Carmen Jones
Closed 1h 35m
Carmen Jones

Carmen Jones NYC Reviews and Tickets

(226 Reviews)
Members say
Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great acting, Must see

About the Show

Using the score from Bizet’s opera 'Carmen,' this adaptation by Oscar Hammerstein II resets the story with an all African-American cast. CSC's presents the first major New York revival since its Broadway debut.

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Member Reviews (226)

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913 Reviews | 928 Followers
Great singing, Intelligent, Great score, Ageless

See it if you like Bizet's music, opera and a great deal of drama! Fantastic singers! Great adaptation of the ​original story.

Don't see it if The bareness of the stage has become tedious at Classic Stage. Can barely tell one production from the other anymore.

891 Reviews | 259 Followers
Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Refreshing, Delightful

See it if you want to enjoy an excellent cast bring this story to life with powerful performances, acting and singing in an intimate theater.

Don't see it if you want to miss an important story with great music that is probably the best musical off Broadway this season.

716 Reviews | 219 Followers
Dated, Great singing, Slow, Clever, Contrived

See it if You enjoy classical music from the romantic period circa 1875. Excellent vocals. Sung/spoken in English and set in 1940s Chicago.

Don't see it if Classical opera music from 1875 is not your thing. Story is not believable. Joe's choices are hard to fathom. Minimalist set.

716 Reviews | 157 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great singing, Great acting, Must see

See it if you are curious about how Bizet's music works in this context, want to hear great music, see fine perfs & be absorbed by plot.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of Bizet's music or repelled by idea of it being used in a Broadway style musical, don't like 95-minute shows, no programs

677 Reviews | 190 Followers
Great singing, Lively, Refreshing, Riveting, Rarely revived

See it if you want to hear some of the most exquisite singing & see the most buoyant, vivid acting in the most imaginative theatre-opera mash-up ever.

Don't see it if you're not moved by the music of Bizet's Carmen and/or you expect high production values. [Tho Doyle's minimalist direction actually works!]

688 Reviews | 116 Followers
Ambitious, Great singing, Resonant, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if Doyle's scaled down, re-conceived version of Hammerstein opera adapt works suprisingly well Rose's Carmen sizzles as does Jones' choreo

Don't see it if Opera purists will cringe cuts, Doyle detractors will scorn the minimalism yet feels fresh & relevant anyway esp Carmen's "upward mobility"

506 Reviews | 1000 Followers
Clever, Delightful, Great singing, Great staging, Relevant

See it if see also

Don't see it if see also Read more

635 Reviews | 237 Followers
Great singing, Cliched, Dated, Disappointing, Slow

See it if You love opera, want to see a long-lost musical, or want to see a vibrant Anika Noni Rose returning to the stage.

Don't see it if You dislike incredibly dated musicals, or hate when a show drags out what’s essentially a 15-minute story to over 90 minutes.

Critic Reviews (39)

The New York Times
June 27th, 2018

"Sublime. There’s no point trying to resist such sheer, distilled beauty...In its own way, this production is as primal and breathlessly seductive as the great director Peter Brook’s 'La Tragédie de Carmen'...Electrically choreographed by Bill T. Jones; the audience feels what the characters feel, on the rutted road to a harrowing catharsis...Smashingly effective...Mr. Doyle and his team go with the magnetic flow and personality-shaping detail of the original composition."
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Time Out New York
July 12th, 2018

"Offers a physically spare but musically rich account of a historically significant curio. Hammerstein’s attempts at African-American vernacular are often clunky, and the staging fumbles a few key moments of violence. But the score is sung thrillingly...It’s hard not to be seduced."
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New Yorker
July 9th, 2018

“In Doyle, Rose may have found her ideal director, someone who lets her play to her strengths...It’s Rose’s investment in the character that illuminates the production from moment to moment...It’s a relief to see actors of color being allowed to concentrate on acting...Doyle doesn’t let us get sentimental about any of this. His staging, spare and quick but not rushed—only a great director could have fashioned this tight, ninety-five-minute jewel—shows Carmen as a woman who’s trying to survive."
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 27th, 2018

"It's rendered especially captivating by the long overdue return to musical theater of Rose in a sizzling take on the title role... Doyle has made the right choice in treating it as a history piece. He has also cast gifted singers...The production doesn't quite make a case for 'Carmen Jones' as a neglected classic, but the 75-year-old cross-genre mashup does emerge as a fabulous artifact that still thrums with irresistible vitality."
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The Wall Street Journal
June 28th, 2018

"A show that deserves to return to Broadway and will surely end up there...As for Doyle’s small-scale staging, performed by a cast of 10 and accompanied by a six-piece band, it is simple, subtle and wonderfully lucid, and features a performance of the title role by Anika Noni Rose for which the word 'hot' is a wan understatement...I wasn’t fully convinced by Doyle’s production, persuasive though it undeniably is. 'Carmen' isn’t a grand opera by any means, but it isn’t a chamber opera, either."
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AM New York
June 27th, 2018

"Rose gives an authoritative and sexy performance in the title role...While Hammerstein’s slang-style lyrics have not aged especially well, 'Carmen Jones' remains an unusual and fascinating historical artifact...While the opera’s blockbuster moments may feel underpowered, the arias and two-character scenes take on extended potency in the intimate environment. And all in all, the 10-member ensemble cast is vocally spotless."
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June 27th, 2018

“A master of revelatory and efficient revivals of classic musicals, Doyle gives 'Carmen Jones' the stripped-down treatment, forcing us to think about the porous border between romance and terror…We're taken in by the joy and enthusiasm that radiates from the cast as they seamlessly pull these elements together to tell a good story….That level of can-do resourcefulness is what makes 'Carmen Jones' both refreshing and impressive. It's the performances, however, that make it unforgettable.”
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July 7th, 2018

“Mounted with such an abundance of cuts...Unaware audience members can be misled into thinking that what they're seeing represents what the author created...The knockout performance of Rose makes the endeavor well worth a visit...So cutting 'Carmen Jones' down to its not especially compelling plot dilutes what Hammerstein originally achieved....Fortunately, Doyle has employed an exceptional ensemble of actor/singers who oftentimes sound downright glorious.”
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