Closed 2h 0m
Cagney
Midtown W
84

Cagney NYC Reviews and Tickets

84%
(500 Reviews)
Positive
94%
Mixed
6%
Negative
0%
Members say
Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting, Great singing, Clever

About the Show

'Cagney' follows the actor from his humble beginnings through his rise as a vaudeville song-and-dance man, to his superstardom in Hollywood.

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Member Reviews (500)

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75
Entertaining, Energetic, Uneven, Polished, Long

See it if you love Cagney or tap. Bio is well told; you'll come out respecting JC. Best songs are Cohan's. A hard-working cast in a hard-working show.

Don't see it if you dislike bio-based shows. Fairly fluffy, but strong voices and lots of costume/wig changes. Well-intentioned crowd-pleaser. Over-mic'ed.

81
Fun, Entertaining, Classic, Nostalgic, Endearing

See it if You like delightful old-fashion musicals. Beautiful music. Skillful staging/acting/singing/dancing. Informative, absorbing & interesting.

Don't see it if Act 2 spends a lot of time with dancing (great dancing for sure)But it distracts from the flow of the story. Some of that could go to act 1

Critic Reviews (51)

April 14th, 2016

"It doesn’t come close to telling the whole story, but an amazing star turn by Robert Creighton brings pieces of it to life with so much vibrancy and excitement...Full of vitality, swirling feet, crowd-pleasing songs and dances...There isn’t much breadth in the score or the staging of the numbers, which is mostly perfunctory, but when Creighton leaps and taps and soars his way through George M. Cohan classics you get the quickest lesson in how to stop a show since Joel Grey in 'George M.'"
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April 18th, 2016

"While the show itself is entertaining in an uninspired way, Creighton as Cagney is stupendous. He sings sublimely and, with the help of Joshua Bergasse’s savvy choreography, he brilliantly summons Cagney’s light-on–his-feet dance style...The five member supporting cast forms a fine ensemble...The book by Peter Colley is fairly standard issue and even with Bill Castellino's energetic direction, the show almost feels more like a revue...But Creighton as Cagney just kills it."
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April 3rd, 2016

"'Cagney's' return to Off-Broadway, with the same cast, director and choreographer, is a slicker, fuller production that should send audiences out with big smiles...'Cagney' isn't crowded with plot, but it doesn't tell you much about the man either. Think of it as more of an entertaining salute...Creighton sings with gusto, dances with even more and is an extremely likable presence...While 'Cagney' isn't high art, it's peppy, sincere and a heck of a lot of fun."
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April 3rd, 2016

"Creighton is a constant source of energy and joy, plowing his way through scenes and songs that are corny but that demonstrate his triple-threat-plus skills to unbeatable advantage...When a performer is this good, you want everything around him to be, too. No dice...It's as cliché, lazy, and cynical as fourth-tier show-biz bios get...If the script and score have received any work in the last year, it's not evidenced by what's onstage."
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April 5th, 2016

"The show’s rudimentary book is a jumbled assemblage of true events, cloying clichés, compressed chronology and simplistic characterizations...Still, Mr. Colley has crafted several inspired episodes that are quite effective…The score is decent and has some pleasant and tuneful if not outstanding songs…Its good-natured tone and Robert Creighton’s colossal performance make 'Cagney' satisfying entertainment, especially for those familiar with the movie legend."
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April 3rd, 2016

"Robert Creighton is perfectly cast... 'Cagney' is a joy for people who love top-notch tap dancing...What’s missing in this musical interpretation of Cagney’s life is that incomparable bit of spark that made Cagney so exceptional. The orchestrations in 'Cagney' are sometimes bland and uninspired. Creighton’s performance was first-rate, and the book by Colley is quite solid, but perhaps, with livelier music, the show would have had more unwavering appeal."
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June 10th, 2016

"Robert Creighton is beyond brilliant in the title role. Do yourself a favor and hoof on over to the Westside Theatre and see this show. While the first act lags a little in its earnest attempt to document Cagney’s path, the second picks up the pace...Creighton not only nails the outward Cagney but manages to reveal the inner workings of a man who was an icon but not a human being to most of us...And his dancing is sublime."
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March 17th, 2017

