Members say: Relevant, Great singing, Entertaining, Great acting, Disappointing

About the show

The Public's new musical from Tony award-winning playwright Quiara Alegría Hudes ('In the Heights') and genre-breaking songwriter Erin McKeown, centers around an undocumented immigrant and her daughter.

... Read more

Two-time Tony nominee Daphne Rubin-Vega is Beatriz, flawed mom to 16 year-old Olivia, and on the verge of deportation. After living estranged from each other for years, a mother and daughter embark on a road trip that crosses state lines. Together they meet Americans of different backgrounds, shared dreams, and complicated truths.

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews


"Hudes and McKeown admirably attempt to put a human face on cold statistics, but they are too often thwarted by a lack of faith in their central story...deBessonet falls into the trap of delivering a workshop production in lieu of a full one...Frustratingly, it often feels like 'Miss You Like Hell' is more interested in broadcasting its woke intersectional bona fides than actually telling the story at hand...It's not hell to sit through, but you certainly won't miss it once it's gone." Full Review


"A lovely and touching chamber musical...With a powerful singing voice and acting skills that mix teenage angst with the anger of a troubled soul who felt forced into early adulthood, Gizel Jiménez is a formidable Olivia...While the detours can get a little sluggish,' Miss You Like Hell ' is gripping stuff when focused on Beatriz and Olivia, especially with Rubin-Vega and Jiménez giving such strong performances. And its topicality adds to the impact." Full Review

The Hollywood Reporter

"This timely show addresses such hot-button societal issues...But in an effort to be as entertaining as impactful, it does so in a cutesy, cloying manner that undercuts the important messages being imparted...Hudes' episodic book shifts wildly in tone, consistent only in its inconsistency and lack of credibility, while McKeown's pop-rock score features unmemorable ditties...The 10-person ensemble works hard to bring heart to the material, and they often succeed." Full Review

The New York Times

"As long as it sticks to the story of a mother-daughter is a powerful example of what musicals do best: explore the unprotected border where individual needs and social issues intermix...Too often falls short of its own ambitions...Too much time is turned over to diversions apparently meant to be distracting or, worse, heartwarming...Rubin-Vega, with her rough charisma, and Jiménez, with her blue-sky voice, generally make you forget all that." Full Review


"An earnest show that too often gets stuck in a traffic jam of multiple themes, characters and storylines...Overstuffed with ideas and incidents that don't add up to a sweeping, satisfying whole...The human touches of the mother-daughter dynamic are the most appealing part of the show...Low-tech to a fault...However, McKeown makes an impressive stage debut with music that is eclectic and appealing, though the lyrics are too often an odd mix of fleeting grace and awkwardness." Full Review

Time Out New York

"The show is quite a tearjerker when it sticks to the fraught mother-daughter relationship at its core, with tuneful folk-rock songs that touch on depression, heritage and family. But after hitting a few bumps on the highway, Hudes’s book loses focus and crashes into cliché...It’s a treat to spend time with complex Latinx characters who buck stereotypes. But although 'Miss You Like Hell' takes us on a resonant journey, its trajectory needs adjusting." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The unambiguous reason to see this new musical is Gizel Jimanez...'Miss you like hell' never delivers the promised emotional payoff, largely because the characters are so thinly sketched...Instead of using the road-trip format to reveal more about Olivia and Beatriz, the book's author adopts a picaresque approach, populating the play with characters who arrive, steal focus, and then drop out of the story...I left the theatre wanting to know so much more about these characters." Full Review

New York Theater

"Full of exuberance and heart and good intentions...At times a bit too reminiscent of a cloying show like 'Up With People'...the ensemble members back up the songs with gusto and without the aid through most of the show of anything resembling a set...McKeown and Hudes offer poetic lyrics that serve as counterpoint to the snappy, street-smart dialogue. To their credit, 'Miss You Like Hell' ultimately refuses to submit to the uplift that theatergoers have come to expect from a musical." Full Review

