Lonesome Blues
Closed 1h 25m
Lonesome Blues
73

Lonesome Blues NYC Reviews and Tickets

73%
(62 Reviews)
Positive
76%
Mixed
21%
Negative
3%
Members say
Great singing, Slow, Great acting, Entertaining, Absorbing

About the Show

The world premiere musical 'Lonesome Blues' is the true story of the legendary bluesman Blind Lemon Jefferson: born blind, but ultimately able to express his deepest emotions through music.

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Member Reviews (62)

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MJK
677 Reviews | 186 Followers
71
Absorbing, Slow, Entertaining, Meandering, Bluesy

See it if you enjoy early blues music & want to learn about an oft-forgotten progenitor of the form as told & sung by the engaging & skilled Babatunde

Don't see it if you have a low tolerance for rambling storytelling or the tedium of repetitive blues riffs. Read more

628 Reviews | 93 Followers
78
Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing

See it if you like a solo show with one actor and one musician, both very talented, telling the story of a singer through the use of songs.

Don't see it if you do not like solo shows or like a show with a plot. Very simple set. Read more

241 Reviews | 59 Followers
80
Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing, Profound, Clever

See it if You like blues, you like history of music, for a nice night out, Mr Babatunde became all the characters he portrayed. Great singing too

Don't see it if You don't like blues, or one man shows. Or if you expect elaborate stage or sets. Just sit back and enjoy

228 Reviews | 27 Followers
75
Slow, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if You are a Blues enthusiast or interested in musical history. Great guitar, some good singing but sounds too much the same.

Don't see it if You have no interest I the Blues and like a lot of action.

202 Reviews | 24 Followers
60
Good singing, Good acting, Slow, Disappointing

See it if you are a big fan of the blues especially Blind Lemon Jefferson.

Don't see it if if you do not like the blues, if you do not like or are unfamiliar with Blind Lemon Jefferson and/or if you don't like one person shows.

193 Reviews | 80 Followers
77
Absorbing, Great singing, Slow

See it if You like old 1920s and earlier blues. You’re interested in the life of Blind Lemon Jefferson. You want to hear great singing.

Don't see it if You want something lighthearted or modern. You want a show with a definite plot or in depth anecdotes. You don’t like the blues. Read more

169 Reviews | 70 Followers
76
Entertaining, Great singing, Refreshing, Relevant, Delightful

See it if You like blues music and learn about struggle of a blind musician during great depression.The music was great and the actor was entertaining

Don't see it if You do not like one man show or blues music per se. there is no intermission and the elevator (few flights down) was out of order. Read more

161 Reviews | 13 Followers
77
Entertaining, Ambitious, Great acting, Great blues guitar, Relevant

See it if you love early blues and want to experience a great blues icon...with bits of his history.

Don't see it if you are expecting a biography of Jefferson or don't care for early blues music

Critic Reviews (13)

Lighting & Sound America
June 25th, 2018

"The authors have struggled to put together a coherent narrative out of the few pitiful scraps of information available to them, and the result is one of the sketchiest entertainments to grace the York's stage in some time...After a while, the text of 'Lonesome Blues' comes to feel like so much wallpaper between the numbers...Babatunde's singing is a bit mannered; the blues don't seem to come naturally to him...Owens' direction at least maintains a quick pace."
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TheaterScene.net
June 20th, 2018

“Features Babatundé’s awesome performance...but unfortunately muddled storytelling...There’s a lack of background information imparted and so despite the great renditions it becomes stultifying...In the second half...the narration is more connected to the musical portions as it successfully concludes...Owens brings presentational polish to the production with her assured staging that injects as much momentum as possible given the problematic material.”
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Theater Pizzazz
June 20th, 2018

“Though Babatundé’s Texas accent, likely close to authentic, makes it difficult to understand some of what’s being said, the performer delivers forceful personification. Confident vocals slip/slide with terrific range and evocative accentuation. Lyrics that insinuate do so with flair. The actor somehow communicates Jefferson’s blindness. Overall feel of Jefferson’s oeuvre is spot on. That material runs one into the next a bit too similarly seems the fault of eliminating other voices.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
June 20th, 2018

“The storytelling in this creation is a tad convoluted, rarely finding its spirit and the internalized beat. The singing wanders around from good to impressive but never hitting that emotional high we keep waiting for. Oddly enough, Babatundé is more engaging when he takes on the voice and mannerisms of the ladies who came into his life. He seems to connect to their internal life more clearly, as the rest of the time, the threads of Jefferson don’t come together in a compelling narrative.”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
June 21st, 2018

"His narrative, delivered in a thick Southern drawl, is sketchy and poetic, with a number of sequences in which Babatundé changes his voice to play various characters…The script plays second fiddle to over 30 songs…Most of the blues songs…are in the classic vein, but this creates a sense of repetitiveness over the course of the show's intermissionless hour and 25 minutes…The result is a biographically inflected blues concert for aficionados, not the wider public."
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
June 20th, 2018

"It is a tour de force performance, with the actor-singer ruminating on Jefferson’s life and singing his repertoire. Developing a distinct, wounded personality, he exhibits the inner longings and passions that Jefferson expressed, in addition to singing a vast number of songs in the style associated with the man who had such an influence on the art of the blues...To the credit of Babatundé, one comes away with a solid impression of the man and his life."
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DC Metro Theater Arts
June 19th, 2018

“The show is sometimes confusing and lacking in fluidity, suffering from truncated musical numbers, abrupt shifts in character, and staccato breaks between the random thoughts being recounted. And the context in which the story is set doesn’t become clear until the closing song...But like the style of the music itself, ‘Lonesome Blues’ is more about feeling than narrative, and Akin Babatundé skillfully delivers.”
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TheaterScene.com
June 28th, 2018

“Refreshingly intimate...The whole piece is sung in a talkin’ blues style...Weiss accompanies the singer on a folk guitar...The connection between the two is palpable...The musical arguably runs a whiff too long, and could benefit if a couple of songs were cut from the piece...Babatunde has the pipes and acting talent to give flesh-and-blood to the legend...This show doesn’t have the glitter and dash of a Broadway musical. But it does have soul.”
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