"A compact package bursting with a sparkle that nearly knocks you over...Creighton is such a smooth dancer that he makes it look easy...All of this would be just so much Hollywood legend without the dancing...What happens in these numbers is that Creighton turns on the magic machine, and we enter into a different time. We experience the gift that theatre is at its core...You end up in a wonderland that you can feel down to your toes. And THAT my friends, is showbiz magic."
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April 7th, 2016

"Director Bill Castellino keeps things flowing so quickly that it’s impossible not to get drawn into the fun...Creighton handles it all with aplomb. Looking, sounding and dancing the part without ever stepping into caricature, he’s a dynamo in a star-spangled vest...The 'USO Medley' is an Act II show stopper where the company gets to sing and dance up a storm."
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April 4th, 2016

"Then there is the incredible Mr. Creighton giving an electrifying performance. With feet flying and a beautiful light Irish tenor voice Mr. Creighton captures the pugnacious spirit and open-heartedness of the little tough guy, James Cagney, endearing himself to the audience with his explosive energy and mega talent. 'Cagney' is not to be missed and you will be humming those songs as you leave the theater!"
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T
April 6th, 2016

"The musical still needs some tweaking to bring it to its next and highest level. The cast is uniformly brilliant...Robert Creighton is simply splendid as James Cagney…Although the music is stronger than the lyrics, the lyrics remain serviceable and ring with honesty...Director Bill Castellino does what he can with Peter Colley’s tepid book that totters between a bio-musical and musical comedy...In its present form, 'Cagney' is highly entertaining and well worth a trip to the Westside Theatre."
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April 3rd, 2016

"Creighton’s impression of Cagney’s singular, rapid-fire speaking style is inconsistent, but when he’s saying or singing material lifted directly from Cagney’s films, he nails it...To top it all off, this guy can tap dance...‘Cagney’ may be imperfect, but this low-concept, high-energy show has so much going for it..., especially its abundance of Hollywood nostalgia, a dynamic lead performance, and awesome tap dancing,.. that you’ll rise with the tide for the standing ovation when it’s over."
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April 3rd, 2016

"It is amazing that a show that was mediocre can improve with time and experience. This is the case of 'Cagney'..Director Castellino has honed the dramatic moments and now the brilliant choreography shines...This is obviously a star vehicle for Creighton, who does make an impression...Bravo to the cast, crew and producers...For a good, old-fashioned, enjoyable time, 'Cagney' is a Yankee Doodle Dandy."
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April 6th, 2016

"Creighton is a marvel. His energy and timing is unflagging...Joshua Bergasse should also take a bow for his high-energy choreography and Bill Castellino can join him for the show’s lean direction...A minor handicap that 'Cagney' possesses is its length and lack of dramatic tension...If it were to clock in at the now-typical theater block of 90 minutes, it would feel much tighter and more substantial."
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April 4th, 2016

"As energetic and optimistic as its subject, this bio-musical is fizzy fun with just enough seriousness to make it a satisfying tribute to the pugnacious movie star. The show is above all a vehicle for Robert Creighton, who shares Cagney’s charisma and fleeted-footed dancing ability…The choreography of Joshua Bergasse elevates the evening from fun to truly fabulous entertainment...The routines Bergasse gives the cast are truly riveting."
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April 7th, 2016

"I liked all the tap dancing...I thought it would be mostly about the kind of characters he played especially because he was shown holding a gun in the poster for the show. It wasn't like that at all. It was more about his whole life. It had a lot of funny parts. It had a lot of good songs too...The acting was good too. They all played a lot of different parts...I really enjoyed the show, and I would highly recommend it."
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April 10th, 2016

"An exhilarating and heartfelt Off-Broadway musical…A natural, athletic hoofer with a feisty personality, Cagney is a beloved icon, and Robert Creighton does him justice and then some…Director Bill Castellino keeps things moving, and choreography by Joshua Bergasse is inspired…What a pleasure to see an Off-Broadway show deliver a full-out ensemble dance number that brings down the house, when so many Broadway musicals these days are lacking in that arena."
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T
April 4th, 2016

