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Road Show

From 49 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Great staging

About the show

Encores! Off-Center presents a new staging of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s larger-than-life musical about of two brothers, who are fueled by a modest inheritance to stake their claim on a piece of the world.


From the show:

At what point does the pursuit of the American Dream become an empty enterprise? Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman’s Road Show is a larger-than-life account of two brothers—schemer Wilson Mizner (Raúl Esparza) and his more thoughtful sibling Addison (Brandon Uranowitz)—who are fueled by a modest inheritance to stake their claim on a piece of the world.

Their adventure drives them into the throes of the Alaskan gold rush and eventually to balmier weather as they attempt to capitalize on the Florida real estate boom of the early 1900s, with Addison eventually separating from his unscrupulous brother and finding love in partner-muse Hollis Bessemer (Jin Ha).

Yet, though their literal and psychological quest for gold is ultimately ill-fated, after all else is lost the brothers find their bond cannot be broken even in death. Loosely based on a true story, Road Show examines and questions the definition of success.

Road Show is part of the 2019 Encores! Off-Center season along with Promenade and Working: A Musical. These three seldom-performed gems each explore and re-examine the concept of the American Dream. Read more

Member Reviews (49)


Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Great staging
Avg Score

Relevant, Sondheim songs!, Problematic book (but who cares?), Great staging, Great performances

See it if you're a Sdhm fan. RS may not be his best show. but clever staging/talented actors delight. Explores grifter harming society.Sibling rivalry

Don't see it if you're not a Sdhm fan (who are you?). Book has holes, but still engrosses. Songs soar w/Esparza, Uranowitz! Conceit of radio show works well

Relevant, Quirky, Disappointing, Absorbing, Ambitious

See it if Late period Sondheim still shines despite shaky book & bleak outlook Male leads excellent but Ha's Bessemer steals focus Davis' staging edgy

Don't see it if Even for Sondheim, it's a dark, dark piece w/ both Mizner bros coming off badly Yet, speaks volumes for current American financial endeavors

In story about the empire-building mizner brothers, some of sondheim's strengths on display, but this is not close to being on par w his great musicals

See it if Sond's lyrics brilliantly capture the time/characters' complexities; fine performances B Uranowitz, Jin Ha & R Esparza

Don't see it if plot repetitious, no arc to story; hard 2 figure out larger pt of musical: Am dream is a big con? melodies unremarkable

Funny, Clever, Great singing, Absorbing, Quirky

See it if Uplift story of two brothers wanting the American Dream and the struggles that come with it.

Don't see it if You want full production. Scripts book held in hand through out show.

Also This is my first time seeing Road Show, it was not bad.

Great esparza and uranowitz and peil, Disappointing, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a production of one of Sondheim's lesser works. This is based on the 2008 Public Theatre production.

Don't see it if you do not appreciate second-rate Sondheim.

Also Director Will Davis starts off the production beautifully framing it a... Read more Read less

Revival is long overdue, Great acting, Terrific score, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love vintage Sondheim.I have loved this show in all of its incarnations.This is probably the 4th or 5 version I've seen.It's a real gem.

Don't see it if you don't like Sondheim, good scores, great performances, clever staging, or good theatre. Seriously, it's a terrific revival.

Sandheim's last -- not a hit, but a beaut

See it if Great Sondheim score uplifts the story of two striving brothers. Addison and Hollis have one of the sweetest gay love duets ever.

Don't see it if Brandon Uranowitz and Raul Esparza are in fine voice as the Mizner brothers. The revelation is the singing of Jin Ha as Hollis Bessemer.

Hoped for better, Great singing, Well performed, Flawed

See it if you're​ curious as to why Sondheim keeps trying to figure out how to make it work. Only partially successful. As usual, wonderful lyrics..

Don't see it if .. but lesser Sondheim melodies. Not bad, but not up to his best work.

Relevant, Must see, Masterful, Great staging, Great singing

See it if You must see Sondheim’s last complete show. Far from perfect but the work of one of Musial theater’s true geniuses.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a perfect musical, it’s not here but it is the work of areal master. Scripts are held in hand throughout.

Sondheim not at his best, but certainly planting seeds of introspection about how we use our talents, Entertaining, Ruminative themes worth taking time to ponder afterward, Charismatic and spectacular leading performers, Under-baked staging of half-cooked writing

See it if you need to check it off your Stephen Sondheim list; a fan of Raúl Esparza, Brandon Uranowitz, or other cast mates; don’t mind sparse sets.

Don't see it if expecting a full-fledged production with all the bells and whistles of a Broadway show; need better-paced shows with likable characters.

Also Raúl Esparza and Brandon Uranowitz are perfect on their own. Together:... Read more Read less

Marvelous performances, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you're looking to find out why Weidman/Sondheim keep re-working the show. There are some great songs and certainly a captivating story.

Don't see it if you need straight-forward story telling. The plot meanders all over the place, mirroring the lives of the Mizner brothers.

