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Grand Hotel, The Musical

From 16 critic and 143 member reviews
Members say: Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining, Delightful, Great acting

About the show

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.'

The Hollywood Reporter

"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

Stage Left

"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

Musical Theater 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

New York Stage 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

The Stage (UK)

"'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 is simply gorgeous...A cast of sublime Broadway performers give the show emotional and vocal heft." Full Review

Front Row Center

"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

Critics at Large

"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

Front Mezz Junkies

"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

Says Me Says Mom

"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

The New York Times

"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

Theater Reviews from my Seat

"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

Reclining Standards

"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

Absorbing, Great singing, Romantic, Thought-provoking, Riveting

See it if you love great music, great singing, and a hidden musical theater gem

Don't see it if musicals are not your forte

Also The cast was perfect and full of energy. This is truly one of Broadway... Read more Read less

Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing

See it if if you want to be thoroughly entertained and to have a wonderful evening of song and dance.

Don't see it if You don't like musicals.

Enchanting, Delightful, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you love good stories woven together with wonderful music and great tango dancing.

Don't see it if you like more elaborate staging and set design.

Delightful, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Masterful

See it if You like great theater, great performances and inventive staging.

Don't see it if You are only into old fashioned musicals. This is inventive and stirs the imagination.

Also Excellent revival which should immediately transfer to Broadway if onl... Read more Read less

Exquisite, Dizzying, Masterful, Must see, Classic

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?"

Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Great dancing, Must see

See it if Great dancing/singing, stories of life at the Grand Hotel.

Don't see it if If you do not like musical, dancing, want one story.

Also The dancing and singing was excellent. They had the tango dance and it... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Exquisite, Must see, Masterful

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.

Great staging, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You enjoyed the original Bway production or if you didn't do check in to Grand Hotel Encores

Don't see it if You like more contemporary musicals

Exquisite, Great staging

See it if You want to see a gorgeous, glamorous, nearly perfect musical. The music, singing and dancing were superb. The orchestra was wonderful.

Don't see it if You don’t like musicals

Ambitious, Exquisite, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing

See it if You adore great musical theater, beautiful singing, great dancing, fine acting, brilliant staging.

Don't see it if You only enjoy straight plays.

Also Encore's finest, most elaborate and most fully realized production. Th... Read more Read less

Great singing, Great staging, Masterful, Must see, Resonant

See it if One of the best Encore productions in its 25 year history. Bravo.

Don't see it if You don’t like concept musicals.

Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Must see, Masterful

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.

Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining, Must see

See it if All that glitters at the Grand Hotel,even in the dark. Fantastic production,City Center steps it up with fully realized, Broadway-ready gem.

Don't see it if No reason not to.

Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Riveting, Masterful

See it if They bring it to Broadway. A masterful staging, with exceptional performances.

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

Absorbing, Great writing, Great singing, Great acting

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.

Masterful, Delightful

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.

Also This show is what Encores is all about. Getting to see wonderful perfo... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Delightful

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.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Great acting

See it if You love great singing and dancing in a beautiful art deco setting

Don't see it if you do not like frothy musicals

Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Delightful

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

Also This was a thrilling experience, practically perfect, will likely tran... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Delightful

See it if 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 want a strong story and main characters ... you like to be very familiar with the material ahead of time

Great singing, Great staging, Entertaining, Must see, Marvelous dancing

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.

Also I had seen the show on Broadway and at the Donmar in London. This prod... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Delightful, Great dancing

See it if You want to see a well-paced, beautiful musical with excellent dancing!

Don't see it if You expect it to be just like the film version.

Exquisite, Great singing, Masterful, Must see, Intense

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!

Great singing, Dizzying, Exquisite

See it if You love musicals with great choreography, lush scores opulent costumes and fluid staging.

Don't see it if You prefer traditional plot lines and staging.

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Masterful, Must see

See it if you want wonderful dancing, singing and entertainment.

Don't see it if you can never be pleased with a #1 performance.