Preludes
72

Preludes NYC Reviews and Tickets

72%
(10 Reviews)
Positive
60%
Mixed
30%
Negative
10%
Members say
Ambitious, Original, Slow, Confusing, Quirky

About the Show

Lincoln Center Theater presents 'Preludes,' a musical fantasia set in the hypnotized mind of Russian composer Sergei Rachmaninoff.

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Member Reviews (10)

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593 Reviews | 221 Followers
70
Ambitious, Great staging, Excruciating, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You like to experience new, very artistic, very ambitious music theater.

Don't see it if You can't stand slowly-paced, overly intelligent work.

481 Reviews | 316 Followers
67
Thought-provoking, Romantic, Original, Great acting, Slow

See it if You enjoy classical music and want to see a play about Rachmaninoff having writer's block.

Don't see it if The topic of a musician's writers block doesn't interest you and/or you don't like classical music

272 Reviews | 57 Followers
78
Ambitious, Intelligent, Thought-provoking

See it if you're interested in Russian history, classical music.

Don't see it if you want a linear, easy to follow story.

94 Reviews | 37 Followers
55
Ambitious, Disappointing, Dizzying, Original, Quirky

See it if beautiful singing and an impressive cast can make of a complicated story. (Amazing sound design and a cool set help though).

Don't see it if an ambitiously complicated story structured to reflect Rachmaninoff's life and creative inspirations adds little to our understanding.

68 Reviews | 64 Followers
95
Enchanting, Entertaining, Ambitious, Great acting, Great staging

See it if you love contemporary, innovative stagings and plays, classical Russian music, actors playing multiple characters.

Don't see it if you want light fare, you're not in the mood for a thinker.

35 Reviews | 7 Followers
65
Ambitious, Confusing, Dizzying, Intelligent

See it if you're a fan of gabriel ebert, rachel chavkin, dave malloy, or virtuosic piano playing.

Don't see it if you're expecting genius on the level of great comet.

17 Reviews | 19 Followers
80
Ambitious, Clever, Edgy, Great writing, Original

See it if You enjoy unique theatre and loved Natasha, Pierre and the Great Comet of 1812.

Don't see it if You're easily confused.

meg
10 Reviews | 15 Followers
90
Ambitious, Edgy, Quirky, Original

See it if you're an artist who's suffered failure and writer's block; you like daring theater that's trying something new; you're a Rachmaninoff fan.

Don't see it if you like your musical theater straightforward and do not appreciate experimental approaches; you are an orthodox classical music lover.

Critic Reviews (16)

The New York Times
June 15th, 2015

"Writer’s block turns out to be a lot more inspiring than you could ever have imagined — and sad and stirring and gloriously fun. In 'Preludes' Dave Malloy makes beautiful music out of a composer’s three years of creative silence...Mr. Malloy and Ms. Chavkin have delivered the best musical about art’s agonies since 'Sunday in the Park With George...' This smashing production says that the American musical is not only not dead but also growing luxuriantly in places you never expected."
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Time Out New York
June 15th, 2015

"Preludes feels boneless and blobby: a two-hour mishmash of navel-gazing vignettes about the difficulty of being an artist, scored with snatches of classical music and meandering arioso... Flashes of intelligence notwithstanding, Preludes is largely hermetic and dull. "
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The Hollywood Reporter
June 15th, 2015

"A load of talent and resources has been thrown at this ambitious bio-drama, which features some rhapsodic music and glorious singing. However, the distancing show is too clever by half; it's dense, exhausting and pretentious...The creative team twists itself inside out trying to make artist's block theatrical and involving. But it can’t be done; at least not here...Nonetheless, the production looks and sounds terrific."
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Entertainment Weekly
June 15th, 2015

"Malloy’s inspiration also proves to be an impediment. Rachmaninoff’s music dominates the proceedings...More often than not, they’re keeping us from hearing Rachmaninoff’s music. As Chekhov tells Rach, 'use more silence.' If you were wondering what the heck Chekhov is doing here, you wouldn’t be the only one...Malloy does call 'Preludes' a 'musical fantasia,' but there’s a fine line between the creative and the chaotic."
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Variety
June 16th, 2015

"For all the fancy stagecraft, nothing in this ingeniously staged but overlong and self-indulgent piece comes close to giving the same transporting pleasure as Matias’s ravishing piano playing...In the end, it proves more exhausting than entertaining (or even uplifting) to follow Rach’s loopy thoughts and Malloy’s mannered musicianship. And when the lights come up on all this noisy spectacle, what lingers in the mind is the composer’s deeply felt but simply stated wish: 'I would like to be remembered.'"
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Deadline
June 16th, 2015

"Anachronisms and malaprops abound, some of the humor is sophomoric and at a couple of points the whole thing comes perilously close to tweenosity. But in the end 'Preludes' is an involving and ultimately moving story about the unknowable ebbs and flows of creativity that artists fear, sometimes master, sometimes fall victim to and invariably navigate over the course of a lifetime. As recreated here, it’s a most intriguing and engaging journey down the rabbit hole of artistic accomplishment."
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New York Post
June 15th, 2015

"Malloy’s playfulness is paired with a deep knowledge and love for his subject. The songs display Malloy’s conversational flair and his gift for aching melody. The show could have used more of that unfiltered emotion — it loses focus jumping back and forth, and sometimes gets just a little too clever. The one constant is Malloy’s talent, which, amazingly, isn’t crushed by Rachmaninoff’s long shadow."
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New York Daily News
June 16th, 2015

"If only the show had heart to go with the brains. You can’t help but wish for more emotional payoff...Feels more like a well-performed but dry-eyed thesis.. The music comes and goes — Malloy’s compositions the paler of the two. If you’re looking for a sense of connection, 'Preludes' leaves you between a Rach and a hard place."
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