New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

Molasses in January

From 4 critic and 16 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Delightful, Disappointing, Slow, Great singing

About the show

A new musical about a struggling family of Italian immigrants who are literally swept up in the Boston Molasses disaster of 1919 makes its Off Broadway premiere. More…

Spanning 1915 to 1919, set against the backdrop of Boston’s Italian North End, 'Molasses in January' tells the story of Anna. She's a single mother doing her best to raise her children in a world caught up in the turmoil of the first World War. An enormous molasses tank is built to make liquor and gun-powder for the war. But on an unusually warm January day, the tank suddenly bursts and two million gallons of molasses come crashing down around Anna and her family discovers that life can change in a moment.


"The lyrics tend to be very thin and extremely repetitious. The uncredited set is actually that of another show with unnecessary portions covered over in brown cloth, giving the look of the show no atmosphere whatever. The uncredited costumes are mainly coordinated in bland brown and white which does not help set period one bit. Stone's choreography is extremely basic and not very decorative. If you sit on the left side of the theater, you are likely to be blinded periodically." Full Review

Broadway Blog

“While disaster tales can often be rich fodder for the stage, Pellegrino’s dramatization is nearly unwatchable. Pellegrino presents us with little more than a cookie-cutter, stereotypical Italian Immigrant family...Were this show a parody, it could have worked. The fact that it is played as a legitimate drama makes for an awkward and painful 90 minutes. The mixed caliber of talent makes the best of this burden...There have been finer junior high school productions mounted.” Full Review

Theatre's Leiter Side

"An amateurish new musical…Pellegrino, rather than getting into the weeds about the actual disaster and its consequences, chooses instead to tell a banal, clichéd, pre-spill, laugh-an-hour story about a stereotypical Italian-American family…You'll probably want to know more about this catastrophe, which is far more interesting than the show...A good show lies stuck somewhere in the story, struggling to get out, but 'Molasses in January' isn't it." Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

"At best this production can be described as amateurish...The 19 songs, if you can call them that, neither enhance the story or move the action forward...The songs also have no structure and sound like snippets of ditties, if they could have formed a coherent tune...The cast was like watching badly performed community theatre, with not a lot of talent. The vocals for the most part were thin, nasal and sounded out of tune...There is not a thing I can recommend about this production." Full Review

Hilarious, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to explore the history of italians in boston

Don't see it if You dont like the portrayal of poor italians

Hilarious, Enchanting, Entertaining, Funny, Delightful

See it if Great show with great singing! Give these young talented actors a chance, I enjoyed their performance with all my heart.

Don't see it if If you don't like a romantic, historical show.

Cute, Refreshing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you enjoy shows based on historical events or appreciate musicals w/ a local theatre feel that are made by artists with a love of the craft.

Don't see it if you prefer large-scale, splashy productions. This is small and intimate.

For what it is it does well. skimpy production holds it back.

See it if You appreciate low level production of a new musical. Almost like a workshop level.

Don't see it if You want a finished professional musical.

Disappointing, Slow, Interesting

See it if you like historic musicals geared to a young audience.

Don't see it if you don't like shows that are based on true events.

Disappointing, Cliched, Confusing, Dated, Delightful

See it if Just wanted to take your mind off of work

Don't see it if Expecting nothing less than spectacular


See it if . Interesting story. However, it was only tangentially explored in the play. The cast does try.

Don't see it if you want a show that is more developed and does not look like a high school play.

Disappointing, Slow

See it if You enjoy watching young actors acting their heart out

Don't see it if You are expecting a slick well directed performance

Insipid, Overrated, Disappointing, Banal

See it if You’re really bored

Don't see it if You can avoid it.

Slow, Insipid, Banal, Disappointing

See it if If you are a fan of root canal surgery.

Don't see it if Either hemispheres of your brain are functioning

During previews
Great singing, Absorbing

See it if You like a dramatization of a real life disaster with good singing.

Don't see it if You don’t like small theaters

During previews
Historic, Slow, Romantic, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a well-sung new musical, have a family you’re bringing, or have any interest in the early 1900’s

Don't see it if You want a groundbreaking plot or intricate set.

During previews
Good singing, Funny

See it if you enjoy pieces based on true stories or you like musical stories about family and romance in a small town.

Don't see it if you prefer larger productions and do not enjoy an intimate theater. It was hard to see in some scenes, the stage is too low.

During previews
Thought-provoking, Great staging, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if you are interested to the plight of immigrants

Don't see it if if you are offended by stereotypical portrayals

During previews
Energetic, Romantic, Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if you're into historical musicals with beautiful legit singing. The cast is very energetic and every member delivers a heartfelt performance.

Don't see it if you're not to family dramedies about exploding molasses tanks.

During previews
Great singing, Delightful, Ambitious, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy classical musical theater; history; lovely singing; traditional storytelling.

Don't see it if You prefer experimental or avant-garde drama.

Cast & Creatives (11)