First Daughter Suite
Closed 2h 30m
First Daughter Suite
71

First Daughter Suite NYC Reviews and Tickets

71%
(55 Reviews)
Positive
60%
Mixed
31%
Negative
9%
Members say
Great acting, Ambitious, Intelligent, Original, Clever

About the Show

The Public Theater presents a historical fantasia by Tony nominee Michael John LaChiusa, following the inner lives and dreams of America's best-known daughters; a follow-up to his 1993 musical 'First Lady Suite.'

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Member Reviews (55)

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962 Reviews | 338 Followers
65
Great performers, Fun subject matter, Ambitious, Unusual, Difficult score

See it if you love LaChiusa's work. FDS is highly polished: beautifully staged, well acted/sung, great production values. Stories are wild fictions.

Don't see it if you don't like LaC's music or are easily confused. Knowledge of the characters helps in following the plots. Still, terrific performances. Read more

593 Reviews | 264 Followers
72
Ambitious partly successful musical fantasy

See it if you enjoy a variety of musical genres to portray fraught First Lady/Daughter relationships; Nancy Reagan/Patti Davis scene is memorable

Don't see it if you want to see a musical that is more than a series of unrelated skits, and prefer sonorous melodies to atonal recitative

585 Reviews | 220 Followers
69
Slow, Quirky, Indulgent, Excruciating, Original

See it if You love Michael John LaChiusa and will see anything he writes.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy more experimental music theater.

456 Reviews | 256 Followers
95
Absorbing, Intelligent, Great acting, Thought-provoking, Enchanting

See it if you enjoy the work of Michael John LaChiusa, especially "First Lady Suite>. you enjoy fine performances from a group of fine actresses.

Don't see it if you are not a history or politics fan. Also, if you shy away from unconventional theatre.

455 Reviews | 126 Followers
68
Quirky, Original, Entertaining, Funny, Slow

See it if You are interested in seeing musical portrayals of some of our First Ladies.

Don't see it if You don't like satire and shows done in skit form.

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
65
Original, Dated, Great staging, Ambitious

See it if You are over 50 or are a Presidential Historian into kitsch. Two acts divided into 4 pieces, last piece is the best and most contemporary

Don't see it if hate cutesy impersonations that may be true

273 Reviews | 473 Followers
70
Ambitious, Great writing, Thought-provoking, Great singing

See it if you want to see an all-star cast perform beautifully orchestrated songs or if you enjoy the work of Michael John LaChiusa.

Don't see it if you don't understand the historical context or don't want to see a series of largely unrelated musical vignettes.

216 Reviews | 908 Followers
78
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Intelligent

See it if you like a historical story told in segments- this was a surprisingly wonderful experience

Don't see it if you don't have some basic knowledge in the families portrayed- you will miss some of the meaning

Critic Reviews (32)

The New York Times
October 21st, 2015

"The limitations of the chamber work suit Mr. LaChiusa, whose large-scale musicals have sometimes seemed to sprawl out of shape and deflate. Working within the confines of this production’s self-contained vignettes, his music — and his talent — seems all the larger for being reined in. Like his captive characters, 'First Daughter Suite' thinks — and feels — way outside the box."
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Time Out New York
October 21st, 2015

"'First Daughter Suite' may focus more on the girls who grew up under extraordinary circumstances in the White House, but the spouses still fascinate LaChiusa. Whether we share his obsession is another matter...While there is sparkling, ruminative music and witty lyrics, each piece goes on for 5 or 10 minute too long. Still, for political junkies, there’s fun to be had."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 21st, 2015

"The four sections of his latest musical 'First Daughter Suite' are, in order of appearance, smart, laborious, awful, and sublime...There is little that holds the evening together, despite a certain amount of thematic appliqué...In the end, these suites, being episodic, cannot dredge deep meaning the way narrative works can. Still, if it takes Amy Carter and Patti Davis to get to Barbara Bush, that’s a compromise I can live with."
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 21st, 2015

"Although the evening features plenty of emotionally and comically resonant moments along the way — familiarity with the historical figures depicted helps greatly — 'First Daughter Suite' is ultimately too trivial and self-indulgent to register as much more than a curiosity. And while LaChiusa's lyrics are often witty, his recitative-heavy score is mostly tedious and repetitive, its high style too often jarring with the sophomoric silliness of the proceedings."
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The Wall Street Journal
October 22nd, 2015

"Kirsten Sanderson’s staging is simple to a fault, but the ensemble cast is so good that it doesn’t matter. Ms. Testa also gets to sing the best number in the show, an extended duet whose softly undulating harmonies evoke Sondheim’s distinctive style without succumbing to mere derivativeness. The six-piece pit band lacks drive but that’s a counsel of perfection. In every other way, 'First Daughter Suite' is a little masterpiece."
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Deadline
October 21st, 2015

"'First Daughter Suite' is absolutely enchanting, musically and dramatically...There’s enough sadness and whimsy in 'First Daughter Suite,' all kept deftly in balance, to leave us wanting more. I didn’t want it to end."
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AM New York
October 21st, 2015

"It's a safe bet that 'First Daughter Suite' will not go on to achieve the commercial success of 'Fun Home' or 'Hamilton,' both of which also originated at the Public Theater -- but that's not to say it wasn't worth producing, at least from an artistic perspective...'First Daughter Suite' may be uneven and tense, but it is often compelling."
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Theatermania
October 21st, 2015

"LaChiusa and director Kristen Sanderson run away with artistic liberties, just staying on the right side of the line between genius and insanity...LaChiusa's more perspicacious audiences may be able to glean some profundity from the absurdity, but even if no deeper meaning runs beneath the waters of their sailing adventure, it is the gold standard of unadulterated theatricality. And after 44 executive reigns, we've hopefully learned by now that first families are nothing if not theatrical."
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