Call Me Madam
Midtown W
78

Call Me Madam NYC Reviews and Tickets

78%
(84 Reviews)
Positive
85%
Mixed
15%
Negative
0%
Members say
Entertaining, Great singing, Dated, Delightful, Fluffy

About the Show

A highlight of the second season of Encores! (1995) and featuring a memorable score by Irving Berlin, "Call Me Madam" centers around a brassy ambassador to the fictional European nation of Lichtenberg.


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Member Reviews (84)

85
Dated, Fluffy, Great singing, Engaging, Weak script/great songs

See it if you want an escape. Entertaining Encores! Fun choreog/gr voices (incldg Cusack who hits notes, unlike Merman). Gr costumes. RandyR is wasted

Don't see it if you want substance. CMM is pure fun, w/memorable melodies. Needs cuts. Broad humor. Some lyrics get lost. Gr orchestra. Gotay/Worsham shine.

70
Dated, Slow, Great singing, Fluffy, Insipid

See it if you like Berlin's music and Great Singing. There are some very cute and catchy tunes. Terrific choreography​.

Don't see it if you want to see a comedy with a bare minimum of story tension. There is practically none in the entire show. Feels more like reading a diary Read more

Critic Reviews (13)

February 7th, 2019

"The pulse-lowering Encores! production...Cusack, a strong performer in other circumstances — is overpowered here by material that, if it can work at all today, can do so only when rough-handled by a mauler....'Call Me Madam' can’t support much political reflection, or any reflection, really...The songs mostly backfire dramatically by forcing us to sympathize with characters, especially Adams, whom the book otherwise wishes us to treat as objects of surprisingly coarse satire."
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February 7th, 2019

"Sadly, Carmen Cusack doesn’t quite have the larger-than-life presence necessary to lift this flimsy star vehicle. She does, however, have a gorgeous voice and charm to spare, and these assets, along with Irving Berlin's terrific score and some deftly amusing supporting performances, make this 'Call Me Madam' enjoyable if not spectacular...For every joke that falls flat, there's a terrific song."
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February 7th, 2019

"What passed as 'political satire' in 1950 does not have quite the same bite in 2019 — at least not as seen in the flat and tiresome revival...While 'Call Me Madam' has at least four good songs, much of the rest is second-rate operetta pastiche and the book is drawn-out. The Encores! revival still could have made for charming entertainment, but it is hampered by tone-deaf, draggy direction by Casey Hushion and an ineffective lead performance by Carmen Cusack."
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February 7th, 2019

“’Call me Madam’ is breathing in new life in the 21st Century...Cusack's casual charm comes with a delightful drawl and spirited country-pop vocals...By no means a classic musical, ‘Call me Madam’ is nevertheless a classic style musical of its time, offering 1950s audiences some good laughs, some pleasing new tunes and a big star performance. And you didn't have to take out a loan or access a government program to afford tickets.”
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February 8th, 2019

“A wonderful performer in her own right, you can see and hear Cusack struggling to reshape the role to match her acting and singing style. It's not that her performance is boring or incompetent; it is just a forced fit that never catches hold...The same could be said for pretty much the entire cast...Encores! has long abandoned simple stagings of musicals in favor of well-wrought productions. This undercooked 'Call Me Madam,' while hardly a disaster, does not live up to its own standards.”
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February 7th, 2019

"It would take quite a fabricator to wax excessively enthusiastic about the Crouse-Lindsay script...What 'Call Me Madam' has in carloads is the Berlin score, undoubtedly tossed off in green-apple-quick time when—unlike today’s scores too often—melodic scores were expected and delivered...It could be said that 'Call Me Madam' is a period piece. It also could, and can, be said that, in this incarnation at least, it remains a joyfully entertaining piece."
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February 7th, 2019

"The new 'Call Me Madam' satisfactorily delivers what they used to call a good old-fashioned musical, with sly cracks from the jokebook interrupted by a parade of brightly tuneful but not especially relevant songs. This is accomplished in high fashion, with some enjoyably charming turns from the players...'Call Me Madam' is, yes, enjoyable and cotton candy to enthusiasts of the genre. But the holes are apparent...It’s the ministrations of choreographer Jones that most delight the crowd."
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February 7th, 2019

"Cusack soon makes the role of Sally, who is appointed to be ambassador to the tiny European duchy of Lichtenburg and ends up way too involved in its affairs - in every sense of the word - her own. She has a down-home way of speaking that is ideal for the Oklahoma-born heiress; a warmth that makes it easy to see why the ultra-suave Cosmo Constantine (the velvet-voiced Davis) would fall in love with her; and a strong yet supple voice that lends itself beautifully to numbers."
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February 8th, 2019

“I found the first act annoying, the songs overlong to the point of tedium. That said, the second act delivers...The Encores! orchestra moves stylishly through the rich and memorable magic of Berlin’s score. They’re wonderful, everything an orchestra ought to be...The orchestra remains the leading character throughout...The leads are reliable...Despite my first act issues, I’d buy a ticket — it was fun to be there.”
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February 8th, 2019

“Particularly agreeable, although not exactly politically correct musical that spoofs with a wink and smile...Charming and sweet...It’s an undeniable old-fashioned Lichtenburg treat that shouldn’t be missed. ‘Call Me Madam’ is joyful and fun and as directed with a skilled hand...even with the slowness of Act One and repetitive nature of its numerous reprises, this old classic can’t be ignored...As joyfully a night as you can hope for, honoring all that Encores! represents."
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February 10th, 2019

"With its typically smart concert style staging, almost at full production level, Encores! demonstrates how cleverly satirical the show was for its time, and it has some absolutely delightful Berlin songs to enjoy...Carmen Cusack makes the character come to life believably as she integrates the comedy with the romance that blossoms so that there is real feeling projected within the corny plot and her deft satirical interpretation...The cast and chorus work brighten the revival."
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February 7th, 2019

"Ms. Cusack is glamorous and goofy, channeling the musical comedy stylings of Donna Murphy, and has never sounded better in song after song...The supporting cast of principals is strong, too, most notably Mr. Gotay and Ms. Worsham...'Call Me Madam,' given a simple but well-performed production under the direction of Casey Hushion, is Encores! at its truest: a concert revival of a classic musical that would not otherwise be seen on stage again."
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February 10th, 2019

"This particular production unfortunately, suffers from numerous missteps...That's not to say there isn't a lot to like in the show. The entire cast projects an infectious enthusiasm in their performances and the Berlin score is a joy to hear...However all too often, this Encores! offering chugs along when it should soar and meanders when it should be tightly focused. It's not so much a bad production as a missed opportunity."
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