Front Row Center

"An ambitious piece...Every member of this ensemble is spectacular...The performers are stellar and the musicians are snake charmers. In addition, the direction of Lear deBessonet is compelling and vibrant...What is not so compelling or vibrant is the story and the music...It was the performers' mastery that charmed the audience. The story has holes the size of craters...The sincerity and dynamism is packed tight into this troop and the musicians who accompany them. They explode onstage." Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"'Miss You Like Hell,' whose decidedly shaky script deBessonet has fashioned into a physically lovely, emotionally moving theatrical experience. It's replete with the kind of songs you want to hear again, a uniformly outstanding ensemble led by two remarkable performers, and...driven by a subject of immediate public concern…However, her play is really schmaltz-porn about an estranged mother and daughter's reconciliation…Rubin-Vega...the intensity of a tropical hurricane." Full Review

The Wall Street Journal

""Has a timely political edge, an ethnically diverse cast and a score by a singer-songwriter who knows how to rock. What's more, it's good-really good...Steers a bit erratically between sentiment and sentimentality, but it scarcely ever descends to outright tearjerking and Ms. McKeown’s score heightens every emotion so skillfully that you’d think this was her third or fourth show instead of her theatrical debut." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"Sometimes the only way to repair a parent-child rift is a long, literal (and metaphorical) drive...Their slow reconciliation is achieved in large part by singing the lively songs Hudes and McKeown have written -as well as some of the less irresistible ones...Perhaps most responsible for the tuner's alluring effect is director Lear deBessonet...Rubin-Vega is an angst-ridden, determined, hopeful firecracker. In other words, she’s doing what she always does best." Full Review

New York Daily News

"The socially aware but awkward musical traces a road trip and reminds that traveling and theater share some rules for success. Don't overpack. Do choose good company...Hudes, McKeown, and deBessonet get the latter one right. Otherwise, the show is overstuffed and overstated...Songs are mostly so-so, and sometimes better, but the production is too much and too little at the same time. On the plus side, there are richly emotional performances all around." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"Powerful and super relevant show...This topical and smart musical wraps itself up in a sweet yet engaging road trip that is driven with perfection by the star and her director, Lear deBessonet...It's a raw and challenging story, laced with moments of struggle and acceptance as Rubin-Vega's mother Beatriz tries her best to 'mommy the fuck out' of her girl...It feels so real and touching, just like the whole of this musical piece, causing the tears to flow down my cheeks." Full Review


"Rubin-Vega once again lends her magnetic persona and powerful voice, and the lovely and golden-voiced Gizel Jiménez is very much a star in the making...Using the template of the road trip...provides the show with some amusing as well as scary encounters. Unfortunately, some of work better than others...Even though the mother-daughter interchanges aren't flawless, the scenes in which anger, regrets and love unfold are the most satisfying...Moving and worth seeing." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

"Hudes's characters are authentic and their multi-layered conflicts are believable and connect easily to the important issues...Powerful and emotionally engaging lyrics and music that...provide deep insights into the characters...Debessonet directs with a fluidity that allows her cast to discover the nuances of their characters and their relationships to one another...Not grounded in sentimentality but in the strength derived from connection to culture...Not to be missed." Full Review

Gotham Playgoer

"How a 16-year-daughter who hasn't seen her mother in four years could serve as a plausible character witness is one of the weakest plot points...Rubin-Vega and Jimenez are both quite strong in their roles. The music by McKeown, in a variety of generic styles, is serviceable...I really wanted to like it, but was disappointed that it did not offer any real illumination on the many issues it touched on...Most of the audience seemed quite enthusiastic." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"Given the urgency and immediacy of the premise, anyone who has been moved by the wave of anti-immigrant rhetoric and actions ought to be engrossed...Unfortunately, this is a case where the sum of the parts is greater than the whole, and despite some compelling performances by a game cast, 'Miss You Like Hell' fails to deliver the goods...Trying too hard to tell two different and conflicting stories...'Miss You Like Hell' wanders too far off the beaten path." Full Review

