The songs of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter (of the Grateful Dead fame) come to the stage in this new musical, the fantastical and comedic tale of a legendary swindler. More…
'Red Roses, Green Gold' tells the story of Jackson Jones and his family of swindlers as they gamble their way to love and riches in 1920s Maryland. The musical features a cast of eight actor-musicians. While the bulk of its songs were composed by Hunter and Garcia, the musical also features contributions from Grateful Dead members Phil Lesh, Bob Weir, Mickey Hart, and Greg Anton.
"The familiar songs that drive the plot have been reworked with new arrangements that capture the genuine folk spirit of old-time Americana...All eight actors play an astonishing array of electric and acoustic instruments, bring full-out emotion to the songs, and deliver spot-on harmonies...Klein keeps the story flowing and the characters moving with high-energy direction and choreography...An entertaining reimagining of the nostalgic and transportive music of the Grateful Dead." Full Review
"Despite a clunky book, it makes for a lively hoedown-cum-quasi-rock concert kind of show...The infectious twang of the music and the talents of the eight-person cast, who are in effect the band as well, give the show an energy that can be appreciated by more general audiences...While they can’t lend the goings-on much credibility, the general affability of the cast makes it tolerable, and once the music begins again, all is forgotten and forgiven." Full Review
"It’s about a family from a few decades before the rock advent that plays Grateful Dead classics and thereby stays together...A good deal of fun for the Deadheads in the audience, of course, but others not so caught up in the country-rock band’s mighty thrall will also be entertained. Since the venerated originals don’t do much these many years on, here’s a more than acceptable fun substitute.” Full Review
“’Red Roses Green Gold’ has all the beauty marks and all the scars of a jukebox musical. There are wonderful songs...The music is admirably performed, not by a tribute band, but by a diverse ensemble of eight actor/musicians (five men and three women) who bring their own interpretations to the material...And a storyline so poorly conceived and executed that it almost ruins the fun...Fortunately, these folks can sing and strum a mean streak.” Full Review
"There is little pretense for the songs to connect meaningfully to the text or to defining any of the corn-ball characters such as they are. However, this raucous showcase gives its multi-talented cast of eight every opportunity to keep the ridiculous plot going...I doubt if the fans will care how well the songs are integrated into the farcical fable." Full Review
“The good news is that the songs, which lean heavily on a classic Americana sound, are effective in a sit-down, smoke-free theatrical context...Unfortunately, Mr. Mann has shoehorned them into a cartoonishly corny story...The zany mood is furthered by Rachel Klein’s bouncy staging...As manic as the goings-on are, they cannot entirely detract from the music...The songs are drenched in folk, country and blues, and rendered quite well by the multitasking cast, which plays all the instruments.” Full Review
“’Most enjoyable when Klein makes the show into a good old-fashioned rock concert...When the story doesn't intrude, the show and its performers deliver genuine excitement...Whether it's worth wading through a drawn-out plot to get to those performances will depend on how invested you are in the music...Those looking for an entertaining story to go with the music may want to ‘turn around and leave and walk away.’” Full Review
"All of this is somewhat confusing. But it does allow the versatile cast to burst into song many, many times. There’s rock, country, folk, blues, and a few ballads that are tuneful and moving. All of them will be recognized by Deadheads and appreciated by others..The rustic set sits uneasily with the psychedelic lighting. And the costumes often leave the audience wondering where and when all these shenanigans are taking place. But the antic antic action and its accompanying music never stop." Full Review
"A very good Dead cover band takes a tour of the band’s hits...Sorry to say, the good music comes wrapped in decidedly un-good nonsense...On the plus side, Kovach has used the space well, with an open, colorful setting...Chimenti’s arrangements do justice to the catalog of songs...'Red Roses, Green Gold' isn’t so much a long strange trip as it is a brief tumble into cozy, pain-free nostalgia." Full Review
"It’s terrifically performed and snappily presented but lasting close to two and half hours including an intermission and with encores, the tired plot makes it less then enthralling...Though it’s wonderful experiencing such spirited renditions of Grateful Dead classics by the talented ensemble, 'Red Roses, Green Gold' doesn’t really cohere into a satisfying work of musical theater." Full Review
"You might well be pleased by its tunefulness, but you’ll also have a fair amount of trouble deciphering the lyrics, which makes it doubly hard to understand how they fit into the silly plot...It often can’t decide whether it just wants to be a cover band concert or an actual musical, a problem Rachel Klein’s rather uninspired direction does little to solve...You might have a perfectly good time at 'Red Roses, Green Gold,' even if it’s less a diamond in the rough and more fool’s gold." Full Review
"Is it possible to make an entertaining jukebox musical out of the songs of Jerry Garcia and Robert Hunter? Not under these circumstances...One of the most glaringly incompetent musical books in recent times...The performers, all of whom are gifted musicians, do their best, but all night long they must fight the noise made by the projectors...Thus, an already flat, convoluted script is made even less compelling...Garcia, Hunter, and the others at least deserve something better than this." Full Review
"The featherweight endeavor crams some two dozen beloved Dead songs into a flimsy narrative that wouldn't sustain an animatronic theme-park attraction. The book must have been written under the influence of the band's favorite illicit substances...The sketchy storyline mainly provides an excuse for the actor/musicians to deliver the numbers...The renditions here leave much to be desired. Many are delivered in a frantic, over-amplified style that robs them of their charm." Full Review
See it if Love Grateful Dead music and great musicians and performers
Don't see it if you hate rhythm and blues rock and roll or don't like musicals or don't like to have fun.
