Encores! kicks off its 25th season with a new musical about Broadway gems they have not yet revived. Featuring a star-studded cast including Tony Winner Bebe Neuwirth and Tony nominee Vanessa Williams.
Bob Martin, as his beloved Man in Chair character from 'The Drowsy Chaperone,' plays an opinionated Encores! subscriber who leads the audience on a guided (and sometimes mis-guided) tour of his favorite scenes and songs from musicals he’s always wanted to see at City Center: 'All American,' 'George M!,' 'Greenwillow,' 'Jamaica,' 'Mack & Mabel,' 'Milk and Honey,' 'Sail Away,' and 'Wildcat.'
"Most complaints feel subjective, and don't detract from what made 'Hey, Look Me Over' a massively delightful and unique experience. All the performances were top form...The overtures were as much a highlight as any scene with actors. And the actors: Never again will a stage see the same buffet of so many perennial Broadway favorites, each of whom gave linchpin portrayals to rival and even surpass their original counterparts." Full Review
"This eclectic and fun evening is brimming over with highlights and, well, not exactly lowlights, let's call them, but slightly-less-than the glorious highlights that surround them...Staged beautifully by Bruni...A night of celebration that should not be missed. It's fun and festive, and makes one dream about a glorious future when all these stars will once again grace our Broadway stages in musicals that will give us wonderful memories to hold onto for years to come." Full Review
"Each was created by accomplished Broadway professionals who knew how to inject a few choice moments of showbiz panache...This isn't just a song and dance concert...The books of the musicals are also represented, allowing audiences a taste of the characters and plots...In a show featuring terrific performances by contemporary theatre stars, that connection between musical theatre's past and present is a thoughtful example of what makes City Center Encores! so indispensable." Full Review
"Like some of the shows it samples, this presentation is imperfect but is overall entertaining. Mr. Viertel's conception also includes an arguably irksome framing device...Martin addresses the audience to offer commentary, often tells inside jokes and interacts with the cast. Depending on one’s sensibilities, this is either an inspired or an insufferable device. However, it doesn’t mar the actual production...Bruni’s staging is resourceful, brisk, and conveys the essence of all the shows." Full Review
"Narrated by the hilarious Bob Martin...this revue-like piece – nicely directed by Marc Bruni and choreographed by Denis Jones — is made even more delicious by the presence of some of Broadway’s biggest luminaries...Yes, the show is sometimes a little confusing (if you don’t know all the source material) and a tad overlong. But it’s mostly (to paraphrase a title from 'Greenwillow') 'A Night Borrowed from Heaven,' and a very fitting way to start off the next quarter century of Encores!" Full Review
"Delightful...Vanessa Williams sizzled...Judy Kuhn and Reed Birney (he sings!) were heartwarming...Douglas Sills killed it in 'Movies Were Movies' from Jerry Herman’s 'Mack & Mabel,' and Bebe Neuwirth brought out her comedic chops in 'Why Do the Wrong People Travel' from Noël Coward’s 'Sail Away.' As with any revue, some of the material didn’t work...Minor missteps were redeemed with the glorious encore from Irving Berlin’s 'Miss Liberty.'" Full Review
"Spectacular lineup of Broadway performers assembled...Martin's patter is alternately charming and naughty, funny and quirky, with just enough edge to maintain the curmudgeonly nature of his beloved 'Drowsy' character. True, the narration doesn't always serve the musical he's setting up, and the jokes don't all land. But he more than matches the affection that many audience members have for these historical shows." Full Review
"Despite the creakiness of the concept, there is the music and the performances, which is why we are all in the theater in the first place...To be sure, a lot of what is excerpted for 'Hey, Look Me Over!' is not top-drawer, but even when the material isn’t top-notch, the performers are...Although the finale is anti-climactic, 'Hey, Look Me Over!' remains a delightful evening of sheer entertainment...conducted by Rob Berman, whose Encores Orchestra is, as always, the evening’s true highlight." Full Review
"Bruni met the challenge to keep his 30 plus cast at a brisk pace...Affable Martin, in the guise of his memorable role...from 'Drowsy Chaperone', nimbly provided a guided tour...The show's title song...aptly states the Encores! mission to re-examine the merits of worthy musicals not likely to be seen again...Like that famous box of candies, not all are great...What holds these bon bons together is...Encores! ineffable adoration and respect for our national treasure, the American musical." Full Review
"Martin's presence was particularly helpful since 'Hey, Look Me Over!' proves to be a textbook example of a mixed bag...There is the superb 30-piece orchestra conducted by Rob Berman, delivering lush orchestrations of the music...The problem is, since it's safe to say that all but the most ardent musical theater buffs are probably unfamiliar with much of the material, the dramatic scenes feel scattered and confusing, more often tedious than enlightening." Full Review
"It is, indeed, uneven, despite the participation by many Broadway notables...Encores! has given us a brew that includes some thrilling moments, some also-rans, and the perfect host in Bob Martin's 'Man in Chair' character. The potpourri of excerpts that make up the revue defies us to discern any logic to its overall shape and form, but if any of the featured shows or performers are on your I-always-wanted-to-see-that list, then by all means head on out to City Center." Full Review