The Wrap

"The only new musical with songs approaching the insight and power of McKeown’s is 'The Band’s Visit'...If it lacks the intricate harmonic, key, and rhythmic shifts of Yazbek’s music, the story is much more forthright, and ultimately heartbreaking...Hudes' book takes no time to warm up...Any Rubin-Vega performance is going to be big and hyper-intense. Jimenez matches that energy from the get-go...DeBessonet’s direction is nearly as tireless as her two heroines." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"A touching, lively musical...The show taps strongly into contemporary concerns...The beauty of the show, enhanced by the lead performances, is how well the songs are integrated into the plot and how effectively supporting characters are brought into the story...deBessonet integrates story and music smoothly...Despite some weak spots here and there, this is a work with originality and heart and appearing just at the right time." Full Review

Daily Beast

"The songs of antagonism, reconciliation, and soul-baring are beautifully orchestrated and sung. But they do not really advance the story, and that story continues to puzzle, particularly as you never really get to the root of the conflict on stage, or care that much...Rubin-Vega and Jimenéz work hard too to make their characters and stories cohere, against the scattered material and bare staging, and there are some moving moments." Full Review

New York Magazine / Vulture

"Smart, if a bit on the nose, and with a less generic score and more trenchant direction, 'Miss You Like Hell' might really start to flex its muscles. But McKeown's songs evaporate from the brain pretty quickly, and deBessonet is so invested in the poignancy of the story that she never really finds its edges...There's power to its central plot, and to Rubin-Vega's and Jiménez's performances...But this car trip sticks to such well-worn emotional terrain, it loses its sense of adventure." Full Review

Village Voice

"Admirable, full-hearted, and underwhelming...Lacks a sense of magic...Songs to Hudes and McKeown’s credit, help fuel the narrative rather than merely embellish it. Ironically, given the weighty issues addressed, the most compelling tunes are the gentler, breezier ones...For all its flaws, 'Miss You Like Hell' appeals genuinely and sometimes movingly to our sense of compassion and capacity for hope; you just wish the musical were as transcendent as the message." Full Review

Exeunt Magazine

"The diversity of its ensemble and storylines is organic and unforced, and its political timeliness does not feel opportunistic. This highly anticipated musical is a gem...Erin McKeown’s score is varied and moving...'Miss You Like Hell' sets the bar for what a feminist piece of theater can be. Hudes’ writing is brave and deliberate...The connection between the two leads is palpable; any scene that involves their explosive interactions is spellbinding." Full Review

New York Stage Review

"The show packs a blazing performance by Daphne Rubin-Vega, some fresh songs by Erin McKeown, and a fast, fluent staging by director Lear deBessonet. Then there’s this ultra-serious story...The playwright's troubled mother-daughter story proves to be merely a half-bad component...McKeown, a folk-rock songwriter making her theater debut here, has crafted a likeable collection of songs that are more about rhythms than rhymes in their composition and appeal." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Quirky, Relevant, Resonant, Entertaining

See it if you want to see a piece that highlights the complexity of a mother-daughter relationship, as well as the uncertainty of immigration status.

Don't see it if you want to see something that feels like all the kinks have been worked out. This has a rawness and a messiness that may not work for all.

Also Gizel Jiménez and Marinda Anderson are given opportunities to shine vo... Read more Read less

Relevant story, Lovely music, banal lyrics, Uneven, Great talent

See it if Central mother-daughter story is touching & should be further developed in often appealing musical but other characters seem extraneous & do

Don't see it if not add depth to a play not quite ready for full staging. Remarkable Gizel Jimenez - someone to watch- & Daphne Rubin Vega

Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Relevant, Great singing

See it if You can forgive a few missteps and enjoy the many fine aspects of this small scale musical which features a beautiful score.

Don't see it if You heartlessly approve of Donald Trump’s humane immigration policies.

Ambitious, Quirky, Banal, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you like discovering new musicals, a fan of Daphne Ruben-Vega, enjoy small-scale shows, simple characters, & politically-relevant situations

Don't see it if Not a fan of intimate musicals, uncomfortable with immigration issues, don't like overuse of coincidence & too nice to be real characters

Great acting, Relevant, Disappointing, Cliched, Great singing

See it if you want to see two of the most spectacular female performances ever. marvelous! bright lights in an uneven play

Don't see it if you are not open to new musicals that still need development

Great acting, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You're a fan of Quiara Alegria Hudes (you should be), you enjoy seeing new musicals.

Don't see it if You want something fluffy and light, you'd have difficulty with themes of immigration/deportation or parental alienation.