Also I found this to be a great improvement over the version at the Public ... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Clever, Quirky, Indulgent, Ambitious

See it if and only if you are a dye hard Sondheim fan.

Don't see it if you loved the Sondheim musical BOUNCE, because this incarnation had gutted all the "UMPH" things from Bounce and this is whats left

Also First off, I am a HUGE Sondheim fan. With that being said, I became a ... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Reworked version of musical in concert by young director. Nice music and songs. Great performances by the leads and the ensemble cast.

Don't see it if You don't appreciate the great musical collaborations of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman

Also The post show discussion after Saturday's matinee with Sondheim,Weidma... Read more Read less

Encores orchestra sounds great as usual, Enjoyable, Very well sung

See it if You’re a diehard Sondheim fan.

Don't see it if You’ve seen it before. Once is probably enough.

Also Although this show probably won’t be any Sondheim fan’s absolute favor... Read more Read less

Radio play format, Encore concert production, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You are a fan of Sondheim, Esparza, or Uranowitz. You appreciate a creative concert staging approach by Will Davis.

Don't see it if You are not a musical theatre buff.

Also The performance was quite good -- but the talk back featuring Sondheim... Read more Read less

Relevant, Masterful, Great writing, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if You love Sondheim/Weidman. This provides the same grown-up musical experience you expect. If new to the duo, you’ll like the sophistication.

Don't see it if You like your shows over the top. This is a concert version.

Also Extra points for a post-show discussion with Sondheim, Weidman, and th... Read more Read less

Actors mostly on book, Great singing, Slow start

See it if you are a fan of Sondheim's work. Some lovely songs. Uranowitz and Jin Ha standouts. If you like Encores stripped down format.

Don't see it if not a great book and I don't feel the Encores format worked very well for this show. Presented as a radio broadcast but not consistently so.

Also There was a talkback after the Saturday matinee with Sondheim, Weidman... Read more Read less

Great acting, Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if Fabulous concert production with extraordinary cast especially Esparza,Uranowitz, Jin Ha and Chuck Cooper

Don't see it if You need a full scale production - Encores is not that - but it introduces audiences to plays they would not ordinarily see.

Confusing, Great writing, Quirky, Great singing, Clever

See it if you want your chance to see a little-done Sondheim show that has its charms

Don't see it if you're not a Sondheim completist

Recycled, Pointless, Wretched direction, Dull, Disappointing

See it if you have a Sondheim bucket list like I do. Finally a FULL orchestra plays Sondheim again! Mostly great performances make the show.

Don't see it if you're hoping this production would raise up a 3rd tier Sondheim musical. Inept direction/inconsistent concept drive it into a ditch.

Also Went to "Road Show" with no previous exposure. But as devoted as I am ... Read more Read less

Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You want to see a stellar production of an imperfect musical that still has much to recommend it.

Don't see it if You’re expecting top drawer Sondheim. It’s uneven, but this is a beautiful production with Esparza and Uranowitz doing stellar work.

Great staging, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You're a fan of quintessential Sondheim, and want to see a great reworking of Road Show.

Don't see it if You're not a fan of clever shows.

Great singing, Great acting, Dated, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you want to see a top-notch cast bring their A-game in a little known Sondheim show

Don't see it if mild racism offends you or you want a book that is in any way memorable

Face it, brother, we're joined at the hip; and that is our curse, and that is the miracle; you don't want me to go

See it if Even a mediocre Sondheim show is brilliant! Go to see Esparza and Uranowitz, always gems to watch.

Don't see it if There have been a few other NYC productions. I was happy to see a Sondheim show that I haven’t seen before :)

Slow, Dull, Great music

See it if you're a Sondheim purist & want to see an improved production of his lattermost show. The score works well. (The book not so much.)

Don't see it if you're expecting a show as strong as one of his earlier masterworks. This still seems like a work in progress.

Also Sondheim is 100% the only reason to see this show. I can't imagine any... Read more Read less

July 25th, 2019
"Sondheim’s Bumpy ‘Road Show,’ Now at the End of the Line. An Encores! Off-Center revival reveals the tantalizing cleverness and intractable faults of the 1997 (and 1999, 2003, 2004 and 2008) musical."
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July 25th, 2019
"Raúl Esparza and Brandon Uranowitz star in the Encores! Off-Center revival of Stephen Sondheim and John Weidman's musical about the real-life Mizner brothers."
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July 25th, 2019
“Raúl Esparza and Brandon Uranowitz Liven Up Sondheim's ‘Road Show.’ Will Davis directs the show for Encores! in the best production of this musical you'll probably ever see.“
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July 27th, 2019
“Stephen Sondheim/John Weidman's ‘ROAD SHOW’ Explores Reinvention and Resiliency. Raul Esparza and Brandon Uranowitz Star as the Legendary Mizner Brothers in City Center Encores! Off-Center's Production.”
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Cast & Creatives (4)