Pacific Overtures
Closed 1h 30m
Pacific Overtures

Pacific Overtures NYC Reviews and Tickets

(193 Ratings)
Members say
Great singing, Intelligent, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

About the Show

George Takei stars in Classic Stage Company's revival of Stephen Sondheim's musical about a samurai and a fisherman caught up in the westernization of the East.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (193)

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570 Reviews | 87 Followers
Absorbing, Ambitious, Great acting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you have a pulse.This is what PO should always have been.Exciting,funny,tragic,fast paced, great music/orchestrations. Perfection. GO!

Don't see it if you are an idiot. If you like Sondheim, (and if you don't, please go away) this is an absolute must see. Should transfer exactly as is.

236 Reviews | 174 Followers
Great acting, Great singing, Intelligent, Masterful, Profound

See it if you love Sondheim and want to see one of his masterpieces with a superbly talented cast in a beautifully simple staging

Don't see it if you are not a Sondheim fan - just don't

98 Reviews | 20 Followers
Great acting, Great writing, Intelligent, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you enjoy a wonderful ensemble,great singing...of one of Sondheim's best musicals

Don't see it if you don't like sparse staging.

192 Reviews | 24 Followers
Absorbing, Great singing, Entertaining, Must see, Terrific

See it if you love Sondheim, this show, great musicals.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a musical about the 19th century intrusion into Japan by America and European countries.

116 Reviews | 34 Followers
Absorbing, Great singing, Masterful, Exquisite, Must see

See it if You appreciate gorgeous singing, beautiful harmonies, and ingenious staging. A truly intimate and breath-taking production.

Don't see it if If you like opulent musicals. This show is very minimalistic -- almost no props or scenery.

506 Reviews | 1005 Followers
Absorbing, Clever, Great writing, Relevant, Resonant

See it if history.. Sondheim.. singing.. Sondheim relevance and Sondheim compromise vote... partners 95 my 90 great set

Don't see it if you are a purist and need the original 1974? rendition. many songs cut and now reduced to 90 minutes

193 Reviews | 29 Followers
Great singing, Great staging, Great acting, Masterful

See it if Sondheim lovers will be thrilled with this kabuki poduction. At first I thought I'd be bored but quickly was brought deep into the show.

Don't see it if If you are on the fence about Sondheim or need a set, this production is not for you.

260 Reviews | 55 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great staging, Intelligent, Enchanting

See it if You like great Sondheim productions.

Don't see it if You don't like Sondheim.

Critic Reviews (34)

The New York Times
May 4th, 2017

"Sometimes-glorious, sometimes-lackluster revival...The lack of clarity that results from a cast of 10 actors playing dozens of characters means that the shock you are meant to feel as Japan hurtles toward a violent modernity is diminished...But...something else is enhanced. The portrait of history as the sum of transactions between individuals who usually seem irrelevant was never as powerful as it is here...So let’s call the screen half full—which, with Sondheim’s songs, is more than enough."
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Time Out New York
May 4th, 2017

"Boiled down—with all the loss of flavor that implies—to a somber 90-minute procession...Instead of coups de théâtre, this production offers coupures: edits, edits, edits. Gone is much of the material that gave 'Pacific Overtures' levity and texture...Not all is dire. The opening and closing numbers are confusing, but the major middle ones are cleanly handled...Too much of 'Pacific Overtures' is in what Doyle throws away. Striving for lean, he makes the show seem thin."
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The Wall Street Journal
May 4th, 2017

"The tone and scale of the production are enthrallingly intimate, and the simplicity of the presentation means that the gorgeous score stands out in the highest possible relief...The ensemble cast is solidly competent...'Pacific Overtures' didn’t need to be cut by an hour, much less subjected to a politically tendentious rewrite...This revised version works superlatively well in its own way. For all my reservations, I wouldn’t have missed Doyle’s richly involving production for the world."
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May 5th, 2017

"Doyle abjures spectacle, and that’s all well and good. But what’s sacrificed here is not the big effect so much as the bold gesture that underscores the seismic character of the history unfolding through these indelible songs and actions. Trimmed to 90 uninterrupted minutes, it’s diminished, like listening to Beethoven through a transistor radio or looking at the moon through the wrong end of a telescope. It demands a leap of faith to fully comprehend."
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May 4th, 2017

"Doyle is such a wizard, he could probably stage a show on a postage stamp...The stylized performances of a superb Asian-American cast are ideally suited to this minimalist production of one of the great musicals of our time...Spectacle has no place in this production; it’s replaced with intimacy...The close staging also allows each lyric line to ring out with astonishing clarity...Every song seems perfectly pitched to every social atrocity executed in the name of progress."
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The Hollywood Reporter
May 4th, 2017

"This streamlined adaptation, performed with soulful feeling by a small multi-role cast, and told with haunting narrative simplicity, rewards being savored on its own subtle terms...The frugal restraint of the production highlights the delicacy of one of Sondheim's most evocative scores...This is a lovingly mounted staging of a unique show, a sorrowful account of violation, naivety and shattered peace, and a culture clash musical imbued with solemn humanity."
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AM New York
May 4th, 2017

"Like a bonsai tree that has been pruned with hedge clippers instead of scissors, or a barber shop customer who got too close a shave from Sweeney Todd...Some will find that Doyle brings clarity and intimacy to a challenging work, and others will be angry over the textual omissions or the lack of visuals. Personally, I found the production to be a plain and unexciting affair that, for the most part, drained away rather than enhanced the musical’s impact."
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May 4th, 2017

"Weidman's book feels incredibly prescient in the context of today, when the political discussion has shifted from right-versus-left to open-versus-closed...John Doyle, who has previously distilled Sondheim in smartly pared-down productions, proves to be the ideal director and set designer for this show that is best presented with elegant simplicity...The sound is magnificently rich in this intimate space...'Pacific Overtures' also benefits from the performance of George Takei."
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