See it if you like great music. Each and every cast member is stunning both as an actor and as a musician. And we don't want to forget the dancing!
Don't see it if you hate shows.
See it if You want to see very impressive actor/musicians play multiple instruments, and rock out to awesome arrangements of Grateful Dead songs
Don't see it if You want a nuanced, dramaturgically driven story. But if you do, then why go see a jukebox musical in the first place?
See it if you can enjoy a clever version of the Dead Songs. Country must be in your blood. All versatile and good singers Set is fine.
Don't see it if you are a pure Dead Head or a country music fanatic. Story is inane. Dialogue needs work.
See it if you can enjoy great music performed by a talented cast even if the plot is weak and has nothing to do with the music.
Don't see it if you like a musical where the songs further the plot or you don't like the Grateful Dead.
See it if You love The Grateful Dead and their music, if you just love music, if you like a great Off Broadway show. If you want to have fun!
Don't see it if You're looking for a traditional Broadway experience
See it if You like the music of the Grateful Dead or simply want experience a fun, enjoyable performance
Don't see it if You hate the music of the Grateful Dead or a musical with a somewhat contrived plot.
See it if you like Jerry Garcia's (Grateful Dead) music. Performers -amazing - they played all the instruments, acted danced like true prosfessionals
Don't see it if you need a well plotted and interesting story. Don't see it if you only want to see serious theater.
See it if You like good music played live by a highly talented group of actor musicians. Fans of musicals and the grateful dead.
Don't see it if You don't like musicals.
See it if You're a Grateful Dead fan or enjoy country music. Talented singers give energetic performances of old favorites in a hokey watchable story.
Don't see it if You don't care for the Grateful Dead or country tunes in general. If you are going for a thought provoking serious plot, this isn't for you.
See it if you like rock/country. You don't have to be a "Deadhead" to have a good time @ this show. The musicianship alone should knock your socks off
Don't see it if you're looking for a straight-up coherent no-nonsense script. It's humorous at best; more camp actually. Doesn't take away from the actors.
See it if the Grateful Dead and their music, great singing and wonderful dancing, a very talented cast. An entertainging afternoon
Don't see it if Looking for a great story or drama, looking for a serious show
See it if you like Grateful Dead music. Cast is wonderfully talented - singing, dancing, playing instruments. Quite enjoyable show!
Don't see it if you don't like Grateful Dead music. The entertainment is the music and dance.
See it if you are a big fan of the Grateful Dead or just love to see young actors with a tremendous amount of talent! Talent oozes from everyone!
Don't see it if you do not want an intimate setting with GD music. BUT, these performers could make you love the show with their multi-talented presence...
See it if You like Americana and most particularly, the Dead. I enjoyed that there was some interpretation of the songs, not just straight covers.
Don't see it if You're looking for a great play. The dialogue pretty much exists to set up the songs.
See it if You can ignore terrible sound design, a cheesy storyline, and overacting and appreciate the strong musicians and fan favorite Dead songs
Don't see it if You couldn't care less about the Dead
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