Already closed | 2h 15m | Midtown W

Hans Christian Andersen: Tales Real & Imagined

From 55 member  reviews
Members say: Confusing, Slow, Disappointing, Great singing, Quirky

About the show

Ensemble for the Romantic Century presents this world premiere production featuring live music by Benjamin Britten and Henry Purcell, classical puppetry, and the timeless classics that have transcended generations. More…

Go beyond the magic and into the imagination of the iconic author Hans Christian Andersen, and discover how his complicated personal life inspired countless beloved tales such as "The Little Mermaid," "The Princess and the Pea," "The Ugly Duckling," and more.

2h 15m | Already closed | The Duke on 42nd Street (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (55)

MEMBERS SAY:

Confusing, Slow, Disappointing, Great singing, Quirky
66
Avg Score

70
Exquisite, Great singing, Slow, Quirky, Confusing

See it if You like fairy tales. The singing was good. Liked the personal stories but some of the detail went long in some parts

Don't see it if You do not like reimagined fairy tales. Play running time a bit long. Many left at intermission due to vagueness in story line

46
Poorly performed, Poorly staged, Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing

See it if you are fanatical about the author, are a fun of the absurd

Don't see it if you have anything better to do

35
Boring, Slow, Excruciating, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see something completely different - music, some acting, singing, puppetry.

Don't see it if You want any kind of story that you can follow. You want any type of insight into Andersen's life - maybe you had to know it already.

66
Disappointing, Confusing, Banal

See it if you have an abiding interest in the title character

Don't see it if you hope to see a coherent rendering of an interesting man

79
Delightful, Enchanting, Intelligent, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy biographies done imaginatively and if you like to see possible reasons for writers to write.

Don't see it if You do not like puppets or serious works.

31
Excruciating, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You like Britten and Purcell music You want to know more about him but only a little more

Don't see it if Don’t take children! Very pretentious “High art” Puppets were distracting and confusing l

75
Slow, Great singing, Disappointing

See it if you are interested in H C Andersen

Don't see it if you like a little zip in your biographies

Also Sorry. I did not enjoy this dark version of H C Andersen's life.... Read more Read less

90
Spotty, Charming, Unconventional, Creative

See it if you might like a whimsical glimpse rather than a comprehensive chronicle about the emotional formation of a literary icon.

Don't see it if you are unhappy with incompleteness, non-linear and non-narrative storytelling, or oddball puppetry.

Also If you don't come looking for the ultimate origin story of HCA and if ... Read more Read less

55
Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if If you wish to learn more about Hans, very good musicians

Don't see it if Did not like the puppets, did not like the the structure of the play, slow

46
Confusing, Disappointing

See it if the puppetry is interesting, but overly long and slow

Don't see it if too long and slow and very confusing and definitely not for children

70
Slow, Disappointing, Confusing

See it if interesting puppet work but not enough to warrant the 2 hours

Don't see it if You can’t contain yourself for 2 hours . 90 minutes would have been enough

12
Disappointing

See it if Unless it's raining outside and you have nowhere else to hide, don't waste your money

Don't see it if The orchestra and music were superb, but too high in caliber for the elementary and boring script. Worst live theater show I have EVER seen.

94
Entertaining, Delightful, Absorbing, Enchanting, Clever

See it if Saw it yesterday. Very unique show. Incorporates actors, some singing, puppetry,small orchestra that includes TWO GRAND PIANOS.

Don't see it if You hate puppets. Those were adorale!

Also It was difficult to make up the words of the songs. But there only a f... Read more Read less

During previews
64
Slow, Quirky, Confusing, Banal

See it if If your interested in the life of hans Christian Andersen. Some good music in this show.

Don't see it if If you do not like puppetry. was confusing and slow at times.

During previews
72
Confusing, Quirky, Slow, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You enjoy 19th century music. You have some familiarity w/HCA. You want a concert with dialogue. You like puppetry.

Don't see it if You're expecting a biography of HCA. You prefer dialogue-centric storytelling: most is through music & puppetry. You prefer modern music.

During previews
72
Ambitious, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want a review of Andersen's life, mostly troubled, that led to his exploration of the arts and resulted in his tales, some shown here.

