High Button Shoes
High Button Shoes
73

High Button Shoes NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(67 Reviews)
Positive
72%
Mixed
21%
Negative
7%
Members say
Dated, Entertaining, Fluffy, Funny, Disappointing

About the Show

For their final Encores! production of their 75th anniversary season, City Center presents Jule Styne’s rarely-seen musical comedy about the misadventures of two charismatic conmen.

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Member Reviews (67)

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965 Reviews | 339 Followers
84
Fun!, Broad humor, Melodious score, Long, Fluffy

See it if you like old-fashioned silly musicals. Lots of singin/dancin. Plot is gossamer thin. Urie/Wolfe delight. Orchestra shines. Clever staging.

Don't see it if you want meaty works. Occasnly, too much of a gd thing; needs cuts. JR ballet is historic curiosity; soft shoe great. Chase scene dazzles!

687 Reviews | 114 Followers
69
Dated, Indulgent, Fluffy, Great staging, Cliched

See it if Flashy production numbers are the major stand-out in early Styne vehicle Robbins choreo provides added oomph Urie tries hard but strains

Don't see it if Vaudevillian roots show to detrimental effect 2nd act totally falls apart despite Wolfe/Gregory duet But these shows are why Encores exists!

don
506 Reviews | 1002 Followers
80
It is 1947, 1ts 1947 dances are great, Entertaining

See it if Beautiful dances. The aim of Encores is to go back. It does. It is 1947. Comparison exists. Huge band does the job. The young lad stars.

Don't see it if Do not expect today's standards. It is mid 20th century humor.

608 Reviews | 121 Followers
100
Funny, Quirky, Great staging, Entertaining

See it if Classic Older Musical with dancing, and fun. Its silly too. Has a little of everything.

Don't see it if Its carefree, light and New Brunswick, NJ gets to you. Read more

645 Reviews | 94 Followers
80
Great choreography, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you like a very light hearted old fashioned musical from Styne and Cahn with original Jerome Robbins choreography.

Don't see it if you like sophisticated songs and dance numbers or lush musicals. Read more

454 Reviews | 127 Followers
76
Lesser encores, Hard working cast & orchestra, Funny enough, Lacking memorable moments, Entertaining enough

See it if Don't want 2 miss any of Encores experiences, Michael Urie breathe life into Phil Silvers material, pleasant enough is good enough

Don't see it if history lesson of 1947 BWY musical structure, style and subject matter is not enuf 4 your entertainment $

467 Reviews | 70 Followers
72
Great dancing, Banal, Dated, Disappointing

See it if you like revivals of old musicals.This 1 hasn't been revived for a reason---it's dull. Despite the usual full blown Encores production, yawn

Don't see it if you want a show that really has something to say, isn't predictable, and has characters you care about.This has none of that.

430 Reviews | 115 Followers
74
Lame musical gets full encores treatment

See it if Some fine dancing. Orch sounds great. But the plot is silly. Urie is funny but not smarmy enough, like Phil Silvers. No memorable songs.

Don't see it if Encores should have done "Little Johnny Jones" instead. It's an antique, for sure, but everyone loves the Cohan score and the "Cagney"scene

Critic Reviews (17)

The New York Times
May 9th, 2019

"The entire production seems to take place under a double glaze of nostalgia...Urie gives a characteristically skillful performance, but it feels pasted on…That ballet aside, none of the musical numbers land with the impact that makes audiences clap their hands raw, although I enjoyed Mr. Loehr’s and Ms. Hull’s artfully awkward take on the tango. And the jokes are more likely to make you smile politely than laugh out loud."
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The Observer
May 15th, 2019

“The endless first act has no coherence, no charm, and lots of puerile jokes...The...score is derivative and second-rate. The Encores! performances were efficiently shticky—only Kevin Chamberlin as Floy’s rotund sidekick was three-dimensional. As for the Bathing Beauty Ballet itself, it lived up to its huge reputation, even though the stage of the City Center was too small for it: it looked reduced. But in the middle of the mess that is ‘High Button Shoes’, it shone with the light of genius.”
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AM New York
May 9th, 2019

''High Button Shoes' is hardly ever performed nowadays. And this weekend, musical theater junkies can learn why thanks to a lumbering and tiring concert revival…Much of the plotting is clunky and outright baffling, and the so-so score lacks any songs that are well-remembered today…'High Button Shoes' lacks the substance to justify a professional revival…Then again, with more inspiration and better comic ingenuity, 'High Button Shoes' might have at least been more fun."
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Theatermania
May 9th, 2019

"An assortment of enthusiastic actors lost in a sea of passé jokes and just-OK songs. And then something happens...when it all comes together for 10 or so fleeting minutes of heaven...It is an antic delight, and I would encourage any musical theater aficionado to see it. I'd also encourage Encores! to just present this sequence and cut the rest of the show...The jokes land with a thud, the pacing is lugubrious...The production just isn't ready for prime time, and that extends to the actors."
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BroadwayWorld
May 10th, 2019

"That crazy cacophony of choreographic chaos that careens across the City Center stage shortly after the commencement of Act II is the main reason for Encores! to bring back the smash hit 1947 musical comedy...Not exactly a forgotten gem...A pleasant, though not especially distinguished collection of generic ballads and novelty numbers...Urie is indeed a charismatic performer...but director John Rando has him mimicking Silvers, and...it didn't seem a comfortable fit."
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Talkin' Broadway
May 8th, 2019

"'Has not withstood the test of time...That it makes little sense as it careens from scene to disconnected scene is as gentle a way as I can put it. Under John Rando's direction, almost every flaw is emphasized, while the show's strengths are downplayed...There are some very good songs scattered here and there...The rest of the cast try to rev things up with lots of frenzied mugging, but snake oil is still snake oil, no matter how you package it."
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New York Stage Review
May 9th, 2019

"Where the current staging falls flattest is in the star performance...Without a strong star performance, all that’s left in this 'High Button Shoes' is the 'Bathing Beauty Ballet.' And that’s not enough to support the evening. Nor does the rest of the cast capture the ragtag style the show calls for...The music, at least, is impeccably handled. Rob Berman leads the Encores orchestra with such flair that during the rambunctious overture the show sounds like a hit. But not for long."
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Theater News Online
May 9th, 2019

"Seventy years after 'High Button Shoes' ended a 727-performance stroll on Broadway, the show hasn’t been back there. An enervating Encores! revival at New York City Center provides clues as to why, even as it showcases songs filled with fizz and wit...Director John Rando’s staging reminds that shoes, high button or otherwise, and comedy require perfect fits – or there will be stumbles...a game Michael Urie strains for laughs, while Betsey Wolfe is too 2019 for a story set in 1913."
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