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

Old Stock: A Refugee Love Story NYC Reviews and Tickets

(101 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (101)

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519 Reviews | 121 Followers
Absorbing, Enchanting, Intense, Profound, Relevant

See it if You like klezmer and/or folk music. You are interested in the Jewish or immigrant experience. You like actor/musician shows.

Don't see it if You don't like "non-traditional theatre." It's more of a staged concert with scenes than a traditional book musical. Read more

394 Reviews | 34 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting

See it if You want to see a wonderfully enjoyable show with fantastic performers.

Don't see it if If you din’t Like Jewish music. There’s no reason not to see it. Read more

181 Reviews | 33 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if I loved the innovation. The different take. The compelling characters. The familiar yet unfamiliar way the story is shared. So unique.

Don't see it if you are looking for a straight laced traditional telling of a depressing hopeful spirited tale.

120 Reviews | 14 Followers
Clever, Delightful, Funny, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to laugh, cry and be thoroughly entertained. Catchy music, cleverly staged and well acted by multi-talented players.

Don't see it if If you are not interested in the uplifting and emotional immigrant story

72 Reviews | 10 Followers
Great singing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if You like good theater that makes you think. You enjoy klezmer music. You like theater that is moving and funny, historical yet current.

Don't see it if You are sensitive to strong language. You want light hearted entertainment.

266 Reviews | 27 Followers
Clever, Quirky, Intelligent, Great singing, Resonant

See it if you have any connection with Jewish immigrants (i.e grandparents); you enjoy excellent musicals done in a unique fashion

Don't see it if you can't bear to hear about the atrocities of war even if it's not the most important aspect; you can't relate to Jewish characters

137 Reviews | 32 Followers
Moving, Great music, Quirky, Dark

See it if you enjoy unusual theater with a simple story and great music led by a versatile cast, you appreciate dark humor even if it is heavy-handed.

Don't see it if you want a complex story or subtlety, are not able to sit through some purposefully uncomfortable moments, lean toward the traditional.

298 Reviews | 39 Followers
Absorbing, Funny, Ambitious, Relevant

See it if You like klezmer music, immigrant stories, or Yiddish style theater (plays with songs, but not musicals).

Don't see it if Detailed descriptions of ethnic cleansing will trigger you.

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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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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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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April 1st, 2018

"Weatherstone and Coady are just Jewish enough to be believable. Happily they do not move into the swarmy stereotypes that overwhelm us with fabricated emotion. Caplan, with his unruly beard and grin of an evil clown, could have stepped directly out of a Brecht-Weill musical or a Berlin cabaret."
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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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