"It’s impossible to dismiss a show with such a starry talented cast...Its delights were enough to make me glad I was there...Deliberately or not, the effect is to communicate that the books for these particular shows weren’t just faulty; they weren’t worth anything at all; certainly not a revisit...Some audience members might feel tired, after a scattershot show that lasts more than two and a half hours...But most will surely also depart feeling entertained." Full Review
"Offers slivers of 10 lesser-known musicals...And for good reason, they’ve all got issues — and a sliver is enough, thanks very much. Still, Encores! deserves credit for trying out an experiment and assembling a game cast...This 2 1/2-hour revue isn’t about wall-to-wall hits and showstoppers. Still, bright spots shine...Even when an Encores! production leaves something to be desired, it’s a reminder that looking back helps you see where you are and where you’re going." Full Review
"An unusual and uneven tour of various musicals...This is not a concert, but rather a super sampler of overtures, songs, and dialogue from each musical...The resulting show is sometimes enjoyable but often clunky and disorienting, with some great solos and duets followed by insipid dialogue and ensemble numbers. While most of these shows do not deserve full Encores! productions, it is difficult to take them seriously on their own terms in this rushed and limited context." Full Review
"A peculiar and inevitably incoherent assemblage conceived...Though Mr. Martin’s interstitial jokes are often funny, they are not substantive enough to make the selections seem anything more than convenient...There are remarkable performances along the way...For the most part 'Hey, Look Me Over!' has little new to say about its old sources. It will be of interest to historians, if not to history." Full Review
See it if If you're an Encores! fan, love fine dancing in a small space, enjoy 60s musicals that aren't revived often, but have some great songs.
Don't see it if If you only like fully flushed out musicals that are new, or surefire classics, have insider humorous commentary.
See it if you want to see R. Birney, C. Carmello, C. Duncan, J. Kuhn, B. Martin, B. Neuwirth, N. Opel, D. Sills, and A. Socha in top form.
Don't see it if you do not like great talent and a top-notch orchestra at its peak. It is hard to believe that Jesse Green and I saw the same show.
See it if You enjoy a well done smorgasbord of scenes performed by an amazing gathering of talent. We loved it.
Don't see it if You don't like musicals or only want to see one musical; this is a procession of scenes from past musicals.They are thoroughly entertaining.
See it if you want to spend 2 1/2 hours in musical comedy heaven. A great chance to see scenes and numbers from musicals you've probably never seen.
Don't see it if you only want to see full length, fully produced shows
See it if Encores gets the Man in the Chair (Drowsy Chaperone) treatment and a dance through older less well known shows with best ensemble ever
Don't see it if You don’t like Bebe Neuwirth Reed Birney Carole Carmelo Judy Kuhn Vanessa Williams and terrific musical revue with show stopping ending
See it if you love the early Encores! productions full of lost treasures, surprisingly entertaining music and lyrics; FANTASTIC performers.
Don't see it if no reason not to see this production
See it if you wish to see 9 partials from musicals from 1958 - 1974, a perfect period to revisiit for us. This is a wonderful 25th anniv idea.
Don't see it if you are fixed on an entire production of one show ala the tradition for Encores (The variety worked here) We did miss Joel Grey though.
See it if You want to see highlights from rarely seen musicals. You want to see amazing performers.
Don't see it if You want more well-known musicals. You don't like the revue format. You want a contemporary musical.
See it if To see some unforgettable numbers. I really enjoyed it although songs were uneven. Stay to the end for last two numbers.
Don't see it if If you do not enjoy musicals and have no interest in seeing shows that were not hits, for whatever reason, in their time.
See it if You can't. It's over. But if they make a CD, buy it! Enchanting performances and a glorious, star-making turn by Clifton Duncan.
Don't see it if You hate musicals and have no fondness for revues or historical theatrical experiences.
See it if If you are a musical theater lover. Great singing and dancing. Just a delightful time at the theater.
Don't see it if Not interested in older, a little down Broadway musicals.
See it if you like Bob Martin (Drowsy Chaperone), are curious about historical musicals, enjoy anthologies, or are a fan of any of the listed stars.
Don't see it if you require a single book musical with a story (not this time!), don’t like star cameos, or prefer big sets and spectacle.
See it if you don't want to miss the amazing performances of Marc Kudisch, Clifton Duncan, Bebe Neuwirth and Tam Mutu. They were the best of the best!
Don't see it if you want to risk missing a heartwarming surprise that manages to salute the genre & show why we love these musicals & all who created them
See it if you *love* musicals and want terrifically-performed songs/scenes from often forgotten/neglected works. Splendid buffet for musical lovers!
Don't see it if you won't appreciate a hilariously curated tour of 8 lesser-known musicals. A true feast for musical lovers; decent meal for all others.
See it if You enjoy an original Encores concept, based on The Drowsey Chaperone and its Man in Chair. Some shows are weak, but lots of surprises.
Don't see it if You aren't interested in old musicals - and/or don't like Vanessa Williams, Bebe Neuwirth, Judy Kuhn (and a surprise guest).
See it if You like reviews of shows from the 1960-1972. Very well done with a few songs from seven shows. Loved "the Man in the Chair"narrative .
Don't see it if You don't have an interest or knowledge for shows from this time period.
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