Ride the Cyclone
Closed 1h 40m
Ride the Cyclone
81

Ride the Cyclone NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(207 Reviews)
Positive
85%
Mixed
12%
Negative
3%
Members say
Quirky, Entertaining, Clever, Great singing, Great staging

About the Show

MCC Theater presents the NYC premiere of this dark musical comedy about a group of teenagers whose trip to an amusement park takes a very surreal turn.

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Member Reviews (207)

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75
Ambitious, Refreshing, Quirky, Good acting & singing

See it if Talented, energetic cast keep this vehicle on track when music/lyrics flag mid-stream. Sensational production design holds interest as well

Don't see it if Quirky adolescent appeal wins out despite loss of momentum. Has a "Fringe-like" earnestness that might turn-off. Schmaltzy ending is deadly

88
Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Great staging, Quirky

See it if you enjoy something left of center. This show is fresh and quirky with terrific performances and sets, lighting, projection, and costumes.

Don't see it if you prefer something more traditional. Go see Holiday Inn. You'll love it.

Critic Reviews (35)

The New York Times
November 30th, 2016

"This delightfully weird and just plain delightful show will provide the kind of thrills we look for in all musical comedies, however outlandish their subject matter: an engaging and varied score, knocked out of the park by a superlative cast, and a supremely witty book…All of the performers are terrific…Although the show is primarily a series of solo turns, the staging is dynamic...For a musical about dead teenagers, it’s high-spirited and just plain fun from start to finish."
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Time Out New York
December 1st, 2016

"A lengthy cooking time has only resulted in a derivative, if energetically plated stew...'Cyclone' earns points for its hectic mix of misanthropic satire and small-town melancholy, and the eclectic score keeps things lively—Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond's tunes run the gamut from Ukrainian rap to French chanson and indie pop. But at 100 minutes, this gaudily hand-painted car trundles along after the thrill has faded."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
November 30th, 2016

"It clearly wants to be both eerie and funny, as well as subversive, serious, touching, and great. As a result it’s a little bit of all of the above, except for the last...It’s only toward the end, as the stabs at snarky humor subside and the kids start considering the brevity of the lives they are leaving, that anything emotionally engaging happens. Until then, 'Cyclone' feels like a queasy hangover dream with the late Prince as the dramaturge and some serious short-term memory problems."
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The Hollywood Reporter
November 30th, 2016

"The impulse toward the easy, cheesy laugh means that unlike other teen-angst musicals, the emotional stakes remain flat. The young cast is talented and appealing enough, but their characters and their sketchy back-stories too seldom escape the cartoonish…As a musical score, it lacks cohesion, mostly sounding like inferior versions of numbers you've heard before in more thoughtfully crafted shows."
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Chicago Tribune
December 2nd, 2016

"The dark but perversely lovable little tuner...A work at once macabre and sweet, melancholy and affirmative, merciless and compassionate...'Cyclone' felt a tad tenser, slower and less certain of itself at the MCC Theater than had been the case in Chicago — the performances did not entirely capture the requisite blend of the strange and the deeply intimate. The score revealed itself to be in need of couple more songs...But there's no other show in town even remotely like this one."
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Theatermania
November 30th, 2016

"This quirky show pushes hard for its desired audience response, be it laughter or tears. Unfortunately, it's not nearly as funny as the writers seem to think and a last-minute U-turn toward schmaltz comes across as unearned…Everyone in the cast works up a sweat selling the material they have to work with...Under the steady and efficient direction of Rachel Rockwell, the whole thing feels like a Fringe Festival musical with really high production values."
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BroadwayWorld
December 1st, 2016

"Curiously lacking in any kind of emotion or tension. Director and choreographer Rachel Rockwell's production is a lively one, featuring a boisterously talented cast...But while the book contains a decent number of guffaws and the score exudes a pleasant assortment of contemporary sounds, the hints that something of significant profundity is contained within the text are left unfulfilled."
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Lighting & Sound America
December 1st, 2016

