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High Button Shoes

From 67 member  reviews
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. More…

Follow Harrison Floy (Michael Urie) and Mr. Pontdue (Kevin Chamberlin) as they proceed to bamboozle Sara Longstreet (Betsy Wolfe) and her family—inciting a chase from New Brunswick, down the Jersey Shore, to Atlantic City. 

"High Button Shoes" was Jule Styne’s first Broadway hit and won Jerome Robbins his first Tony Award for choreography years before "West Side Story" and "Gypsy."

Member Reviews (67)


Dated, Entertaining, Fluffy, Funny, Disappointing
Avg Score

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!

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!

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.

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.

Also People say its Dated, Yes it is by today standard but that why it enjo... Read more Read less

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.

Also The beach dance number is absolutely hysterical. Very talented cast an... Read more Read less

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 $

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.

Better listening than the original recording, Tepid

See it if The major dance number's terrific. A couple of catchy tunes. Urie plays a sarcastic, panicked fraud rather than a debonair, egocentric one.

Don't see it if Plays about conmen really should have tighter plots than this. Aside from the bright spots mentioned above, it’s a tepid show.

Also Pros: After the show I looked up the songs I liked (“Can't You Just Se... Read more Read less

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

Fluffy, Insipid, Indulgent, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you LOVE Michael Urie and Kevin Chamberlin but Urie disappoints

Don't see it if you anything better to do

Pleasant, Dated humor, One terrific number, Great orchestrations, Fluffy

See it if you are a fan of old musicals & aren't very picky. The Keystone Kops number at the beach is a knockout. Pleasant, unmemorable score.

Don't see it if you want more challenging material; sharper humor. There's nothing terribly wrong, but little that rises to the usual Encores high standards

Charming-yet-unimpressive, Predictable, Old-fashioned, Light-entertainment, Frothy

See it if Seeking the balm of old-fashioned fun, frolicking ensemble casts, and Jule Styne and Sammy Cahn music and lyrics in a nutty present day.

Don't see it if you seek stunning/surprising set-design, costumes, or singing--which is uneven; need something edgy and unpredictable; dislike datedness.

Also Michael Urie was a significant draw for me to see High Button Shoes: I... Read more Read less

Great dancing

See it if Everyday hustlin'! Trickster tries his new cheat and almost marries a woman for the money. Fun and beautiful choreographed sequences.

Don't see it if Dated story not particularly relevant. Emotionally flat: no highs or lows. No real plot development.

Also Ticket from the website for $27.50 using coupon. Side mezzanine seat.... Read more Read less

That ballet!!!!, Disappointing direction, Fluffy, Urie--gotta love him!, Historically intriguing

See it if you want to see what was happening between Oklahoma! and The Music Man on Broadway,or if you want to see the early genius of Jerome Robbins.

Don't see it if Fluffy yet worthy musicals are beneath you; you're expecting a rousing Styne overture; you've outgrown sweetness on Broadway.

Also I have much more to say:... Read more Read less

Terrific orchestrations, Great dancing, Dated, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if you like old-fashioned musicals & enjoy great choreography. Lots of singing and dancing. Michael Urie works really hard - it sometimes works

Don't see it if you don't like contrived, silly plots. There are some tuneful numbers.

Dated, Fluffy, Entertaining

See it if enjoy nice (though non-memorable) music, dancing, and a very slim story done as only Encores can do it.

Don't see it if need a better story-line and better songs. actually dozed off for a while and didn't really miss anything.

Insipid, Excruciating, Disappointing, Dated

See it if you were dying to hear the song Papa, Won't You Dance With Me performed live.

Don't see it if you were dying to see Jerome Robbins choreography because the only remnants of Jerome Robbins came in the Bathing Beauty Ballet in Act 2

Also This show should be buried alive and NEVER revived!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!... Read more Read less

Fluffy, Quirky, Great singing, Entertaining, Dated

See it if A relic from 1947. Book involves 2 con men's adventures. Energetic cast .Best parts involve the Keystone Cops in 2nd act. Urie excels.

Don't see it if Pleasant, fluffy entertainment. This is definitely a musical from yesteryear that has some good moments.

Fun staging, High energy, Dated, Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a song and dance show and performers who give it their all.

Don't see it if The lack of updating will bother you. Plus Checkov this is not.

Also Michael Urie is a good comic actor, but he has no business singing (or... Read more Read less

Cute, Great choreography, Dated, Clever

See it if you're a Michael Urie fan; as always he does an excellent job. You enjoy musical theatre &/or are interested in old historic shows.

Don't see it if You'd prefer a show with some memorable songs; fully staged productions--this is an Encores performance.

Dated, Great staging, Great acting, Funny

See it if you're a fan of theatre history and throwbacks to vaudeville comedy.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of old fashioned musical comedies with paper thin plots that are just set ups for gags and dances.

Some fun moments but flat overall, Great orchestra, Good dancing and choreography, Dated, Fluffy

See it if you see every Encores production. Orchestra shines as usual. A few good dance numbers. Cast tries hard to sell the material.

Don't see it if Not sure why this was revived. Completely fluffy story that doesn't hold up at all. Music ok but nothing special.

Fabulous jerome robbins choreogy, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if Highly entertaining old-fashioned musical with stunning Jerome Robbins choreography, silly story well payed by excellent ensemble

Don't see it if You don’t love dance because the choreography makes the show particularly second act Sunday By the Sea

Poor choice for the 75th season, Disappointing, Dated

See it if Michael Urie and some fine Jerome Robbins choreography beautifully executed is enough to keep your attention.

Don't see it if you expect memorable lyrics and music or an entertaining book even for such an old chestnut as this is. Talent does the best it can.

Also Overall a very disappointing season from our beloved Encores! Hope nex... Read more Read less

Dated, lightweight & fun, Silly plot, Great choreography, Tunefull songs

See it if You want to experience what people thought was entertaining in 1947. A second-rank musical from the "Golden Age".

Don't see it if You like your theater realistic, meaningful and you hate musicals whose only purpose is to make you forget your troubles.

Also This score was an ear-worm in my childhood. Admittedly the songs are h... Read more Read less

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...
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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 ...
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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 Sh...
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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 Encore...
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