"A thoroughly entertaining evening of song and dance served by an outstanding ensemble of performers...Robert Creighton plays James Cagney, a role he was born to play...'Cagney' hits most of the highlights of the actor's ascent to stardom and his struggle with his image in an insightful musical journey with fancy choreography by Bergasse that features exciting tap numbers...Jeremy Benton has several dynamite tap numbers with Creighton that alone are worth the price of a ticket."
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April 14th, 2016

"The rousing musical is full of song and tap dance which will excite audiences of all ages. Robert Creighton, who plays Cagney, also wrote the original music and lyrics along with Christopher McGovern, and is adeptly directed by Bill Castellino. Cagney could do it all; act, dance, sing and be the tough guy who portrays gangsters, sometimes with a heart. Creighton does an excellent job as Cagney."
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April 11th, 2016

"It’s not a great musical–Peter Colley’s book is serviceable and the new songs are mediocre. But it’s not bad. The modesty of the production works in its favor, and it does what few musicals manage to accomplish: it gets better as it goes along...Mostly it’s because of Robert Creighton, who can act as well as sing and dance, and whose fireplug frame and fireball presence make him ideal casting for the title role...He’s an excellent Cagney, and when he gets to dance...he’s a phenomenon."
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I
November 3rd, 2016

"Lest you think all of Off-Broadway is bold new work, here’s a throwback: a straight-up show biz bio...There’s some fun tapping to be had and the cast is certainly game, but this musical tribute isn’t terribly interested in revealing anything more about the man than we know in the first few scenes."
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April 15th, 2016

"'Cagney' gets many things very wrong, the book and the music and lyrics among them, but what it gets right more than makes up for it...A scene of Cagney and troupe performing for soldiers in a USO show in 1942 was so magical, it may have been the best moment in a musical this season...It justified the entire evening in a heavenly song and dance of epic proportions...Creighton has brought an excellent cast to perform with him."
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May 1st, 2016

"The story is beautifully created...The choreography recreates the magic of old Hollywood musicals. The style mirrors Cagney's and is astounding to watch...Robert Creighton as Cagney is unbelievable. There's not a moment in the production where you're not enthralled by his performance. He's mesmerizing and you truly believe you are watching James Cagney perform in front of you."
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April 3rd, 2016

"Creighton plays Cagney and seems born for the role. A strong dancer and singer, he was a joy to watch...This cast of extremely strong dancers sure know how to work hard...Some of the strongest moments in 'Cagney' are the many dance numbers, with an emphasis on some really fun strong tap routines...This cast is truly in sync with the orchestra and has a seamless flow from song to song and scene to scene...If you like musical theater, film history and James Cagney, this is the show for you."
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April 10th, 2016

"Who could play the 5’5” Cagney better than Cagney’s look-alike, sing-alike, dance-alike, and act-alike, Robert Creighton?...There’s a delightful vaudeville feel to the show. The cast of six characters morphs seamlessly into so many roles that it’s fun trying to pick out who is playing who…Choreographer Joshua Bergasse has the cast tapping their hearts out…You’ll be giving your regards to Broadway and on your feet, applauding."
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June 2nd, 2016

“If you have not had the opportunity to learn more about James Cagney, the multitalented actor/singer/dancer, go to the Westside Theatre and see Robert Creighton, an Outer Critics award winner for Best Actor in an Off Broadway Musical. This is your chance...The actors other than Creighton all have multiple roles to play, but their shining moments are due to the tap choreography by Outer Critics award winner Joshua Bergasse.”
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April 6th, 2016

"Robert Creighton is a revelation in this role. His performance sets the entire stage ablaze…I can’t think that there is anyone who could create a more earnest and loving portrayal than Creighton. Aiding in his performance, and certainly the show overall, is Bill Castellino’s masterful direction…The book by Peter Colley is smart and witty, laugh-out-loud funny, and heartbreakingly true…All the actors on the stage were extraordinary, creating complete and distinctly different characters."
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A
April 5th, 2016