"The emotional payoff is nil, because the songs neither illuminate the characters nor help explain why they should be allowed to live...'Ride the Cyclone' looks and sounds much better than it is, thanks to Rachel Rockwell's direction and choreography and a top-flight cast of fresh faces...Still, it's hard to get away from the idea that 'Ride the Cyclone' is little more than a batch of random songs strung together by way of a forced, silly narrative concept."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 30th, 2016

"As glorious as the visual experience is, it becomes increasingly empty, if not outright pointless, the longer ‘Ride the Cyclone’ plods on. And, despite running a mere 100 intermissionless minutes, it feels as though it runs through the myriad eternities the production predicts, and then some. This is in part because, despite its appearance, there's not a lot original about what transpires…Think of it as Kurt Weill's ‘A Chorus Line,’ if Weill had no taste or common sense."
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TheaterScene.net
December 12th, 2016

“The flashy orchestrations performed by the four piece combo dress up the undistinguished lyrics and the bland revue format. The use of many clichés is probably meant as comic but only go unnoticed as the show moves so fast. The expert cast makes the most of their opportunities but the basic question as to the intended audience for this bizarre story is never resolved. And the show is surprisingly upbeat considering the subject matter.”
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Theater Pizzazz
November 30th, 2016

"'Ride the Cyclone' lives up to its namesake amusement park ride: it has moments of fear and exhilaration, and is ultimately rather diverting. Still, like most such rides, it’s fun while it lasts, yet will be forgotten hours, if not, minutes later…The show’s shortcomings lie firmly in the hands of its co-authors…First, their characters rarely feel more than two-dimensional…More problematic is that the pair’s pastiche-driven score never makes as much of an impression as it should."
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CurtainUp
December 1st, 2016

"More often than not, the show pursues humor, but when it allows itself moments of poignancy they are often unexpected and resonant...It's easy to become immersed in and engrossed by a show with such a richly atmospheric design, even at the moments when the story traffics in clichés or formulas. And while the show moves towards a fairly predictable ending, it offers many surprises along the way. It's a musical that is unexpectedly charming and entertaining, despite its macabre premise."
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Front Row Center
December 2nd, 2016

"The Canadian writing team of Brooke Maxwell and Jacob Richmond have no experience to speak of in creating staged musicals and that is fairly evident even without reading the Playbill. Karnak spends an inordinate amount of time just narrating backstory to the audience...The duo, however, are quite good at serving up catchy, rock-tinged melodies...The show works best when looked at as a musical revue with wild songs where nothing necessarily needs to connect logically."
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Front Mezz Junkies
December 19th, 2016

"I loved every minute of it, and will tell everyone I meet to go see this exciting, crazy musical...Directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell with a sharp witty sense of fun and dark sincerity, it’s a marvelously clever set-up, rich in ghoulish bravado and weirdness...This show is a macabre amusement park ride masking as a brilliant musical, one that I hope will find its way to Broadway."
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T
December 22nd, 2016

"The competition gives the victims the opportunity to advocate for the opportunity to return to living out their lives and each performance is remarkable and provides its own counterpoint teaching to the musical’s main 'lesson' of how to manage one’s movement through the ride called 'life'...Under Rachel Rockwell’s astute direction, the cast of the musical excel in every way and tackle Ms. Rockwell’s choreography with impressive skill."
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New York Theater
November 30th, 2016

"If the musical feels largely derivative, it features an appealing, talented cast, a dozen witty, energetic songs in a variety of popular styles, and a spectacular design for such a small-scale show. Although the characters are dead, that doesn’t stop them from being fun and funny, albeit in a familiar way…The premise winds up being little more than the frame for a series of entertaining musical numbers. But the cast makes the most of them."
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Broadway Blog
November 30th, 2016

