Renascence NYC Reviews and Tickets

(54 Reviews)
Members say
Great singing, Ambitious, Absorbing, Great acting, Quirky

About the Show

Transport Group presents this world premiere musical about the radical, reckless, Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, Edna St. Vincent Millay, who lived one hundred years ago, a hundred years ahead of her time.

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Member Reviews (54)

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Ambitious, Edgy, Great singing, Slow, Quirky

See it if Journey thru Millay's early years via her poetry; providing lyrics to Dean's music Ambitious soundscape, more secular oratorio than drama

Don't see it if Millay's poetry can get lost amidst talented singers but bohemian, feminist quality prevails Ending could have more power recited than sung

Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Intelligent, Refreshing

See it if like bio shows but done non-conventionally. well-acted, well-directed and intelligent. music is really good too.

Don't see it if don't like bio show then not for you. having a background in reading "the" poem would be highly recommended

Critic Reviews (9)

The New York Times
October 26th, 2018

"Carmel Dean’s melodies, passionately sung, make the poems soar. But what does it mean that I came out of the show liking Millay’s poetry a lot less than when I went into it?...The show made me wonder why we’re still so hungry for artist biographies and what it is we want from them...Centering the work around lightly sketched love affairs feels prurient and cheap....As the evening wore on, I began to wish the piece had been reconceived as a concert, with no mortifying book scenes."
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Time Out New York
October 25th, 2018

“The last 20 minutes of ‘Renascence’ give themselves over completely to Edna St. Vincent Millay’s titular masterpiece, as the six-person cast sings and dances to her lyric poem...It’s the high point of this evocative but overly ambitious new musical...The characters never quite coalesce, and Vincent sometimes seems like a supporting figure in the story. Although it’s a pleasure to hear Millay’s soulful poems in song, the voice behind them remains something of a mystery."
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Lighting & Sound America
October 26th, 2018

"The Transport Group is currently presenting 'Renascence,' a musical about Edna St. Vincent Millay, and I can't imagine why. The show certainly doesn't provide any clues...Most of the time it fails to make a case for dramatizing the life of the poet, who should by all rights make a rip-roaring musical-theatre heroine...This is largely the fault of Scanlan's book, which employs a story theatre methodology that never shies away from cutesiness."
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New York Stage Review
October 26th, 2018

"Carmel Dean has done Edna St. Vincent Millay an extremely generous favor. She has set the revered poet’s 'Renascence' to glorious, moody, insistent music. Doing that, she has also given audiences an equally uplifting gift...Other Millay works are regularly inserted, and Dean treats them with the same fervor...Crystalline singing delivered by every member of the cast. Singling out any one of them for special praise isn’t necessary."
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October 30th, 2018

"Some of the talented and valiant cast cannot help but be defeated by roles for which they are unsuited, while others make their characters self-important and overbearing. The music seems at war with the style and subject matter of Millay's lyrics. And worst of all Edna St Vincent Millay, rather than being the heroine of her own story, comes off as extremely opinionated, pompous and unsympathetic. One wonders what she would have said about being depicted this way."
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Exeunt Magazine
October 27th, 2018

"Dean’s music is, at times, lush and powerful and the six-person cast is exquisitely voiced, but as a whole, the enterprise has a confused dramatic perspective...The payoff is worthwhile, though nothing before quite lives up to this final section or justifies the lengthy run time to get to it...This musical may have its peaks and valleys in its first production, but between Dean’s unique compositional voice and the intricate syntax of Millay’s 'lyrics' lies the promise of something remarkable."
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Broadway Blog
October 28th, 2018

"The new musical with a lush score...But much like Ms. Millay’s poetry, the payoff has to be earned...Dean’s score features sweeping melodic passages, further strengthened by Michael Starobin’s rich orchestrations...For the most part, though, the company’s over-earnestness feels unnecessarily wrought. Ms. Millay’s work as reimagined by Ms. Dean stands on its own merit and a sense of simplicity might further serve the piece."
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October 26th, 2018

"Rather than a bio-musical, the show, with a score that fits Millay’s poetry to lush and invigorating music, is more an evocation of a personality...No fourth wall here. When they aren’t singing or speaking intently to each other, they’re doing so to the audience. And the singing is indeed prodigious, often gorgeous...It’s hard to believe that the inventive theatricality of the show, the music, and the majestic talents of the performers won’t win you over."
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Motherhood Later
November 4th, 2018

"Not only a window into the writer’s mind and heart, but also an exploration about the fluidity of identity...The poet invites you into her inner world to where you are unseated as you are unsettled by this deeply moving, profound poet and her life, as presented in this striking production...The musical, with some beautiful, soaring melodies sung with passion and sincerity, is deftly directed by Jack Cummings III and Dick Scanlan.”
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