New York City Center's Encores! presents a new staging of the 1989 Broadway hit, a kind of fever dream of life at the end of the Weimer Era at Berlin’s most glamorous crossroads. More…
A faded ballerina, a cat burglar posing as a Count, a businessman facing certain ruin, and a young secretary all-too-eager to become a movie star are all trapped by history, as the world careens into a great depression, and the revolving door keeps turning. Book your reservation for the mysterious and luxurious 'Grand Hotel.'
"A triumph...Rhodes delivers a smoothly polished production that blends near-constant choreographed movement and dazzling dance with seamless grace. Many of the visually arresting stage pictures are clearly indebted to Tune but not so slavishly that it feels like a mere carbon copy of the original...The cast may not be star-studded, but they are all first-rate...One of the finest Encores! productions in the organization's 25-year history." Full Review
"This production is ready for a well-deserving Broadway transfer now. All one hour and 45 minutes of this thrilling, appropriately intermissionless impressionistic snapshot of 1928 Berlin society is perfectly calibrated...under the exquisite and smart hand of director/choreographer Josh Rhodes who tightly weaves the non-stop action together with remarkable clarity and in service of a unified vision, capturing the spirit of desperate decadence that characterized the age." Full Review
"A reason for rejoicing...Nearly two hours of virtually non-stop, thrillingly dark musical theatre...Time has lent the score and book an endearing patina...The score can be appreciated for its echoes of and borrowings from the sounds of Weimar Germany and the soaring aspirations of its classic Broadway balladry...The invigorating staging...following much of the Tommy Tune template, and a vibrant cast afforded the musical another chance for evaluation." Full Review
"Not to be missed. The evening benefits from a number of main performances but the true star is most decidedly director-choreographer Josh Rhodes. This relative newcomer, has staged up a storm here; this 'Grand Hotel' is always afoot...The written material seems to play considerably better than it did back in 1989...What had been a disjointed score now sounds more of a piece...The cast is not star-filled, as these things go, but the performers impress." Full Review
"'Grand Hotel' may be just be best show in the series since Kander and Ebb’s 'Chicago' in 1996. Like that show, this is perfectly suited to the front-on, stripped back, single-set intimacy of Encores!...It’s a plot ripe with melodrama and amplified emotions, but composer/lyricists Wright, Forrest, and Yeston supply surging melodies that perfectly complement it. As rendered here...it is simply gorgeous...A cast of sublime Broadway performers give the show emotional and vocal heft." Full Review
"A sumptuous, haunted revival...The cast is quite good, and if a few of the performances here and there cannot outrun the memory of those who came before, for the most part the company is able to put their own indelible stamp on things...The director and choreographer Josh Rhodes has retained so many elements of Tommy Tune’s original staging that this is not so much a revival as un hommage." Full Review
"An iridescent production...You knew by the end of the opening number...that Rhodes had mastered the challenging, multi-faceted material...From that point the musical moves with astonishing fluency from one plot to another, keeping the pumping heart of the lavish hotel, designed to provide a relentless exhibition of sensory pleasures...Breathless pace...The dancing was superlative, especially in the ensemble numbers...There wasn't a lame duck in the cast." Full Review
"Taking up Mr. Tune’s mantle is Josh Rhodes whose direction and choreography energizes the patchy material in his own distinctive and arresting fashion. With a lackluster score and a stilted book, to succeed the show requires and receives theatrical razzle-dazzle...Rhodes incorporates creates several riveting balletic sequences including a sensational Bolero...Overall, he offers an inventive reconception...A triumph of physical staging, performance, and design over its weak elements." Full Review
"A fully polished production with a showstopper at every turn...Josh Rhodes, who directs and choreographs this production, embraces the spectral forces to pay a loving homage to the original, while still creating his own stylish version...The direction doesn't always escape the trappings of the material...But what Rhodes managed to bring out of his cast sets a new high bar. They make up for any failings of material in spades, turning out highlight after highlight." Full Review
"As wonderfully and decrepitely good in that first unveiling...This surprisingly Broadway-ready production, thrown together in the shortest of time frames...looks as polished and ready for its close-up as any show that has graced this series...It’s a gloriously lush production, dark but life-affirming...It deserves a longer life, but I’m not so sure this story has a desperate need to be told." Full Review
