Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown W

Desperate Measures

From 1,063 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great singing

About the show

After a hit run at the York Theatre, this madcap, wild musical, set in the Old West and inspired by Shakespeare's 'Measure for Measure,' re-opens at New World Stages for an open-ended run. More…

When the dangerously handsome Johnny Blood’s life is on the line after a saloon brawl, he must put his fate into the hands of a colorful cast of characters including a mysterious sheriff, an eccentric priest, a sleazy governor, a saloon girl gone good, and a nun out of the habit. Before the sun sets, will they pull off the greatest caper yet? Will justice prevail or will Johnny be left hanging? 'Desperate Measures' won the 2018 Outer Critics Circle Award for Best New Off-Broadway Musical, and the Drama Desk Awards for Best Music and Lyrics.

2h 0m | Already closed | New World Stages (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (1063)

MEMBERS SAY:

Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Delightful, Great singing
87
Avg Score

91
Delightful, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Funny

See it if You like smart funny well written, well acted, clever and well sung musicals. It’s completely accessible though based on Shakespeare.

Don't see it if You’re looking for drama or a play. This is good silly fun.

88
Funny, Sharp, Touching, Good diction!, Tight

See it if you like lean musicals with good bones, a brain & a heart.

Don't see it if you prefer your musicals to have elaborate sets & lots of extras.

Also Shakespearean that I am, I have been a bit wary of seeing “Desperate M... Read more Read less

81
Rollicking remake of shake's "measure for measure" as a very entertaining musical send-up of a western

See it if knee slapping tunes/clever lyrics/western dialect in hilarious rhyming couplets, solid cast esp Conor Ryan-so smart 2 act so dumb

Don't see it if opposite of subtle; off-Bdway production like this does not have pizzaz provided by Bdway dance/set/costumes; voices not top-notch

Also Musical captures Shake's play's sharp criticism of hypocrisy of politi... Read more Read less

71
Good singing, Entertaining, Indulgent, Insipid, Overrated

See it if It was entertaining and there were some good numbers, but it just didn't seem up to New York standards to me & I didn't find it that funny.

Don't see it if You want a polished show. It was fine but very simple which might be some of the charm (for some) but not so much for me in this case.

Also I loved the strip tease number in the first act. Quite surprising and ... Read more Read less

86
Hilarious, Creative, Great fun

See it if Will’s Measure for Measure set in the West / Sung in rhyme, it’s a fun-filled fest / The Bard as farce is really the best.

Don't see it if You think it’s a sacrilege to alter Shakespeare.

78
Clever, Hilarious, Quirky

See it if you'd like a rootin' tootin' depiction of Shakespeare with very strong comic performances.

Don't see it if you only like your Shakespeare straight, and you can't handle silliness. This is a lot of fun.

80
Funny, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you're tired of the traditional commercial Broadway fare and want to see something quirky and fun.

Don't see it if overly rhyme-y dialogue and songs bother you. You're looking for a serious musical.

79
Clever, Ambitious, Great singing, Funny, Quirky

See it if you enjoy Shakespeare simplified, and moved to a different local (the old west). Almost too clever adaptation of Measure for Measure

Don't see it if you are a Shakespeare purist or you cannot check your disbelief at the door.

83
Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Refreshing, Quirky

See it if Shakespeare with the western twist. Catchy songs & dancing. Ingredients to produce an entertaining theater experience.

Don't see it if If you are only interested in dramas or traditional musicals.

80
Delightful, Great writing, Raunchy

See it if You enjoy silly, campy musicals. You like puns and funny rhymes.

Don't see it if You want a even cast (some are hard to understand). You want a well paced story.

83
Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Great singing, Great acting

See it if A delightful mashup of Shakespeare and the American Wild West! Peppy songs, terrific cast, cool costumes and sets

Don't see it if Of course you should see this! Add to your Shakespeare repertoire in a painless way. It’s a fun night!

92
Ambitious, Great writing, Hilarious, Intelligent, Must see

See it if You like musicals, you like Shakespeare, you like westerns, you're a nun, you're a prostitute... There's a little there for everyone.

Don't see it if You're mean spirited and don't like having fun.

91
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Great acting

See it if Very enjoyable and entertaining musical. The music and songs are great.The cast is superb. Wonderful acting,singing.

