New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

Come Light My Cigarette

From 7 critic and 56 member reviews
Members say: Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow, Banal

About the show

This suspenseful new musical tells the story of a young actress who has complicated relationships with her father and ex-lover. More…

In 'Come Light My Cigarette,' the actress is driven to confront these two powerful influences in her life: Her father, with whom she shares a volatile and shameful past, and her ex-lover, a powerful and controlling woman who was instrumental in making her a success.

1h 30m | Already closed | Theatre at St. Clement's (Midtown W)


“But Cohen the composer is another matter entirely--his jazz-inflected songs make ‘Come Light My Cigarette’ a gem of a chamber musical. As more and more of the songs are revealed, time and again one is reminded of ‘Trouble in Tahiti.’ And like that classical Leonard Bernstein musical, ‘Come Light My Cigarette’ appears to be set in the 1950's, which the music evokes. So do the busy but impressive set and costumes, both designed by Craig Napoliello.” Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"It fails to conjure up any connection to the magical sensual style of the classic cinematic Hollywood crime dramas from the 1940s. It falls in on itself as it tries to blend artificiality and melodrama with realism and authenticity, only to land in a confusing pile of implausibility...What this show needs more than anything is an alternate vision from a strong-minded director who is able to craft this show into something that is cohesive and musically interesting with some wild creativity." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"Just as Vikki gets no respite from her suffering, neither do we—the performance isn’t interrupted by intermission, and Cohen doesn’t divert us with any lighter side stories...The songs...cast a sleepy spell over the production and seem to drift into each other, leaving the detached and ghostly feel of early black-and-white cinema. There’s a certain feeling of numbness and lack of direction, and we feel lost along with Vikki—wondering if a resolution is possible at all." Full Review

Off Off Online

"The three performers have pleasant voices and sufficient technique to ensure that the show is more tolerable when they’re singing than when they’re not...The turgid libretto never gains much velocity...Sitting among spectators who were drop-jawed at the vulgarity and structural messiness of this musical...Isn’t good enough to be categorized as bad...It’s one of those disasters that the truest theater aficionados pride themselves on catching just in the nick of time." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"May be the biggest lulu of all...Wanders so badly, sometimes from line to line, that you can get fixated, wondering what everyone involved thinks he or she is doing...Whole sections of 'Come Light My Cigarette' sound exactly like something Allen Ginsberg threw up after a bad LSD trip...'Come Light My Cigarette' is a classic hot-August special, the kind of entertainment that is all but guaranteed to vanish by Labor Day, when the professionals come back." Full Review

Broadway Blog

"So appallingly bad that it’s difficult to know where to begin with its excoriation...Discussions of rape and incest are glossed over by uninspired songs that feel unbearably endless...What is most troubling about the show is writer and director Arnold L. Cohen’s tone deafness. Within the show’s first 15 minutes, he manages to offend every social group possible...Cohen’s attempt at hard-boiled murder mystery dialogue never takes off...I think it’s time to put this cigarette out." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“There are countless reasons to place a red circle with a diagonal slash over this crushingly banal, dramatically inept, dully plotted, musically bland attempt at a noirish, three-character musical...Cohen often provides exposition through monologues spoken to no one in particular rather than in dialogue between characters; just as bad, his sentences are larded with pseudo-poetic claptrap in place of believable language…Cohen's direction fails to inspire any sense of conflict or suspense.” Full Review

Slow, Indulgent, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if You want to see a play about a tough life

Don't see it if You have something else to do


See it if You want to see some good acting but aren't looking for an entertaining story

Don't see it if You don't want to see a slow show which is confusing at times.

Doesn't work at all.

See it if Don't

Don't see it if Just don't see it!

Heavy-handed, Excruciating, Self-indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you have a peculiar fascination with seeing first-hand what doesn't really work. To their credit, the actors do their best to give it life.

Don't see it if you want a show that has any focus or nuance at all. This script tries to take on everything, so ultimately it has nothing much to say.

Cliched, Confusing, Excruciating, Indulgent, Banal

See it if A few pluses; evocative set & lighting & captivating piano playing Late cameo by Tuckerman as love-lorn lesbian Broadway producer well done

Don't see it if Not the salacious material that's bothersome it's the ineptitude of it's handling. Writer/director Cohen gives no bio in program - nuf said

Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Great staging

See it if You don't know the difference between good & bad theater.