"The show has quite a few main characters which may make it hard for some to keep track of the story although the plot is engaging. The songs are nice, but none of them really stand out. City Center Encore's production of the show was very appealing. The acting was good. Brandon Uranowitz...was one of the standout performers in this production...The singing voices were all beautiful. The dancing...was exceptional. All in all, it was a top-notch production." Full Review
"The visuals supplied by Tune acted as an additional method of authorship, enhancing material that might not be as effective without such a strong directorial hand. The score to 'Grand Hotel' is generally a good one...The book succeeds in the difficult task of presenting numerous characters in intertwining plots...The dramatic impact doesn't hit quite as hard as it might with more time. But nevertheless, this week's City Center mounting is a lovely showcase for some fine performances." Full Review
"The staging is sharp, the pace is swift, and the physical production is dazzling, but, as was true of Tune's efforts, they only serve to gloss over the inherent flaws in the piece. One major liability remains the show's spotty score...Despite Peter Stone's efforts, the book to 'Grand Hotel' remains diffuse, with far too many minor characters taking up valuable stage time...That said, there are still moments of great joy to be found." Full Review
"One of the most sumptuous pieces of eye candy ever to glitter from the City Center stage. As for what churns beneath its opulent surface, it’s still a rather dreary slog...Rhodes’s production isn’t grim, but it’s oddly uninvolving, and only some of the cast members emanate the vivid magnetism that is a musical’s life blood...Rhodes is a skilled traffic cop, and his choreography is appropriately stylish throughout...Think of it as a glossy tabloid set to swelling violins." Full Review
"This version in particular had a set which harked back to the original with polished staging, nice choreography and impressive costumes. A real opportunity to revisit and reassess this piece...The book is not good and quite scattered...The enjoyably oddball characters remain sketchily drawn but the pace doesn’t really slow down so the overall effect is akin to entertaining blah...Most of this cast sang the score beautifully but fully developed characters did not really emerge." Full Review
"Lurid, overwrought...Nothing is said once if it can shouted several dozen times by a spasmodic chorus and motley crew of principals...Theme will be beaten into the ground several hundred times...'Grand Hotel' is short but relentless...Davis's book mainly reduces complicated action to song cues...Aside from a couple of effective numbers, it's undistinguished...The show itself proved a relic unworthy of resurrection...'Grand Hotel' is its own best parody." Full Review
See it if you grew up on Bway classics and want to see an impressive, stellar, completely off-book, dizzying Encores spectacle recreation!
Don't see it if you just don't "get" audiences obsessed with musicals and wonder "why are they clapping before the # is over?"
See it if You like musicals. This was exponentially better than I ever thought it could be from growing up with the album.
Don't see it if You don’t like musicals. The thing is perfect.
See it if You like shows with catchy songs, well written dialogue, great acting and singing, eye popping dance numbers, romance, humor and tragedy
Don't see it if Everyone should see it if you don't like this show you just do not enjoy theater.
See it if You are a fan of the move. You want to see a fun yet powerful examination of money and power complete with great singing. acting, dancing.
Don't see it if You do not like musicals. You are expecting fluffy show.
See it if It's over now - Encores is 1 week-end only - you missed a reminder of what Musicals are all about
Don't see it if You would be bothered by a corny set-up. It is set in 1928 and characters are not real people. But you know that going in.
See it if you want a grand play done with zest/ excitement.Enjoyed revisiting this forgotten show after seeing the original on Broadway.Delight-full.
Don't see it if you don't mind missing a revival of a Broadway classic not often performed with such wit and style. Loved the costumes and the simple set.
See it if You enjoy great dancing, great singing, great production values - all in all the best Encores revival I have every seen and I've seen dozens
Don't see it if Multiple story lines, lack of familiar songs to sing along with bother you, have antipathy to Weimar Germany, or if u are dance blind.A Must
See it if ...you want some Broadway dazzle with a dose of arsenic -- you love first rate staging and performance -- you love that score
Don't see it if ...you want a strong story and main characters ... you like to be very familiar with the material ahead of time
See it if you want a stirring revival with glorious orchestrations. The moving story, almost sung-through, is beautifully staged, sung and danced.
Don't see it if you don't like musicals? I honestly can't think of another reason.
See it if You care anything about ignored musicals of our past...gloriously staged with vision and clarity. A splendid revisit.
Don't see it if you need fluff and frivolity in your musicals...or big name stars...or big hit numbers!
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