New York | 1h 10m | Already closed

Really Rosie

From 9 critic and 40 member reviews
Members say: Disappointing, Entertaining, Delightful, Fluffy, Quirky

About the show

Encores! Off-Center presents this bittersweet family musical featuring a book and lyrics by kid-lit icon Maurice Sendak, and music by 10-time Grammy winner Carole King. More…

'Really Rosie' centers around a little Brooklyn girl with a big imagination. Can her dreams come true, or does growing up mean letting go? Inspired in part by the tales in Sendak’s 'Nutshell Library,' 'Really Rosie’s' songs include “Pierre,” “Alligators All Around,” and "Chicken Soup with Rice.” Read our interview with the director of the production, Tony nominee Leigh Silverman.


"Directed with the perfect anarchic feel by Leigh Silverman and performed by a talented group of teens and preteens who not only understand the dry sensibility of Sendak's text, but also know how to deliver it...Casel's dance numbers are impressive in their complexity, playing to the strengths of each individual cast member...In a world where that kind of innocence is harder and harder to come by with each passing day, it is lovely to see a reminder of those halcyon days of childhood." Full Review


"Wow, can these kids sing and dance!...The story has some hints of Maurice Sendak’s typically darker, scary aspects, but mostly it’s bright, energetic and sometimes silly. Carole King’s tuneful songs have become classics for children, and they’re still bouncy and fun to hear. At one point, Sendak’s speaking voice was heard, seriously explaining how children survive through their ability to fantasize, and 'Really Rosie' is a wonderfully entertaining example of that." Full Review


"Sendak penned the teleplay and wrote a fun batch of lyrics set to catchy pop music by Carole King...Directed with high-energy playfulness by Leigh Silverman, the Encores! Off-Center concert production of 'Really Rosie' is a sunny showcase for a talented cast of performers...Caldwell struts with lovable confidence throughout the 70-minute frolic, as do her terrific cohorts...Just try not being delighted watching 'Really Rosie's' dynamic company performing their hearts out." Full Review

AM New York

"Sendak’s cheery and charming children’s musical...Its catchy songs serve as tutorials on the alphabet, numbers, months of the year and proper behavior, and its loose story line celebrates the power of the imagination to overcome loneliness. Silverman directs a terrific pack of young performers, who bring both vibrancy and vulnerability to their characters. Caldwell shines as Rosie. The cast also impresses with dance, effortlessly performing tap and hip-hop choreography by Casel." Full Review


"A celebration of childhood curiosity and creativity...Caldwell’s Rosie is a high-octane, belting bundle of deliciousness with serious show-biz creds...Cabral brings down the house in 'Alligators All Around' with some impressive tapping...Silverman lets the kids be kids, not stressing over the occasional missed note, lack of projection, or rapid delivery of a line. Imperfection can occasionally be its own reward." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"If your idea of fun entertainment is hanging around a band of super-precocious young Broadway kids, mugging and trying to hog the spotlight, this could be your thing...I found Caldwell lacked the acting chops to find anything beyond a one-note Rosie, and that one note was basically annoying...Poorly directed by Leigh Silverman to be loud and spotlight grabbing, they rarely managed to find much subtlety or character development within the text...The songs excite and entertain." Full Review

New York Theater

"'Really Rosie' is strictly for kids, and, while sitting through its 70 minutes, I have never felt less 'young at heart' in my entire life...Lost on stage is Sendak’s complex tone, dark and full of dread, defiantly subversive, but at the same time beautiful and somehow gentle. Instead, we get cuteness and razzle-dazzle. It’s accomplished razzle-dazzle, helped along by King’s snappy melodies and Ayodele Casel’s choreography, sung and danced by a cast of first-rate diminutive performers." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"A pleasant if uninspired Encores! Off-Center production...The show itself, which began life as an animated thirty-minute made-for-TV special and was later expanded to 70 minutes for the theater, is little more than a series of unconnected musical numbers...Director Leigh Silverman hasn't found much to spark the show into life, and the overall effect is that of a nice little children's theater production that has somehow found its way into the vast venue of City Center." Full Review

The New York Times

"The musical 'Really Rosie' is so hard-candy cute you want to pull your teeth out. That isn’t true of the source material...Some 45 minutes of new songs and dialogue exacerbate the problem by trying to give everybody big moments; the result is more like a juvenile talent show than a story...All of the leading performers are delightful at something...But the show they perform is dispiriting...Nor is the staging, by Leigh Silverman, especially clarifying." Full Review

Enchanting, Quirky, Entertaining, Ambitious, Refreshing

See it if You enjoy a child cast. Cute little story about a girl and her friends imagination. Really enjoyed it.

Don't see it if Don't like children in the cast. They did an amazing job.Brought back childhood memories

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if even though it closed - it was a lovely 70 minute romp of youthful jubilation. Fantastic acting and singing by a young group!

Don't see it if You missed your chance. I can't think of a reason not to see this show. Unless you don't have a heart. And hate kids.

Entertaining, Nostalgic, Delightful

See it if you have children or grew up with this show/movie/book/tape.

Don't see it if you don't have a kid or don't have a connection to the work from a child's perspective.

Also I loved this as a kid and they did a great job transporting me back to... Read more Read less

Funny, Quirky, Clever, Intelligent

See it if You want to see a show written on 2 levels - one for adults, one for kids. It's especially fun if you know Brooklyn. The kids have talent.

Don't see it if You don't like Maurice Sendak or Carol King, ans no longer have the soul of a child.