"What a fun show I have for you, it’s a winner, ‘Cagney’ is a must. Robert Creighton playing Cagney couldn’t be better…In this insightful and surprising musical journey, a brand-new original score filled with show-stopping song and dancer numbers is augmented by George M. Cohan songs...The very talented Creighton leads a cast of six in this fantastic new musical...It is my choice for the best Off-Broadway performance."
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May 28th, 2015
For a previous production

"The intimate Theater at St. Peter’s lends a cabaret feel to the production, which has a pleasantly cartoonish revue vibe...There’s nothing even remotely convincing about the cast members who double as stars of yesteryear like Bette Davis, Greta Garbo, Errol Flynn and Bob Hope. But when the same actors put on their tap shoes, you may want to buy war bonds."
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June 1st, 2015
For a previous production

"Boiling all the ups and downs of a celebrity’s life into a couple of tuneful hours is tough, but the biggest challenge is finding a performer who can convincingly channel the star...Creighton smartly avoids impersonation and lets some of his own personality shine through...Yes, Peter Colley's book is predictable, and the old-fashioned numbers aren’t as catchy as the standards...But the crackerjack cast nails exhilarating tap routines while committing to the emotional core of the story."
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May 28th, 2015
For a previous production

"Based on this telling, you’d think that Jack Warner had nothing better to do than twirl his villain moustache over Cagney’s career hiccups—in one ridiculous scene, he reads reviews aloud of the actor’s post-Warners financial flops (all made in different years, mind you) before eventually offering up the comeback role. It’s all too ironic given that’s exactly what the creators of this show might be doing, only without the redemption part for nearly anyone involved."
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March 30th, 2009
For a previous production

"...don’t go expecting an incisive, enthralling character study...'Cagney' is a 1930s Warner Brothers movie musical — vellum-thin escapist entertainment for a stressed-out world battling economic depression."
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May 28th, 2015
For a previous production

"The production of 'Cagney' that just opened at the York feels like a sketch rather than a full picture. There are no sets to speak of, only projections of movie posters and the like...it’s fun to imagine what a large Broadway ensemble could do with those tap numbers, rather than a handful of hardworking actors sweating up a storm to fill the stage. (The potential is there!) Aside from those ambitious set pieces, “Cagney” is pretty standard, with a fine, if conventional, score."
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May 28th, 2015
For a previous production

"While the piece has its problems (namely in Peter Colley's book), Cagney is definitely a crowd-pleaser, one that, like its hero, you can't help but root for. Where 'Cagney' falters is in the exact same spot as most other biographical musicals in the canon. In attempting to condense more than 60 years into just under two and a half hours, certain crucial elements ripe for dramatization — like Cagney's alleged 'pinko sympathies' — get shortchanged in favor of other, less compelling subject matters."
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May 30th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Cagney' isn't crowded with plot, as some bio-musicals tend to be, but it doesn't tell you much about the man either...At its present state, 'Cagney' is certainly entertaining but it always hints of something that wants to be bigger. With a more-involved text and a full-chorus production better framing its star's performance, this musical might start packing some serious heat."
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May 28th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Cagney' reminded me of 'Yankee Doodle Dandy.' The film is a hash of Tinseltown clichés, most of which have little or nothing to do with its subject's life, but whenever there's a musical number, it's golden. 'Cagney' is a rickety vehicle at best, but everyone involved knows how to sell a number - and that's not nothing."
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May 28th, 2015
For a previous production

"If all a musical has going for it are its spine-tingling songs, there are worse things. But when all an original musical has going for it are its spine-tingling numbers that were written by someone else, that's a different story. Unfortunately, it's also the problem plaguing 'Cagney,' the rickety new musical."
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April 16th, 2009
For a previous production

"The production is worth seeing for Creighton's performance as Cagney, but the show 'Cagney!' is in need of some work to match the caliber of his performance."
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May 30th, 2015
For a previous production