Don't see it if You want to see a play where something actually happens & the music nicely compeiments the action.

Cliched, Edgy, Excruciating, Slow, Great acting

See it if There’s a bit of morbid curiosity in you for edgy theater

Don't see it if Plays that try to shock by tackling clerical pedophilia, incest, addiction, corrupt accountants and (gasp!) homosexuality don’t interest you

Also I was very sorry I didn’t like this, because the actors and pianist we... Read more Read less

Confusing, Excruciating

See it if you like dark shows. The story is confusing and not well developed. Singing is difficult to listen to.

Don't see it if want a light, happy show that you can understand.

Disappointing, Confusing, Slow, Poorly written, Nice scenery, costumes & lighting

See it if you like to sit in a comfortable theater and enjoy production values

Don't see it if if you want to see a well written play.

Disappointing, boring,insulting

See it if I do NOT recommend . The actors are good but the material needs a lot of work.The piano player was great

Don't see it if Don't see until the playwright knows what he wants to say /workshops it /and gets a director.Some of the music is good.

Confusing, Disappointing

See it if you adore musicals. I would not see it as it wasn't a good piece of work about an actress and the people around her.

Don't see it if you expect to be entertained. This is a complicated show where the lead character is confused about her dad. Not really worth the effort.

Excruciating, Disappointing, Slow, Banal

See it if The worst musical I have ever seen at a NYC off Broadway theater. The set was done well!

Don't see it if Horrible story and horrible music

Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if you wish to spend 90 long minutes wondering why you are in the theater and not somewhere else. Stupid story, poor singing, bad characters.

Don't see it if you like a good story plot, interesting characters and good lyrics.

Terrible, Ill conceived, Unintelligible, Poorly written & constructed, Inaudible dialogue at 20 feet

See it if You’re up for seeing what might possibly be the worst theatrical event you will ever see.

Don't see it if You’d prefer a pleasant, fun, intelligent or well-designed and executed evening of theatre.

Also It’s hard to convey the full flavor of this project, how offensive, il... Read more Read less

Confusing, Excruciating, Indulgent

See it if You want to be entertained in any way. You can not hear the spoken words and the sung words half the time.

Don't see it if just don't see it

Confusing, Disappointing, Indulgent, Insipid, Excruciating

See it if You want to profusely apologize to your friends for making them get dressed that night.

Don't see it if If you don’t want to waste 90 minutes if your life. It’s a confusing, tries-to-hard, piece that misses every mark.

Confusing, Excruciating, Offensive, Painful, Embarrassing

See it if you like a man praising rape, pedophilia, incest, &anti-semitism. Rest of the show is not any better. Best thing was the breeze on my neck.

Don't see it if you DON'T like incest, rape, offensive language, etc.

Confusing, Excruciating, Dreadful

See it if you want to find out how truly dreadful a play can be.

Don't see it if you want a well written, thought provoking play. One of the worst, most offensive, plays I have ever seen.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if Every theater, and future theater, producer should see this "show" and learn what not to do or produce.

Don't see it if This musical, yes, musical about a hooker and the gay father who raped her repeatedly as a child was ARTLESS and even, shockingly boring.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if you enjoy being tortured in increments of 90 minutes at a time

Don't see it if if you actually appreciate the artistry which goes into making a musical theater work of art.

Also Come Light My Cigarette is a MISTEP of a production on MANY levels. De... Read more Read less

Clever, Enchanting, Exquisite

See it if don't miss!

Don't see it if great performances, writing, and all! brava!

Cliched, Insipid, Slow, Thought-provoking

See it if you like some nice piano work and a decent set.

Don't see it if Theme is nasty.. There is no one to like. Writer does not even post his/her true name

Ambitious, Entertaining, Absorbing, Healing potential

See it if If you want to live in a world where people actually talk about sexual abuse, trauma, and domestic violence and the after effects. Music!!!

Don't see it if If you are traumatized by the discussion of sexual abuse, rape, domestic violence, or by the portrayal of homosexuality.

Disappointing, Excruciating, Confusing, Slow, Banal

See it if you know an actor in the show and want to give them your support. The acting and singing is well done.

Don't see it if you're discriminating with the kind of theater you see.

Cliched, Indulgent, Bad writing, Good singers

See it if You know someone in the show and want to help them with support through this awful script.

Don't see it if You want to see a coherent, thought provoking or original story.

Cast & Creatives (10)