"In a somewhat formulaic structure, the kids each have an opportunity to make their cases, but Karnak continues to switch up the rules up until the very last chords are played. What makes 'Ride the Cyclone' so wildly entertaining is what happens within each of those moments…Rachel Rockwell’s work here is thoughtful and nuanced as she is somehow able to unpack a treasure chest of quirkiness delivered by the authors."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
December 4th, 2016

“When the show is singing and dancing, and being creatively theatrical (including a revolving stage), it sparkles...It's the book passages, though, especially those that go on too long, that hold the show down. The music, while always enjoyable, is generic but several numbers are nonetheless showstoppers, particularly the surrealistic one performed by Jane, when she flies out over the audience and even does a pinwheel in midair. 'Ride the Cyclone' didn't exactly spin my wheels.”
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Times Square Chronicles
December 11th, 2016

"Run, do not walk to get tickets…The newest cult musical that is sure become a sensation...As for the cast, they are, for the most part, all unknowns, fabulously young and talented. I will not single anyone out because they are all spectacular...This is one funny, well-written show with heart, soul and afterlife...The show is directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell and she is a find...One of the best shows this season, and definitely the most thought-provoking and interesting.
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B
December 1st, 2016

"My expectations were so high that I ended up being slightly disappointed...The performers are all appealing...Why then was I slightly disappointed? In trying to tell us enough to care about each character, the show occasionally loses momentum...Nevertheless, there is much to admire, particularly for a younger audience. If you liked 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee,' which I was reminded of, you will probably enjoy this show."
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The Wrap
November 30th, 2016

"The various confessions are pretty much what you’d expect from a bunch of 17-year-olds, and since the show is structured around these stories, you’ll probably be checking your watch when the second teenager, named Noel, reveals his fascination with Marlene Dietrich in ‘The Blue Angel’ but for some reason impersonates a French chanteuse from post-World War II for his big number, complete with accordion."
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Newsday
November 30th, 2016

"A goofy, extravagant, bad-taste musical comedy…If you don’t think about the utter cruelty of the concept and the pasted-on smile-button conclusion, it may be altogether possible, oddly enough, to enjoy the audacious foolishness and admire the gung-ho excellence of the cast and the campy, over-the-top staging. Sometimes I could. More of the time, however, I just couldn't...The frequently poetic lyrics are just as often accompanied by banal, derivative tunes."
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Act Three - The Reviews
November 30th, 2016

"Quite the musical with a message and a heart...It felt a little like a NYMF show. However, the show was executed so well and so crisply, I could have imagined being in a Broadway theatre…Given the macabre nature of the material, one has to look beyond the obvious and dream a little alongside these youngsters…If you need an exhilarating experience in the theatre, head over to the Lortel and go for a wild ride with 'Cyclone!'"
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Village Voice
December 7th, 2016

"Maxwell, Richmond, and their director-choreographer, Rachel Rockwell, feel no need for the show's elements to be weighed down by coherence or sense…Unhappily, the creative team has been so busy gilding each of these numbers with maximum pizzazz that they forgot to give them either any distinction or any grounding in reality...If the authors had put any effort into making you care, for even a few minutes, about their characters, this might have been a good show."
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Z
December 18th, 2016

"A weird little musical comedy about a horrific disaster...All of the performances are terrific, revealing both the cliché of their characters, as well as the genuine human beings underneath. And it’s charmingly pulled together by director and choreographer Rockwell, doing a fine service to the hilarious, inventive, and often surprising work of writers Maxwell and Richmond. It’s creepy, it’s campy, it’s touching, and, for a musical about a bunch of dead teenagers, it’s very funny. Take a ride."
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The New York Times
November 10th, 2015
For a previous production

"An an unceasingly delightful new musical…It’s a witty, small-scaled show of immense sweetness and originality…All of the characters are drawn with sharp, funny detail…The director and choreographer, Rachel Rockwell brings variety and flair to all the musical sequences…’Ride the Cyclone’ achieves a rare unity in its book, music and lyrics...This oddball charmer radiates warmth and wit...If purgatory were really this much fun, I’d be happy to spend a lifetime there."
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Variety
October 21st, 2015
For a previous production

