Already closed | 2h 0m | Midtown W

Maestro (Ensemble for the Romantic Century)

From 66 member  reviews
Members say: Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious, Absorbing, Entertaining

About the show

Ensemble for the Romantic Century brings to life the story of conductor Arturo Toscanini who bravely opposed Fascism in Italy and America, in this solo drama with music starring John Noble. More…

Toscanini refusal to perform in Italy and Germany, and his trips to Palestine to conduct an orchestra made up of Jewish refugees made headlines around the world. Drawing on his passionate letters to his lover, the young Italian pianist Ada Mainardi, along with music by his contemporaries, this theatrical experience shows us that even during one of the darkest chapters in human history, an artist’s voice can be heard.

2h 0m | Already closed | The Duke on 42nd Street (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (66)

MEMBERS SAY:

Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious, Absorbing, Entertaining
72
Avg Score

72
Absorbing, Disappointing, Great musicians, Intelligent

See it if you want to see a good performance, but ineffective play. The ensemble of musicians are wonderful and John Noble plays Toscanini well.

Don't see it if you don't like classical music. There are more music scenes than dialogue. Writing not challenging enough to take advantage of great actor.

69
Beautiful music, Touching, Slow

See it if you enjoy classical music. Story and acting are ok but nothing special. It rambles but is interesting to a degree

Don't see it if you are looking for a thorough, well paced bio play.This drags. Too much music, too little story.

69
Great music, Fluffy, Indulgent, Good acting

See it if you like classical music (more concert than play), you are interested in Toscanini or in Nazi history and its effects on Italian citizens.

Don't see it if you expect a plays and are not interested in a musical concert or you are sensitive to Italian Nazi history and its effects.

81
Historically interesting, Script then and repetitious, Musicians were incredible!

See it if I am not learned in classical music. Went more for the story & history. I was knocked out by the musicians, fantastic.

Don't see it if Toscanini character was a drag. Repeatedly spoke similar words to a photo of his lost love. yawn. Where the real anti Nazi drama?

72
Great music acoustically well heard, Flat lead performance, Disappointing, More of a concert, Lost opportunity

See it if You want to hear some Romantic music played beautifully.

Don't see it if your main motivation is to learn something of feel something for Toscanini.

Also I closed my eyes to listen to the elegant performances of live music. ... Read more Read less

79
Entertaining, Slow, Relevant, Absorbing, Intelligent

See it if You like classical music and are interested in the life of Arturo Toscanini.

Don't see it if You don’t care for classical music or biographical/historical shows.

Also I enjoyed this show because it was as if I were at a classical concert... Read more Read less

71
Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking

See it if Well-told, interesting synopsis of Toscanini's life coupled with marvelous music in the hands of wonderful musicians especially the pianist.

Don't see it if The music, while beautiful, did not always add to or move the story along. If you're not interested in history or biography.

60
Great music, Slow, Disappointing, Ambitious, Missed opportunity

See it if You want to hear chamber music you likely haven't heard before, exquisitely played; you like an impressionist piece of multimedia theater

Don't see it if You want a linear plot (or any plot), you actually want to learn about Toscanini and what made him great

77
Ambitious, Great projections, Glorious music

See it if If you like classical music played by very talented young musicians and if it doesn't bother you that the music bears little in the plot.

Don't see it if you really want to know something about Toscanini or if you'd like to see the actor playing him actually have some idea how to conduct music

75
Great live music. script not great, Disappointing, Enchanting, Quirky, Slow

See it if You love classical music and enjoy hearing live performers.

Don't see it if THe script is lacking and the main actor overacts. If you can get a cheap ticket, go.

80
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Clever, Not for everyone, Great musicians

See it if You enjoy classical music and a one-man show.

Don't see it if You want rapid-fire dialog.

During previews
55
Disappointing, Slow, Pointless, Beautiful music, Relevant

See it if You enjoy gorgeous chamber music and some really interesting and at times beautiful projections.

Don't see it if You expect the story of Toscanini to develop into anything. Go into this expecting some lovely music with a few facts about Toscanini.

Also This was a lovely evening of music and the visuals were a nice additio... Read more Read less

During previews
61
Ambitious, Fluffy

See it if If you wan rh good music as well as good acting.

Don't see it if If you want something well written. It just wasnt a good story line

During previews
73
Disappointing, Ambitious, Indulgent, Resonant, Slow

See it if As usual, ERC's arty adapt is more potent musically than dramatically The well performed interludes hold interest esp. a great trumpet solo

Don't see it if Nothing about Toscanini's life is developed; his lifespan turned into a historical slideshow Furthered impeded by Noble's lame performance

During previews
66
Unfocused, Slow, Undramatic, Musical

See it if you’d like to attend a recital of chamber music by Verdi & post-Romantic composers not so often heard anymore & can overlook the rest.

