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Georama: An American Panorama Told on 3 Miles of Canvas (NYMF)

From 7 critic and 14 member reviews
Members say: Great singing, Clever, Absorbing, Funny, Entertaining

About the show

Part of the New York Musical Festival: In the 1850s John Banvard did more to elevate fine arts than any single American artist before him. This new musical tells his story. More…

Banvard was the most famous living painter in the world and the first millionaire artist, world-renowned for his three-mile long moving panorama celebrating the majesty of the Mighty Mississippi. Today, an examination of reference books will not turn up a single mention of his name. John Banvard, the greatest artist of his time, has been utterly obliterated by history. An official selection of the 2017 New York Musical Festival.


"This musical elegantly and humorously rides on the friction between art and commerce, truth and lies. Those themes come to the fore through Blair's outrageously entertaining portrayal of master showman P.T. Barnum, who is this musical's primary antagonist...Herrick and Schatz have composed a score as bittersweet as the story, full of breathtakingly gorgeous songs...For a dramatically insightful and melodic musical about a distinctly American figure, this is your best bet in NYMF." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"One of the most interesting shows at NYMF...This bio-musical is well written with an infectious score...The cast of six is highly talented and the projections make this show a winner...Griffith’s portrayal of Banvard is multi-layered, with emotional pockets that captivate the audience...This piece moves at a clip and allows you to feel as if you know each and every character and that a little part of you is in each one." Full Review


"A charming piece of Americana that explores idealism coming up against cynicism. It’s very well structured, amusing and thoughtful...Schatz’s lyrics are droll, passionate, and well crafted. His music is a catchy assortment of melodies ranging from blue grass to musical theater tunes...Hyler’s staging is straightforward but inspired...With higher production values and a larger ensemble, it could certainly be a full-fledged and entertaining musical of scope." Full Review

DC Metro Theater Arts

"A fascinating slice of Americana with a quick pace, a balance of humor and heart, an authentic design, and a terrific cast that delivers the slightly fictionalized story and songs with genuine charm...All of the real-life personalities and original songs come to life with the cast’s engaging characterizations and expressive vocals...A thoroughly entertaining reaffirmation of the life and talent of John Banvard, which not only delights and educates audiences, but restores his reputation." Full Review

Woman Around Town

"Songs have an early American, frontier feel, both hoedown and ballad. Even with only two (skilled, multifaceted) musicians, it’s easy to imagine full scoring. Unfussy lyrics illuminate character and carry the story without falling into the trap of utilizing rhyme for rhyme’s sake. Melodies may not be memorable, but are engaging...The piece is well cast...Hyler’s direction is as imaginative as it can be on a near empty stage...This is a worthy show." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"'Georama' strives to give substance to John Banvard...however, the scenes provide little of essence about his life...The talented cast grapples with their characters with care and considerable authenticity...Some of the music is derivative and the lyrics contain an abundance of repetitive rhyming. The musical numbers are, however, pleasing and heartfelt...As a work in progress, 'Georama' needs some attention by its creators; however, at its core, it is a fascinating story." Full Review

Nitelife Exchange

"A serious-minded exploration of honorable art for art’s sake versus selfish, mercenary interests by others. While it’s admirable, its rather heavy-handed approach may make for a more uphill battle in its road to commercial success...It works, at least to a degree, as directed by West Hyler...I found myself not consistently engaged, wanting to get beyond some basics of the plot...The show has some very attractive songs with a suitable Americana feel and heartwarming musical theatre tapestry." Full Review

Absorbing, Ambitious, Clever, Great singing, Fantastic!

See it if For an interesting story. For belly laughs. For wonderful singing. For memorable songs. Really good music. 2 musicians-4 instruments.

Don't see it if There is no reason not to see it! I had no interest in going, but nothing else was available, so I went. I LOVED IT ! ! ! You will too.

Historical, Educational, Funny, Intelligent, My nymf favorite

See it if you find a solid, real story with a historical bent satisfying. This show illuminates not only Banvard, but PT Barnum and NYC history.

Don't see it if you require the snap crackle and pop shows increasingly rely on to attract an audience. This is a simple tale told well, and I loved it.

Funny, Great singing, Intelligent, Masterful, Quirky

See it if you want your soul to soar.

Don't see it if you are a curmudgeon.

Polished, Absorbing, Clever, Historically based, Great singing

See it if you possibly can (you can't; it ended). Impressive show, w/ fascinating premise, snappy book, clever lyrics, great performances. Well staged

Don't see it if you hate musicals. Geo is a classic example. Qn Victoria song's a misstep; lyric is stupid laugh as is drag. Annoying anachronisms/swearing.

Also Georama is almost ready for prime time. A fascinating premise (Banvard... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing

See it if you enjoy learning about an artist who was very inventive and honest. The staging and backdrops are wonderful as is the cast. Great lyrics.

Don't see it if you do not like musicals or you prefer flashy musicals.

Entertaining, Great singing, Strong theme, Music repetitive, Good characters

See it if You can envision the larger production this deserves and like American mythical stories.

Don't see it if Anachronistic book and lyrics bother you.

Also Apparently scaled back from the St Louis production. The making of an ... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You enjoy a small cast, and musicians that are also part of the storytelling, and shows based on true stories.

Don't see it if You don't like middle America stories.

Great singing, Ambitious, Great acting

See it if you're a fan of Jillian Louis, PJ Griffith, Randy Blair, or anyone in the cast - they're all terrific. Book, music, & lyrics all fit.

Don't see it if you want a full scale production with a large cast, lavish production numbers, or thoroughly developed story line.

Ambitious, Entertaining, Quirky, Well sung & acted, Confusing

See it if Entertaining saga of forgotten "motion picture" pioneer & his huckster "patron" Book more memorable than music; georama steals the show

Don't see it if Uncertain tonality causes confusion; Banvard's story usurped by PT Barnum But Griffith & Blair have a way with material despite glib lyrics

Great singing, Talanted cast, Small-scale, Simple songs, Cute

See it if you enjoy small-scale shows with simple melodies and talanted cast. Nicely made. The music is melodic but nonambitious.

Don't see it if you expect a huge Brodaway hit. This one is small-scale and rather intimate.

Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Brilliant

See it if If you want to see an incredibly well-crafted and wonderful small cast musical and learn a thing or two about history along the way!

Don't see it if You require an orchestral score and flashy choreography

Clever, Great acting, Funny, Great writing, Must see

See it if You want to be entertained and see a beautifully written and performed show. The songs are fantastic with brilliant lyrics.

Don't see it if Just see it!

Hilarious, Great writing, Must see, Masterful, Riveting

See it if You love a good story and songs that you will be singing for days.

Don't see it if If you are not up for a good time and don't want to learn a little history along the way.

Also Great story with some history about a great forgotten artist. Songs we... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Resonant, Great singing

See it if You love intelligent, well-written theater performed by world-class performers. A story from our history that is absurdly relevant today

Don't see it if you don't like musical theater.