"‘Ride the Cyclone’ seems awfully likely to make a major impact…It surprises with just how unusual, and unusually good, it is…The exquisite score ranges wildly, from a high-energy pop dance number that recalls Michael Jackson to a Marlene Dietrich-ish cabaret piece, and that’s just within the first few songs…Other than being simultaneously dark, funny, and poignantly life-affirming, the show stands out for how it privileges its characters’ inner lives."
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Chicago Tribune
October 8th, 2015
For a previous production

"A quirky, bizarre, creepy, clearly commercial, emotionally hefty and generally rather tantalizing musical…This staging is blisteringly good, sophisticated and detailed down to the very last moment…’Cyclone’ needs to live as a legit musical, and it is not yet fully there. But this thing sure is smartly written; it's rare in a new musical at this stage that the score is more of a problem than the book. And it is not that much of a problem at all."
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Theatermania
October 13th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Ride the Cyclone' is a wild journey from start to finish, but its spectacle never eclipses the profound, unanswerable questions about the lives and deaths into which it delves…Subversive in its utter unwillingness to traffic in the sentimental, filled with a score of showstoppers, and featuring a crew of characters as instantly familiar and indelibly vivid as your immediate family, 'Ride the Cyclone' is a marvel."
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Chicago Sun-Times
October 9th, 2015
For a previous production

“If ever there were a ticket stub that should bear the words 'carpe diem,' the one for ‘Ride the Cyclone’ would be it. The brilliance of it all is that you careen toward that conclusion filled with every bit as much delight and wonder as a sense of doom…This musical — with a brilliant genre-hopping pastiche score full of ingenious lyrics — has been hauntingly directed…Every element of the show’s design is magical…An emotional thrill ride of a musical that every adult will savor."
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Time Out Chicago
October 8th, 2015
For a previous production

"This delightful Canadian chamber musical is far funnier, and more moving, than it sounds…All right, the concept is a little out there, but taken as read, it’s wackily, marvelously executed…Rockwell’s staging is deliciously fresh and inventive…And the spot-on cast makes everything of their material…As irreverent as it is accomplished, ‘Ride the Cyclone’ does the job of any good amusement-park attraction: It makes you consider your mortality, but leaves you grinning ear to ear."
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Around The Town Chicago
October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"A part comedy, part tragedy that takes us away from reality for 90 spellbinding minutes…What makes the show work? First of all, it is in the hands of the award-winning director/choreographer Rachel Rockwell...Her creativity is unique and fitting for a show featuring music from almost every genre…This is the start of something that could become a new cult show and we may see this show around for many years. This is unique storytelling and a story that is worth telling."
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Chicago Reader
October 20th, 2015
For a previous production

"'Ride the Cyclone' starts as eerie fun...We get to know the dead through a series of truly marvelous musical numbers directed and choreographed by Rachel Rockwell...But the authors are too intent on quirky amusement. They don't push hard enough, and the show is finally an exceedingly cool but empty thrill."
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Chicago Theatre Review
October 15th, 2015
For a previous production

"This new musical is quirky, exciting and quite moving...Ms. Rockwell’s staging and choreography is effervescent and practically burns up the floor…Ms. Rockwell’s ensemble is well-cast and simply fantastic…This show is as unique as it is both funny and heartbreaking…Rachel Rockwell has staged, choreographed and guided her talented cast to a production that’s as thrilling as any Broadway experience. A wonderful, touching and memorable roller-coaster ride."
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T
October 9th, 2015
For a previous production

"Shockingly charming, profound and uplifting. And totally original!...This cyclone ride is entertaining on multiple levels. The look is authentic…Not only are the songs wonderful, the singing is top-notch under the musical direction of Doug Peck. And director and choreographer Rachel Rockwell keeps the dancing and merriment playfully moving with seamless transitions. There are no speed bumps on this thrill ride!...I absolutely loved 'Ride the Cyclone."
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