Intelligent, Quirky

See it if Good acting/singing by the central two characters

Don't see it if Highly distracting side stories and songs which did not necessarily fit well and contribute much

Ambitious, Clever, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Great singing

See it if you are looking for a relevant story well sung and acted, Great score and an important commentary on both current affairs and family

Don't see it if you have no heart or are looking for a big old fashioned musical

Engaging, Sweet, Touching

See it if you want a great ensemble, an endearing story, and a rollicking score

Don't see it if you expect flashy production values

Dizzying, Thought-provoking, Confusing, So-so, Workshopy

See it if the theme resonates to you and you wont mind seeing a work in progress

Don't see it if you prefer a solid musical. Unfortunately, this isnt quite like Heights. Feels workshopy and needs lots of iteration before becoming solid

Beautiful, Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Great writing

See it if You want to see a beautiful story about the struggles between a mother and daughter and the struggle of the immigrant experience in the US

Don't see it if You are looking for a light, fun show that doesn't address a major political issue

Relevant, Confusing, Entertaining, Clunky

See it if Good music. Great singing from Gimenez. Relevant moving story at the core.

Don't see it if The heart of the play gets muddled by baffling unnecessary go-nowhere-unexplainably subplots. Really sucked the life out of the story.

Also A lot of the songs are great. Especially the melodies. It just got rea... Read more Read less

Clever, Great acting, Intense, Great singing, Great staging

See it if If you want to enjoy excellent singing and acting on a rare theatrical story told of illegal immigration

Don't see it if You are married to the so-so reviews.


See it if you know nothing about the illegal immigrant experience. See it for a few very good performances--Bolero and Jimenez are excellent.

Don't see it if you want a show with songs that add to the story or lyrics that will touch you. I should have cried at some point in the show.

Also But the storyline was missing something and thus my feelings were not ... Read more Read less

Relevant, Cliched, Moving, Great staging, Mostly strong singing

See it if you are touched by shows that explore mother-daughter relationships and/or immigration issues today.

Don't see it if you cannot tolerate some unevenness in the score.

Also Nice staging for a small space, particularly the Greek chorus singing ... Read more Read less

Banal, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Badly written

See it if for you, pandering to the Public's audience on the subject of immigration and "The Wall" can make up for a mediocre script and score.

Don't see it if you like musicals to have a well-constructed book, understandable characters, and distinctive music.

Ambitious, Relevant, Overrated, Great singing

See it if see notes

Don't see it if see notes

Also This show has great potential but it is so uneven that it is hard to c... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if You want to see a mostly engaging musical about an important issue

Don't see it if You will be annoyed by several “cutesy” moments that detract from the story

Also This was entertaining and well performed - but I guess I was expecting... Read more Read less

Almost but not quite together

See it if You want to see a musical about the ubject of immigration

Don't see it if You like more traditional musicals.

Ambitious, Great acting, Relevant

See it if You are excited by new musicals about edgy contemporary subject matter.

Don't see it if You like old school storytelling and musical styles.

Disappointing, Cliched, Slow, Great music, incoherent

See it if you want to see a musical about a mother-daughter road trip to reconnect them after years apart that doesn't quite hit the intended target

Don't see it if you don't enjoy mother-daughter reunions told through a road trip with a cast of weird characters that leaves you so-so at the end.


See it if you like a show that's in development with interesting ideas not fully fleshed out

Don't see it if character arc not clear, lack of character background / development, music is not distinct, staging is lots of sitting on stools

Thought-provoking, Relevant

See it if Your level of expectations in the arena of musical theatre is not terribly sophisticated.You enjoy the wonder talents of Daphne Rubin-Vega.

Don't see it if You have great expectations from musical Comey productions @ the Public Theatre. Not!

Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like musicals that you can relate to with a company of many ethnicities and vocal talents

Don't see it if you do not like musicals with a hardship story

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Disappointing, Timely, Great singing

See it if you love Daphne Rubin-Vega and want to see Gizel Jimenez play her daughter and the two of them together are terrific.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy half-baked new musicals.this one is timely vis domestic issues/immigration but the book is poor and the story needs work.

Cast & Creatives (21)