Don't see it if you are looking for a drama.

Also The Ensemble for the Romantic Century creates theatrical concerts. A s... Read more Read less

During previews
81
Great acting, Great music, Intelligent, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy non-traditional storytelling. You like classical music. You have some familiarity w/Toscanini. You want great musical performances

Don't see it if You prefer more dialogue-driven storytelling: this is a concert w/monologues delivered to the audience. You don't like classical music.

During previews
75
Great acting, Thought-provoking, Slow, Ambitious, Indulgent

See it if for John Noble's charming performance. When he spoke to the audience as if we were his orchestra, I wished I could play an instrument

Don't see it if you are not fond of classical music. More than half of the performance is concert.

During previews
86
Slow, Great and beautiful music, Absorbing, Entertaining

See it if If you love live classical music and want to see amazing musicians.

Don't see it if You do not like classical music. One man performance.

Also The live classical music is amazing. The story line could have been be... Read more Read less

During previews
81
Clever, Ambitious, Great writing, Great musical performances, Great staging

See it if you enjoy a drama using music and video to tell the story of a very talented and courageous man, Arturo Toscanini.Very clever use of music.

Don't see it if you do not like classical music or are not interested in Toscanini's life.

Also This is in early previews. The actor John Noble did not project his vo... Read more Read less

During previews
65
Disjointed, Repetitive script, For a very specific audience, Lovely music/musicians

See it if Love classical music performed between attempts at dramaturgy. Want to consider inner life of a great artist, even if actor/script can't,

Don't see it if Want actual narrative, don't mind a lead who mumbles &/or overacts, can't watch stories re rise of fascism. Prefer just listening 2 music.

Also Ensemble for a Romantic Century presents a very specific form of theat... Read more Read less

During previews
76
Great classical musicians, Monologues personalize toscanini, Beautiful and informative projections, More music recital than drama

See it if Music recital with reenactment of Toscanini’s opposition to fascism, projections orient time & place, headlines tell of Jews fleeing Europe.

Don't see it if You are not a classical music lover. Hard to hear actor from back rows.

Also Excellent string quartet and piano. One number features trumpet with h... Read more Read less

During previews
96
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great writing, Must see, Masterful

See it if You want a wonderful theatre experience. Nearly flawless! Speaker system issues. A great history lesson you probably didn’t get in school

Don't see it if I cannot think of a reason. Live music. Rhapsody in Blue is surprisingly super. It’s music history as well as a history lesson. Love if it!

During previews
46
Great musicians, Interesting projections, Excruciating, Disappointing, Boring

See it if You like great music with a boring "story" mixed in. Great use of projections to engage the eye during the musical moments

Don't see it if If you want a story. This was a one man show with music and I could have done without the man. The lack of story made it hard to care.

During previews
49
It has no focus. not a concert and certainly not a play.

See it if You don't mind listening to incoherent talk between some nice music.

Don't see it if You want a play that makes any sense.

During previews
78
Toscanini talks art and politics, backed by chamber musicians

See it if The chamber music is fine, though Rhapsody In Blue is only tangential to Toscanini. The monologues are instructive if a bit snoozy.

Don't see it if Australian actor John Noble's Italian accent is difficult to understand at times. The projections and titles give a compact history of WWII


January 14th, 2019
"Even that dry description is more exciting than what Ms. Wolf and her director, Donald T. Sanders, put onstage. The text is a clip job, consisting almost entirely of excerpts from Toscanini’s letters and other documentary bric-a-brac. As all of it comes from his point of view, we have no way to ...
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January 14th, 2019
"The whole is even more a treat when the music is inserted...Li’s reading of Wagner’s 'Liebestod' in the Liszt version is worth the price of admission...Considered from a strictly dramatic perspective, 'Maestro' leaves something to be desired. Considered from a musically dramatic perspective, Mae...
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January 18th, 2019
“The cheese-fest that is ‘Maestro’ represents a good concert smarmified...Toscanini unfortunately – and unfairly – comes across a braggart with regard to his admirable antifascist activism...The script’s insistent focus on the erotic noodlings of a randy old goat does not lend itself to originali...
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January 16th, 2019
"The storyline may not fully satisfy all playgoers. It is largely episodic, and the main dramatic conflict is a political one. Toscanini was appalled by the rise of fascism in Italy, in the person of the brutal Benito Mussolini. In the early 1930's, he refused to conduct the fascist anthem, and h...
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Cast & Creatives (4)