"A lovely, yet tough-at-its-core, chamber musical about that whirlwind of an actor, singer, dancer and humanitarian, James Cagney...a joyous take on his life, from his tough New York adolescence as breadwinner for his family to his huge success in Hollywood...Joshua Bergasse’s choreography is fresh, yet evocative of the period. Bill Castellino’s direction kept the show moving swiftly and clearly kept the actors on their toes as they raced from character to character."
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May 29th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Cagney' chronicles the career of the iconic star of depression era movies who was equally at home with gun in hand than tap shoes on his feet. A lot is left out but it evokes enough of what made him a legend, and why. And it's one of the most entertaining, big-little musicals currently on offer in Manhattan."
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May 29th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Cagney' is a wonderfully compelling biographical piece of theatre. Choreographer Joshua Bergasse works magic with the actors’ tap shoes, throwing the audience back to the golden age of entertainment, and the dynamite cast of six performers bring everything that they can to the stage while telling the story of the legendary star."
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June 2nd, 2015
For a previous production

"Most of the score suffers in comparison to Cohan’s standards, but several numbers are more than serviceable...This low-concept, high-energy show has so much else going for it under the direction of Bill Castellino, especially its abundance of awesome tap dancing, outstandingly choreographed, that you’ll rise with the tide for the standing ovation when it’s over."
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May 29th, 2015
For a previous production

"It is amazing what the five cast members playing the assorted characters supporting Creighton’s star performance do. They deserve a medal for versatility and verve...The show seems so much larger than it is, and although some trimming might be in order, the musical does a reasonable measure of justice to its protagonist."
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June 11th, 2015
For a previous production

"It’s a hefty life story to fit into one show, and 'Cagney' can simultaneously feel both glancing and too-in-depth...The presence of these characters, like so many other elements in 'Cagney,' only whets theatergoers’ appetites for the real thing, and by the end of the show, which maintains a consistent appeal while never fully catching fire, one simply wants to dart home to dive into one’s video collection or fire up Netflix to revisit the star’s canon."
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June 4th, 2015
For a previous production

"Finally, a lively new, if a bit overlong, musical...Some trimming here and there would help, but with the fine scene design by James Morgan along with some excellent projections on the several panels and the amiable cast 'Cagney' shines."
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May 31st, 2015
For a previous production

"While Creighton doesn’t quite possess the uncanny indifference to gravity that Cagney had, he does a more than creditable job of re-creating his Yankee Doodle Dandy numbers. He and the whole cast are real hoofers in the grand Hollywood tradition of hoofing. You haven’t seen tap-dancing like this in a long while and you’re not likely to see it again any time soon...The whole production lives up to its Hollywood antecedents."
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June 3rd, 2015
For a previous production

"Watching 'Cagney', a new musical about the revered silver-screen hoodlum, is a bit like encountering a singing-and-dancing Wikipedia page. It's good-natured, informative, and seemingly comprehensive. But it might appeal most to confirmed Cagney-o-philes. While this production boasts plenty of old-school showmanship, it offers little memorable insight into Cagney's life or career...once Cagney runs out of movies, the production abruptly runs out of steam."
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June 11th, 2015
For a previous production

"Robert Creighton is an incredible dancer, and this show is a dance lovers dream. I am excited to report that this is a must see and with some fine tuning it could transfer to an Off-Broadway or Broadway house for an unlimited run. It does need some cutting and work to take it to the next level but if you love tap, you must see this show."
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June 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"Aided by his similar looks and impressive dancing, Robert Creighton gives a very credible performance as Cagney...The most impressive and rousing moments of the show are probably the dance numbers... I must have had a good time because the only thing I wanted to do after the show was over was go home and watch a James Cagney film."
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May 28th, 2015
For a previous production

"A good old-fashioned musical, one you would probably see in Broadway’s heyday...it’s new and it’s original...The musical works beautifully and manages to hit all the major points of Cagney’s life without seeming forced. Though a few events are compressed for time, it’s a fairly straight-forward accounting of Cagney’s life."
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P
April 2nd, 2009
For a previous production

"At the moment, 'Cagney!' is diverting enough, but there is a better show lurking within the material that has not yet surfaced."
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