—and expect much more from theatre.

Also The calibre of shows at NYMF have been on the decline ever since its f... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Must see

See it if You want to a musical that is bound to make it to Broadway in the near future.

Don't see it if There is no reason not to see it !

Ambitious, Epic, Edgy, Riveting

See it if you like history with a side of ROCK, or rock with a side of HISTORY!

Don't see it if you think those crazy kids need to turn their music down.

Ambitious, Great acting, Great singing, Dated

See it if You want to see a show with a lot of promise in its early phase. It features some Broadway caliber actors

Don't see it if You want a clean, finished project. The book needs some tweaks, but it does have legs.

Also The show starts strong. But some of the songs are unnecessary to the p... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You like seeing new musicals in development. Great music.

Don't see it if you expect perfection at the nymf level.

Also Beautifully staged. actors did a terrific job making the characters en... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Great writing, Hilarious

See it if something different.

Don't see it if not into a lot of singing.


See it if Fantasyix

Don't see it if You hate good shows

Must see, Entertaining, Loved it


Don't see it if LOVED IT

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Epic, Refreshing

See it if Comes to Cleveland ,Oh and have a copy of the music on Cd

Don't see it if N/A

Enchanting, Entertaining, Exquisite, Clever, Delightful

See it if you can!

Don't see it if you're boring