Don't see it if you expect a review of Andersen's works-only a few are given some show here. The excellent live music and okay puppetry have a difficult fit

During previews
80
Creative, Great staging, Great singing, Clever, Ambitious

See it if Puppetry introduced to this ongoing chambre music canon.Lamenting his rejection, Hans births dark kids' tales. Opera in English.Grand pianos

Don't see it if Series always provides an abundance of riches and can be uneven trying to throw all forms of high art into the mix. Can't top their Van Gogh

Also "The world is not as your mother says, but what the neighbours say."

During previews
76
Quirky, Absorbing, Slow, Creative, Great singing

See it if a look at his life and some of his stories, with puppets and singing.

Don't see it if singing Opera or classical music.

During previews
81
Creative, Great singing, Great staging, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you wish to see a very creative telling of Andersen's life and look at his fairy tales in a different way. Great use of music and puppets.

Don't see it if you don't like classical music especially 20th century, countertenors, or if you only like a straightforward play.

Also Puppets are used but in a dark way to portray his life and his tales. ... Read more Read less

During previews
65
Slow, Quirky, Great music, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if You want to learn a little about HCA's life. You enjoy great music with interesting puppetry. You like eclectic shows

Don't see it if You want a streamline production that has an understandable beginning, middle, and end. This feels like blurry polaroid snapshots.

During previews
75
Hybrid forms, Puppets & mime detract, Lacks engaging storytelling, Excellent musicianship, Ens4romcent: what they do

See it if go 4 musicianship, tolerate puppets & depressive storytelling, like H.C.Andersen, 2 support Ensemble 4 Romantic Century, like experiments

Don't see it if no love of classical music, dislike hybrid forms, poorly formed puppetry, gay subtext & front-text, trying to figure out the mimed sequences

Also Musicianship is their forte, storytelling is their not so forte

During previews
80
Many wonderful elements, Slow, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if I loved the idea of the show, was confused by the totality. I love Anderson's stories. You have to know them to get some of them here.

Don't see it if A show of many parts:acting, music, singing, puppetry, storytelling. Too many parts, not all of equal quality and not all well put together

Also I saw the first preview. Great elements need pruning and refining.... Read more Read less

During previews
70
Over written, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you are VERY familiar with all of Hans Christian Anderson's stories or just very interested in very experimental theater.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a relatively disjointed production(exposition, puppetry, opera, classical music)that only peripherally work together.

Also I'm not sure how the opera and classical music actually fit the story.... Read more Read less

During previews
76
Relevant, Great singing/music, Intelligent, Confusing, Great staging

See it if You are interested in terrific music, interesting staging, & the story of HCA's life. But the beautiful elements don't mesh perfectly yet.

Don't see it if You're planning a family outing-this isn't aimed at kids, despite the clever puppetry. Read notes in the playbill for better comprehension.

During previews
50
Nice live music & period singing, Shaky storytelling, Maudlin, Tedious

See it if you get there before the show to read the several pages of playwright's & musicology notes in the Playbill: you will otherwise be lost

Don't see it if you are unfamiliar with HCA's fairy tales (which represent his sad, unfulfilled personal life)

Also I love fairy tales but this show doesn't do them justice. Nice live mu... Read more Read less


May 5th, 2019
"'Hans Christian Andersen' sidesteps and streamlines a lot of what makes Andersen’s life and work so discomforting, while also insisting, inflexibly, gawkily, that the life and the work are inextricable...Excerpts with a lot of the awful parts ignored or referred to only elliptically, which may b...
read more
May 9th, 2019
"If you are hankering for drama, keep moving because there's nothing to see here...The main problem is inertia. The central situation is both mawkish and dragged down by repetition. One can only endure the title character's yearning and bitterness for so long...The director allows the pace to daw...
read more
May 7th, 2019
"Probably not for everyone. One might wonder whether the few children in the audience at the performance under review were bored or enthralled. Maybe a little of both...You may not be able to describe the significance of everything you're shown here...Many of the moments that the playmakers prese...
read more
May 6th, 2019
“Overall the story line is hard to follow...The choice of accompanying music by 20th century composer Britten held minimal if any correlation to Andersen...The high note of the performance is countertenor Daniel Moody...While is overall musical presence was commanding, his interpretations of Henr...
read more

Related content


Cast & Creatives (3)