Clever, Delightful, Great choreography, Fluffy

See it if you like cute kid shows. Music is fun. Staging was very good. Not my cup of tea, but well done.

Don't see it if you want something weightier and don't enjoy seeing shows surrounded by small human beings!

Funny, Confusing, Fun, Refreshing

See it if You want a pleasant fun children's show.

Don't see it if You don't like children's shows or kids on stage.

Great singing, Overrated, Dated, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if You want to see really talented kids; band is terrific; dancing is awesome.

Don't see it if You do not like family entertainmnet or are not a fan of Carole King.

Also The world needs more pink boas.

Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to bring kids to a show! Also, the performances from the children are awesome

Don't see it if you aren't up for a kid-oriented, super sweet show

Funny, Great dancing, Good songs, Disappointing

See it if you love Maurice Sendak and/or Carole King and you like to see talented kids on stage.

Don't see it if you don't like Maurice Sendak or Carole King and/or you don't like shows with a cast made up of mostly all kids.

Great acting, Dated, Entertaining, Quirky, Great staging

See it if You enjoy the works of Maurice Sendak, talented children actors, and enjoyable dance numbers. Kathy and Chicken Soup especially talented.

Don't see it if You want to see a consistent, timely show, with a deeper plot, or only like amazing scores. You don't like a diverse child only cast.

Also Bottom line: this show is a musical version of some of Sendak's odder ... Read more Read less

Fluffy, Entertaining, Charming

See it if Maurice Sendak and Carole King are a tantalizing combo; you appreciate incredibly talented youngsters; kid lit appeals; you want to smile

Don't see it if you are too jaded to accept the premise of the stories and anything with kids annoys you

Also Surprisingly sophisticated content; smart comments from Sendak about k... Read more Read less

Delightful, Nostalgic, Cute, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You want to experience a blast from the past with a few cute Carol King songs and an adorable story. Great for families.

Don't see it if You are expecting a full on Broadway type show with an amazing story. Don't go if you're expecting a mature, or serious show.

Also I remember these songs from Kindergarten (2007) so it's nice to have a... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Great singing, Great staging, Funny

See it if You have children who can focus on the play, it was fun. The actors are terrific.

Don't see it if You don't have children accompany you.

Also They should have an age limit, there were too many babies under three,... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Funny, Disappointing, Bad sound mixing

See it if You have young kids and/or are already a fan of the musical. Good acting & singing from everyone, and really enjoyed some of the songs.

Don't see it if This is a show meant specifically for kids, and was a little too silly for me. I wanted to see more of the darkness that was hinted at.

Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to enjoy an entertaining musical created by Maurice Sendak and Carole King. The show is more for children above age 10. Great cast!

Don't see it if You prefer more adult oriented fare.However, it is very enjoyable for adults. The lead performers,with School of Rock experience, are great


See it if you want to expose your children to theater with a short and accessible kid's show.

Don't see it if you are expecting Encore's usually intelligent and thoughtful pick - this is for a totally different audience.

Ambitious, Delightful, Confusing, Fluffy, Overrated

See it if To an individual the entire child cast is superb and multitalented; happy to see so many families attend

Don't see it if The caliber of the creatives (from their other work) did not seem to translate into a coherent book or musical in this specific case

Great singing, Ambitious, Fun for kids

See it if You are a child, or have fond memories of this from your childhood.

Don't see it if You aren't already a fan of the show, a child, or a fan of kids' theater. Sendak & King don't stint on cutesy; 70 minutes are plenty.

Also It's hard to believe that Encores! - who in the past has presented Pat... Read more Read less

Cliched, Cute, Entertaining

See it if you have kids, want fun for the entire family, enjoy short and quirky shows, and if you loved the cartoon short film

Don't see it if you aren't a fan of kid shows or Carole King music, you like more traditional musicals, or you want a thought-provoking evening.

Also It's always tricky when you have shows that mostly or only contain chi... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Great singing, Indulgent, Quirky, Fluffy

See it if Precocious kids hogging the spot light make you happy. These kids can sing but don't have a lot of depth

Don't see it if You want subtle and interesting characterizations. This is a kids show. And not a great one

Delightful, Fluffy, Slow, Short, Meant for kids

See it if For nostalgia's sake or you have kids to bring along. For kids, by kids. Cheesy, silly. Children's theater on the Encores! stage. 70min show

Don't see it if Don't like kids and/or aren't a fan of children's theater. Want a big spectacle or a show w/ a solid plot. Wasn't what I expect from Encores

Sweet, For children

See it if you’re charmed by children acting precocious and a little hammy. Kids (in the audience) in front of me seemed to have fun. All-child cast.

Don't see it if you’re unwilling to lower your standards for child actors. You expect a show that visually references Sendak’s illustrative style.

Also For your kids. The actors have impressive resumes but this show just d... Read more Read less

Delightful, Cliched, Dated, Refreshing

See it if young talent is very good. songs are fine 65 minutes worked with the young audience sound system works great

Don't see it if The production should be advertised as a "Children's. show".. Maybe an entire series just for families???

Delightful, Funny, Fluffy

See it if you want to see a few up-and-comers and see a few cute numbers

Don't see it if you're interested in mature themes or want to see popular actors

Slow, Fluffy

See it if You like revivals of 1970s children's programming. You're a devoted Sendak fan. You want to see a special needs actor included seamlessly.

Don't see it if Kids grate on you. The music mostly holds up, but the story is slow and confusing. Lots of hammy kids.

Cast & Creatives (19)