Don't see it if You are not a fan of light, western themed musicals

100
Fun and entertaining, Sharply tongue in cheek, Terrific, memorable score, Outstanding ensemble cast and voices, Clever and original

See it if You're up for a fast, fun musical farce with a superb ensemble cast, memorable songs, great voices, orchestrations, snappy direction & sets.

Don't see it if Just go—fun, clever, entertaining, silly & relevant, a terrific musical update (and arguably an improvement) of Measure For Measure. Go.

Also In another economic time, or with more advertising dollars, Desperate ... Read more Read less

88
Hilarious, Quirky, Entertaining, Great acting, Delightful

See it if if you can suspend your usual critical paradigms and enjoy an outrageously silly romp that sends you out with a big smile on your face!

Don't see it if you don't like musicals and/or you only like serious, "important" theater.

91
Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Hilarious, Funny

See it if You are looking for a small intimate musical with great singing and an interesting book. The plot is Measure for Measure set in the old west

Don't see it if you are looking for a big brassy musical

85
Entertaining, Fun, Broad comedy, Winning cast

See it if An easy and entertaining evening of music and comedy loosely based on Shakespeare's Measure for Measure.

Don't see it if More like a good original college musical, dialogue is rhymed couplets, music is tuneful, acting is broad everyone is having fun.

Also Everyone in the theater had a good time, the conceit was clever and I ... Read more Read less

88
Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging, Great acting, Hilarious

See it if I has a delightful time and would like to see it again. Very cute plot, wonderful characterizations - you can't go wrong with this one.

Don't see it if If you don't like cute, sweet, light hearted shows.

70
Fluffy, Overrated, Insipid

See it if you like fluffy comedic musicals with decent performers and (great singing), catchy tunes, and not overly concerned about substance.

Don't see it if you don't like pratfalls, caricature acting, over acting, and foil thin plots.

Also A Shakespearean Measure to Measure set in the old west, with hokey mus... Read more Read less

100
Entertaining, Great writing, Hilarious, Refreshing, Raunchy

See it if you like Shakespeare with a twist. This super funny script exceeded expectations.

Don't see it if the thought of yet another rendition of Shakespeare makes you sick, if you like serious thoughtful plays, or if you don't like to laugh,

81
Clever, Delightful, Funny, Great singing, Very entertaining

See it if you haven't seen it yet. No changes from its run at the York. Very cleverly written entirely in rhymed couplets. A little bawdy.

Don't see it if if you don't like broad humor.

75
Overrated; but still fun, Entertaining

See it if you want some summer fluff that's shallow yet fun.

Don't see it if you don't like silly.

89
Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you love well written different takes on Shakespeare with great music and a fun plot. It's an up close and personal entertaining show.

Don't see it if you love Broadway prices or grandeur or can't stand to watch riffs on Shakespeare because you prefer the real thing.

78
Clever, Entertaining, Great writing, Intelligent, Extremely broad

See it if you like very broad, but well-written/structured musical comedy that is both clever and corny in equal measure.

Don't see it if corny and silly are not your thing. The book & lyrics, in particular, are extremely clever, but the playing style is very broad.

75
Ambitious, Entertaining, Refreshing, Quirky, Intelligent

See it if great staging

Don't see it if Don't see it if you don't musicals.


June 22nd, 2018
“Hilarious and tuneful show...Cleverly written in rhyming couplets that flow easily into song...It’s all played for silliness and director/choreographer Bill Castellino's slam-bang production, framed by designer James Morgan's sight gag-laden set, takes full advantage of a strong singing cast tha...
read more
June 14th, 2018
"After a slowish start that sets up the situation, 'Desperate Measures' expertly mixes high and low comedy...Surely the direction of Castellino played a key role in the light touch maintained throughout...The show's hallmark is its good taste. By taking the premise at face value and playing it fo...
read more
June 13th, 2018
“Purely fun, but as the role of art as an invitation to activism becomes more essential than ever, there is little escape to be found in a musical in which a woman considers marrying an authoritarian figure as a better solution than fending on her own...The musical isn't without its charms, most ...
read more
June 13th, 2018
"A constant smile-inducer of a musical...A tuneful, amusing, constantly surprising score...There’s virtually no end of encomia that can be poured on the cast members’ heads…Ryan has a strong voice—who doesn’t in this ensemble?—but he also is physically adept, constantly using his body for clownis...
read more

Related content


Cast & Creatives (13)