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Octet

From 213 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Clever, Ambitious, Relevant, Absorbing

About the show

Three-time Tony Award-nominee Dave Malloy ("Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812") begins his Residency 5 as Signature’s first musical theatre writer with this world premiere musical. More…

Featuring a score for an a cappella chamber choir and an original libretto inspired by internet comment boards, scientific debates, religious texts, and Sufi poetry, "Octet" explores addiction and nihilism within the messy context of 21st century technology


Member Reviews (213)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great singing, Clever, Ambitious, Relevant, Absorbing
85
Avg Score

83
Surprising, Great singing, Timely, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if Very creative with timely themes. Great singing and choreography. Unique and special. Fun and very thought-provoking.

Don't see it if There is one scene that had nothing to do with anything else. It is interesting in itself but it's jarring on the continuity of the whole.

82
Relevant, Great singing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Really inventive concept for a show. The music and the vocals are VERY impressive. Subject matter is relevant to today.

Don't see it if You dislike the format of A Chorus Line or Assassins. This is similar where each character has a song but it's all connected by a theme.

75
Relevant, Engaging, Mysterious, Enjoyable, Great singing

See it if you want to be entranced by 8 people singing a cappella basically non-stop for 2 hours, flawlessly.

Don't see it if you're looking for something that really has something to say. This show keeps hinting at a deeper meaning but never quite finds the payoff.

85
Formatted as alcoholics anonymous-type meeting where those attending have an addiction to technology, this provides unique experience of hearing participants as part of octet singing confessional pieces a cappella (a/c); missing character interactions

See it if far ranging/imaginative exploration of our addiction 2 technology "monster", how tech defines us; striking music/lyrics; amazing a/c singing

Don't see it if u don't like modern a cappella or complex, poetic lyrics w obscure techno-speak; little plot development/character interaction

90
Original, Contemporary, Intelligent, Great music, Funny

See it if you’re looking for something entirely original, fresh, and contemporary. It’s the best a capela musical about Internet addiction out there.

Don't see it if you prefer the classics or don’t want to be challenged. This show goes to strange places, so if you’re not into quirk this isn’t for you.

100
Masterful, Relevant, Clever, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you want to see an intelligent and innovative piece about internet addicts. The a cappella style suits the story perfectly.

Don't see it if you don't care about innovation in the theatre. "Octet" pushes boundaries in the art of theatrical storytelling. JUST GO!!

75
Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy a capella singing. You enjoy self-help groups where actors sit around in a circle. You want some of the free coffee on stage.

Don't see it if You'd be bored by the (too-long) piece in the second part that runs about 30 minutes. Everything else except that piece was entertaining.

80
Slow, Sign of the times, Great singing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if you enjoy a cappella singing, new plays & librettos with a current topic; talented ensemble with beautiful voices and harmonies.

Don't see it if not interested in seeing a bare bones set, a rare Signature musical or a self help meeting for people with internet/technology addiction.

Also Slow second half could use some editing. The play is interesting and w... Read more Read less

85
Entertaining, Absorbing, Ambitious, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you're interested in an acapella musical about internet/technology addiction. Beautiful arrangements/singing, fun but also thought-provoking

Don't see it if you're looking for a traditional musical, or something family friendly. Lots of crude language and adult references.

69
Ambitious but dull

See it if You like Dave Malloy music and attempts at new formats.

Don't see it if You don't like accapella songs

85
Relevant, Intelligent, Great writing, Great singing, Clever

See it if A talented cast performs a cappella songs, often in 8-part harmony, that illuminate the problems of internet addiction.

Don't see it if If you’re looking for a more traditionally linear show. Sometimes the lyrics were hard to understand.

94
Dizzying, Clever, Great writing, Great singing, Exquisite

See it if interested in how tech’s made ppl faster but not better (and arguably faster at being worse); you’re good at following unpredictable lyrics.

Don't see it if bothered that the show illustrates a situation, rather than a plot; dislike so much cleverness; turning to God fixes all of your problems.

Also How quickly can we get a cast recording?! I didn’t get any of the taro... Read more Read less

85
Quirky, Great singing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you like very strong vocalist singing a cappella. I didn't know what it was about and it was an "Aha!" moment! 7/8th of a great show!

Don't see it if You are looking for anything like Comet. It's a different show, with its own life, and message. see below. Needs a little trimming.

Also I hope this gets worked on and goes on. The music is beautiful, and mo... Read more Read less

87
Creatively-conceived, Riveting merger of classic sound with contemporary themes, Thought-provoking, Uneven writing/pacing, Exceptional singing/harmonies

See it if curious about a bathos-rooted, semi-pretentious, thoroughly mind-opening a cappella (mostly) performance about 21st-century tech-addiction.

