Already closed | 1h 35m | East Village

Carmen Jones

From 226 member  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. More…

As the Second World War rages, parachute maker Carmen Jones wages her own quarrel involving an airman and a boxer. Tony Award winner Anika Noni Rose ('Caroline, or Change'; 'A Raisin in the Sun') will play the title role in this production directed by CSC Artistic Director John Doyle ('The Color Purple') and choreographed by Bill T. Jones ('Fela!').

1h 35m | Already closed | Classic Stage Company (East Village)

Member Reviews (226)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing, Great acting, Must see
88
Avg Score

84
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.

75
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.

98
Clever, Delightful, Great singing, Great staging, Relevant

See it if see also

Don't see it if see also

Also Fantastic production of a missed classic (for oh so long} Super cast o... Read more Read less

50
Dull, Tedious, Bad staging, Great singing

See it if you tend to like what John Doyle does to shows.

Don't see it if you want to see a show stripped of its physical storytelling, which hampers its emotional storytelling too.

92
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!]

83
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"

91
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

87
Great acting, Great singing, Masterful, Riveting

See it if you enjoy operatic singing, Bizet’s Carmen, or tragic love stories. The entire cast, led by Anika Noni Rose, is at the top of its game.

Don't see it if you don’t enjoy period pieces or shows performed in the round.

68
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.

89
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.

90
Absorbing, Entertaining, Exquisite, Great singing, Intelligent

See it if you want to see an excellent production of a rarely revived musical. The entire cast has gorgeous voices.

Don't see it if just see it!!! This is a major theatrical event.

Also Great to see Anika Noni Rose back on stage again—and she doesn't disap... Read more Read less

92
Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Absorbing, Sublime

See it if You want to see a great ensemble act and sing together to create the best musical that I have seen this season. Based on Bizet’s Carmen .

Don't see it if You do not like theater in the round, or the subject matter of doomed love. No other excuse!

Also John Doyle’s production of Carmen Jones is as Outstanding.... Read more Read less

79
Disappointing, Entertaining, Overrated, Slow, Good singing

See it if you like semi operatic voices, an interesting story, a modern take on Carmen in an intimate theater setting.

Don't see it if you prefer more extravagant costumes/sets/ lighting/larger stage, true operatic voices & more complex character development.

94
Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Plot is hard to swallow

See it if you like opera. The performances and staging are incredible.But like all operas, the plot is weak.Motivations don't make sense.

Don't see it if you are a pickle.As much as I hate opera,I enjoyed this. I did walk out muttering under my breath about the stupidity of the story.

90
Absorbing, Great singing, Intense, Riveting, Must see

See it if you like high quality, absorbing musical productions.

Don't see it if you can't empathize with people who make terrible choices when it comes to love.

93
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great acting, Must see

See it if combination opera/musical theater. Bizet's amazing music with Hammerstein's wonderful lyrics; passionate work done in theater-in-the round

Don't see it if You don't like minimalist staging or you want Carmen to take place in a bull ring (takes place in a parachute factory)

Also the intimacy of this staging accentuates the passion even more.... Read more Read less

77
Great singing, Entertaining, Ambitious, Classic

See it if you want to see a very scaled down version of the show performed by outstanding singer, but with a minimal cast and almost no scenery.

Don't see it if u want to see it performed as it was written as a big, operatic production without actors playing multi parts that sometimes were confusing.

90
Absorbing, Great singing, Romantic, Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you love Carmen and want to see it transformed to the WWII South with an ensemble of incredible singers led by Anika Noni Rose

Don't see it if you are an opera hater or a purist

69
Disappointing, Great singing, Overrated

See it if nicely sung performances in a stripped-down and cut-down version of a show most people don't know

Don't see it if story is not that strong even with the cuts

88
Great singing, Great acting, Intense, Masterful, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a really well-done rethinking of Carmen by Oscar Hammerstein. Great singing is an understatement. They were fantastic.

Don't see it if You're a purist who can't handle a change in Carmen. Of course, if you're such a purist, you wouldn't like Carmen.

90
Great staging, Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Ambitious

See it if you even have to kill someone in order to obtain a ticket to this theatrical event.

Don't see it if that thought of missing out on a John Doyle directed production doesn't make you rethink attending your parent's funeral.

Also CSC's Masterful production of Bizet's Carmen Jones is a true stroke of... Read more Read less

90
Amazing voices, Simple yet effective staging, Intimate, Exquisite

See it if You are a fan of Bizet's wonderful opera (who isn't?) and want to see a different take on it.

Don't see it if You're in the mood for a comedy.

Also What a wonderful cast! Their voices blew me away. Anika Nomi Rose play... Read more Read less

92
Absorbing, Great singing, Big, Intimate, Powerful

See it if You enjoy sublime operatic singing in an intimate setting. Everyone is stellar.

Don't see it if You want to understand the lyrics. I found them lost as opera lyrics can be. The story is familiar. Refresh your memory if necessary.

Also Let them sing you to heaven.

91
Great singing, Entertaining, Intelligent, Ambitious

See it if An all-star African-American troupe...powerful, masterful singing. Scaled down production looks large, John Doyle.

Don't see it if Blending of the opera and musical theatre worlds can alienate or invite ... up to you. See it.

90
Great singing, Great staging, Must see, Romantic, Delightful

See it if You are a fan of Doyle's style or of the classic music of Carmen. Amazing performances -- singing, dancing, acting.

Don't see it if You are not a of opera-like productions.

Also What a wonderful production and ensemble!


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...
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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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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 se...
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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...
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