Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story
Closed 1h 20m
Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story
79

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(101 Reviews)
Positive
84%
Mixed
15%
Negative
1%
Members say
Entertaining, Great singing, Clever, Quirky, Absorbing

About the Show

59E59's genre-bending music-theater hybrid starring Klezmer-folk sensation Ben Caplan is about how to love after being broken by the horrors of war.

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Member Reviews (101)

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1040 Reviews | 251 Followers
74
Ambitious, Entertaining, Intelligent

See it if If you like one act musicals with a talented artist in the show. If you like something different, a little corky but satisfying.

Don't see it if If you don't like an unconventional show or a show about immigrants.

712 Reviews | 215 Followers
85
Romantic, Intense, Intelligent, Moving, Relevant

See it if Persecuted jews immigrate to Canada around 1900 and make a life. Couple struggles w their relationship due to past traumas. Good music.

Don't see it if Graphic descriptions of violence and starvation in Europe. Lyrics of songs sometimes difficult to hear above the instruments. Read more

692 Reviews | 106 Followers
80
Clever, Great staging, Entertaining, Relevant, Quirky

See it if you enjoy Klezmer music used to tell a refugee love story and immigrant experiences at the turn of the last century. Good staging.

Don't see it if you do not like Klezmer style music or story about immigrants. Read more

670 Reviews | 156 Followers
85
Thought-provoking, Romantic, Resonant, Unsentimental, Wry

See it if you think you might like your klezmer cut with a little bit of jugband--& just a pinch of Jewish ritual—sung by the Yiddish Tom Waits.

Don't see it if you want a full-blown book with your musical: here the drama is stripped down. Read more

528 Reviews | 132 Followers
84
Absorbing, Entertaining, Quirky, Tender, Great singing

See it if Ben Caplan’s energy and talent soar; the band is great and the story is both heart warming and heart breaking. I was totally absorbed.

Don't see it if you don’t like jazz, rock and prayer with your Klezmer music; you don’t care for immigration stories or a musical sung mostly by one person.

500 Reviews | 77 Followers
89
Clever, Great singing, Relevant, Delightful

See it if you like shows that are a bit off center.This show is delightful.Very engaging performances.Story is told through song.Thoroughly enjoyable

Don't see it if you hate musicals, or don't like quirky inventive shows.This is a gem.

402 Reviews | 86 Followers
80
Thought-provoking, Relevant, Intelligent, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you are interested in a clever, quirky & relevant folk musical portraying historical experiences of refugees. Both funny/entertaining & sad

Don't see it if you don't like folk or klezmer music, are opposed to some expletive and raunchy lyrics, or disinterested in immigration and Jewish themes.

404 Reviews | 59 Followers
90
Great singing, Intelligent, Masterful, Enchanting, Delightful

See it if your enjoy an interesting immigrant story with a message, combined with great Klezmer music and singing.

Don't see it if you don't like Jewish themes or music, or you are opposed to immigration.

Critic Reviews (30)

The New York Times
March 19th, 2018

"A work of mingled genres and strong flavors...By and large Mr. Caplan is a noisy treasure...Overwritten, the book and lyrics both. It’s alternately sentimental and lewd and strains too hard for universality, spelling out its metaphors in marquee lights...Still, it succeeds. A near catastrophe teaches Chaim and Chaya to care for each other, and it teaches us to care for them, too."
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Time Out New York
March 20th, 2018

"Shows about immigrants are hardly new ground in theater, but they’re seldom as bewitching as the Canadian import 'Old Stock.' This quirky one-act musical—more like a concert with accompanying dialogue—uses playwright Moscovitch’s Jewish-Romanian great-grandparents’ refugee romance in early-20th-century Montreal as the framework for a series of rollicking neo-klezmer songs...Caplan sells this old family folktale as our collective history."
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Theatermania
March 18th, 2018

"A perspective we rarely see in the musical genre: It does not take place in America, but Canada...Where the piece falters is in its own sense of place. Moscovitch's script is on the quest for universality, but it skirts around the show's single most interesting (and different) aspect: its setting. Why did these Romanian émigrés decide to settle in Canada?...'Old Stock' feels like a cool first draft of a work that is daring enough to think outside the box but not to really dig deeper."
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BroadwayWorld
March 21st, 2018

"There's no other production like it. Compelling storytelling and outstanding music bring to life the stirring tale...Caplan's spirited performance displays his amazing versatility as a musician and a storyteller. Mary Fay Coady as Chaya and Jamie Kronick as Chaim bring genuine depth and some humor to their roles...An enthralling story for our times. Chaim and Chaya's enduring faith and hope for the future are the values held by millions...Experience this unique theatrical marvel."
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Lighting & Sound America
March 20th, 2018

"The coming-to-America story has been worked over so many times...However, the resourceful people behind 'Old Stock' have found all sorts of ways to freshen it up...Has a structure and narrative method all its own...Economically, almost elliptically, written...Something positively Brechtian about this two-part then-and-now structure...Could have gone wrong in all sorts of ways. Yet it succeeds...It's a deeply moving saga, made more so by the fact that it is never over."
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Talkin' Broadway
March 18th, 2018

"It is a quiet and bittersweet family saga that is full of soft humor, sweet joy, dark despair, and blessed hope. It is also underpinned with a diverse musical score that runs the gamut from klezmer to jazz to Hebraic melodies of faith, all blended into what its effusive narrator calls a 'Yiddishkeit music thing'...Not some Canadian version of 'Fiddler on the Roof'...'Old Stock' has a great deal more to say about the realities of the immigrant experience...A remarkable journey."
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TheaterScene.net
March 22nd, 2018

"What's also surprising is the number of times that The Wanderer states something, only to add that, 'This isn't real,' and then to contradict himself again, saying, 'That's a lie.' It makes for an extremely unreliable guide, navigating us through the long saga of these two Romanian refugees, culminating with a long list of their many offspring: 'eight grandchildren and sixteen great-grandchildren.' But in the end, what exactly are we to believe, given the many contradictions in what we're told?"
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Theatre is Easy
March 18th, 2018

"Caplan, a true showman, has a dynamic voice and is entertaining to watch...It's unfortunate that the book and song scenes aren't more balanced, but when they all play together, the show really comes alive...There is one section about euphemisms for sex that goes on too long, becoming less and less funny, but apart from that, it's refreshing to see a show dealing with religion that is so upfront about sex."
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