Don't see it if expecting the luscious world of Dave Malloy’s The Great Comet; listening to people wax-on about technology/internet obsessions don't appeal.

Also Dave Malloy’s Octet is clever, fast-paced, and performed by eight exce... Read more Read less

81
Great writing, Great staging, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if excellent signing with really interesting harmonies and melodies.

Don't see it if essentially just songs with a minimal book. show could get dated very quickly.

69
Quirky, Indulgent

See it if a QUIRKY theater piece sounds entertaining to you.

Don't see it if the thought of a musical with out music doesn't even make you say "huh."

Also Beautiful voices. Talented cast. WEIRD everything else.

92
Malloy is brilliant, Must see, Refreshing, Relevant, Great singing

See it if You love great singing and musicianship. Are interested is addiction, technology, counseling. Like Malloy's immersive approach to theatre.

Don't see it if Don't enjoy wonderful vocal performance and witty writing.

Also Loved, loved, loved it!

100
Intelligent, Resonant, Relevant, Masterful, Great singing

See it if The brilliance of Dave Malloy.

Don't see it if Sold out!

88
Intelligent, Great singing, Edgy, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you're a fan of Malloy; you enjoy a cappella; you want to contemplate time and space and existence; you're looking for something new

Don't see it if you're looking for traditional structure; you're tired of shows that ponder about social media and technology; you need an orchestra

Also This show is on the verge of brilliant. It's a quirky, unexpected pond... Read more Read less

88
Resonant, Great singing

See it if Aca-mazing support group of tech addicts. Beautiful singing of how tech's consuming our minds and perhaps our souls.

Don't see it if You don't use tech (i.e., smart phones) — this would make little sense to you. No main plot, more anecdotes of various ways tech addicts us.

Also Diversity diverse octet of half female, Black, Latino, South Asian, Wh... Read more Read less

90
Relevant, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if You want to see something that's like Black Mirror meets "Life Support" from Rent. You enjoy a cappella music, and/or Malloy's work.

Don't see it if You have absolutely zero tolerance for theatre that is non-linear in its dramaturgic construction. It is more akin to a series of stories.

Also "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.... Read more Read less

80
Relevant, Great singing, Clever

See it if you're a big fan of Malloy and want to hear a talented cast sing his music. If you like themes of modern addictions.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of a capella. Or if you're not a fan of the occult.

Also I really was enjoying this piece and still do overall. I just found th... Read more Read less

80
Profound, Great writing, Great singing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Dave malloys a cappella musical about internet addiction but also faith v reason,spirituality v worldliness, & search for connection

Don't see it if It is beautifully sung and starts off as self help group but veers wildly towards the end into mysticism and magic which may be confusing

88
Highly creative, beautifully sung

See it if fine actor/singers in funny, moving, smart, insightful, engaging inventive work delights you. Divine harmonies. Contemporary but timeless.

Don't see it if you don't know anything about the digital world, or don't care for a cappella music. But you will miss a great night of music theatre.

90
Resonant, Masterful, Great staging, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if You want to see a unique, perfectly executed, beautifully sung new musical focusing on relevant social issues.

Don't see it if You only like plays with traditional narratives and plot lines.


May 19th, 2019
"The most original and topical musical of the year...A portrait in song of perhaps the greatest David and Goliath struggle of our time...These layered and contrapuntal voices produce a dazzling spectrum of effects, like the swelling harmonies associated with traditional choral music and the cryst...
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May 24th, 2019
“Malloy’s splendidly wrought new musical, ‘Octet’—performed nearly completely a capella...Under Annie Tippe’s taut direction, all eight bits of ‘Octet’s’ byte-size cast perform Malloy’s challenging compositions with exceptional skill, abetted by Or Matias’s musical direction and Hidenori Nakajo’s...
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May 20th, 2019
"Malloy’s extraordinary new chamber-choir musical 'Octet' uses a simple structure to go spelunking into a complex, ominous, continuously exquisite series of caves...The marvelous actor-singers of 'Octet' feel like tentative, searching acolytes...Under Annie Tippe’s agile, imaginative direction, e...
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May 19th, 2019
"A thoughtful, if simultaneously overstuffed and underdramatized, exploration of an issue that couldn't be more relevant...Each of the dozen songs is linked to a tarot card, and if you're wondering why, I'm at a loss to explain it. It's indicative of Molloy's overreaching...The composer's talents...
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Cast & Creatives (8)