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.

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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.'

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

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


"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 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


"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

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

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


"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

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

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

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


"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

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

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

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

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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Quirky, Slow, Great staging

See it if Beautifully staged production of a fairly weak musical. Some good performances and gorgeous dancing

Don't see it if A musical with an strong book and score. The show is more style over substance.

Funny, Delightful, Dizzying, Enchanting, Whirlwind

See it if You love classic musical theater, want something fun that will also sneak up on you and make you feel things

Don't see it if You don't enjoy rich people shenanigans or shows with lots of plotlines

Ambitious, Entertaining

See it if you are feeling nostalgic to see that 1989 tony award winning musical.

Don't see it if if you were expecting the same level of depth of performance of that 1989 Broadway production, as you will be disappointed.

Also I had the good fortune to see the original Broadway production back in... Read more Read less

Delightful, Romantic, Entertaining, Great staging, Tuneful

See it if you enjoy traditional, well-crafted musicals

Don't see it if you enjoy edgy or more rock/rap type songs

Also I thoroughly enjoyed the production (except for Irina Dvorovenko who w... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if well it's over now, but if you want to see a masterful combination of stories with great singing and dancing

Don't see it if you are looking for a lot of speaking, this is mostly sung through

Dry, Superb dancing

See it if you like this show, or shows with a Brechtian/Weill touch to them. I don't like this show, but this is as good as it's going to get.

Don't see it if dark pieces reminiscent of the Weimar era disturb you.

Exquisite, Great singing, Dark and fabulous

See it if It's closed, but I'm hoping it will transfer! James Snyder's voice made the entire evening worth watching! A nicely trimmed rework.

Don't see it if You're looking for an upbeat comedy. It's based on the movie with John Barrymore & Greta Garbo. You want the 2 1/2 hour original.

Also This tightened all the plots from the original -- kept in all the meat... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Usual outstanding production, fabulous dancing, excellent singer/actors are your cup of tea

Don't see it if You don't like old fashioned musicals

Pointless, Great acting, Engaging, Uneven, Muddled

See it if you are already very familiar with the material and are excited about the prospect of seeing it on stage with very talented performers.

Don't see it if you'd frustrated by seeing a show that really needs a point of view presented without a point of view.

Overrated, Dated, Great singing

See it if you enjoyed it during its original run.

Don't see it if you want to see something fresh.

Delightful, Great acting, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You liked the Tommy Tune version years ago. Encores did a wonderful job mounting thks show.

Don't see it if If you don't like musicals - dancing, singing, etc.

Funny, Dated, Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if You want to see a classic musical with fun characters, and see James Snyder give a performance for the ages.

Don't see it if You get antsy during boring bits, or aren't a fan of old musicals.

Funny, Dated, Great singing, Fluffy, Great dancing

See it if you want to see some incredible tango dancing and some knock-it-out-of-the-park vocal performances.

Don't see it if you expect to see something in line with today's values.

Great acting, Great singing, Great staging, Great dancing

See it if you love seeing old musicals brought t life again even if just for a short time, and you don't mind a show with a lot of main characters .

Don't see it if like simple shows with simple plots and not a lot of main characters or you don't like shows set in the past.

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

See it if you want an entertaining musical with an interesting storyline.

Don't see it if You want memorable songs.

Also Was surprised it was on for such a short time and now closed. Found it... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you're interested in classic musicals that are rarely performed.

Don't see it if you are looking for a modern musical or want to see characters fleshed out.

Delightful, Great staging

See it if you enjoy great choreography and staging

Don't see it if you are so imbued with memories of Tommy Tune in the original as there is only one Tommy Tune

Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Slow, Great singing

See it if impressed overall; one of the most polished encores i've seen at city center. impressive singing and dancing

Don't see it if for fans of this show, i can imagine this was a godsend. for newbies to the show like me, it was bit dull.

Absorbing, Great acting, Intense, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love reprisals of musicals, and enjoy seeing great talent.

Don't see it if You want a fully staged production without the delightful limitations of a concert performance.

Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Heard great singing of musical numbers that people may not know to focus on the music/story instead of the overall concept

Don't see it if Want a more developed/cohesive storyline

Delightful, Great acting, Must see, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like forgotten musicals, you like Encores productions, you want to see this great musical again

Don't see it if you like contemporary musical themes, you want to see big stars

Also The Encores production of Grand Hotel is one of the most polished I ha... Read more Read less

Exquisite, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love the Grand Hotel score or if you've never seen it. want to see a hell of an impressive staging with limited rehearsal!

Don't see it if can't think of a reason not to

Overrated, Great singing, Great staging

See it if For the great staging and singing. This is a so so musical made better by the talent poured into it.

Don't see it if You do not have a strong love for musicals

Quirky, Slow, Great singing

See it if You never had a chance to see the original and you want to add to your theater education.

Don't see it if You're expecting a satisfying plot. This is a bunch of vaguely connected story lines. Even for a semi-staged production the staging was off.

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

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.