Runaways NYC Reviews and Tickets

(65 Ratings)
Members say
Thought-provoking, Ambitious, Entertaining, Dated, Relevant

About the Show

Encores! revives the late Elizabeth Swados' musical about the lives and challenges of runaway children.

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Show-Score Member Reviews (65)

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88 Reviews | 11 Followers
Absorbing, Original, Profound, Refreshing, Relevant

See it if you love an explosion of energy and human emotion.

Don't see it if you are a traditionalist who loves strict plot structure.

121 Reviews | 31 Followers
Ambitious, Resonant, Thrilling, Masterful, Great ensemble cast

See it if you want to see a unique piece of theatre that perfectly captures the pain of these young runaways. Extremely powerful and emotional.

Don't see it if You don't like experimental musical theatre. If you need a clear plot-line. If you're triggered by graphic descriptions of abuse.

162 Reviews | 72 Followers
Riveting, Energetic, Ebullient, Festive, Heartfelt

See it if You love raucous, passionate theatre. This was a production for the ages - incredible, talented young performers.

Don't see it if You need a traditional, old-school musical to make you happy. Or if you don't like "Hair" (lot of similarities).

98 Reviews | 23 Followers
Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Confusing, Thought-provoking

See it if you love musicals, particularly ones with a strong socially conscious message, if you love the works of Liz Swados or enjoy shows with kids.

Don't see it if you hate musicals, hate shows with kids in them, are confused by unsupertitled Spanish at moments, or only like fluffy escapist musicals. Read more

124 Reviews | 35 Followers
Funny, Thought-provoking, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if it reopens. These kids were great and Liz would have been SO PROUD of them and director Sam Pinkleton.

Don't see it if you want to watch a new, polished piece of theater.

96 Reviews | 29 Followers
Clever, Entertaining, Edgy

See it if You like young talent and great writing.

Don't see it if Not a staged version, so just enjoy the music!

207 Reviews | 34 Followers
Absorbing, Great writing, Intelligent, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if you have a sense of musical theatre history. And if you love the specific energy and kids and teens. And if you like creative storytelling.

Don't see it if I can't think of a single reason not to. It's amazing that we are getting to see a full product of this ground breaking show.

144 Reviews | 29 Followers
Delightful, Ambitious, Great writing, Upsetting, Great singing

See it if you love hair and diverse, amazing, casts

Don't see it if You need a strong plot in your musicals

Critic Reviews (12)

The New York Times
July 7th, 2016

“This blast of undiluted teen spirit is guaranteed to leave you feeling windblown, hyped up and ready to race through the most torpid summer night...While Mr. Pinkleton allows each cast member to emerge as an individual, he also knows that his performing team’s strength is in its union...The show could benefit from a little more variety in tone. As it is, every other number feels like a rousing finale. But how are you going to keep a lid on a cast with this much natural talent and vigor?”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
July 7th, 2016

"Some of the segments are weak, and too many of them follow a predictable arc...There is relief in the boisterous, full-cast uptempo numbers...Though the events related in the stories have the ring of sad authenticity about them, the casting of young actors to tell them sometimes does not...This doesn’t seem to matter; the cast is so talented and, under the compelling direction of Pinkleton, so focused that it mostly blows the presentational questions out of the water.”
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The Hollywood Reporter
July 7th, 2016

"The musical holds up surprisingly well even in this gentrified presentation...The stirring score is still the best thing about 'Runaways'...For all the energy harnessed in the lively staging, the show never feels as profound as it was intended to be. It mainly comes across as a period piece...Then again, all you have to do is hang around at the Port Authority Bus Terminal for a few hours to recognize that the musical's themes have sadly not been rendered irrelevant.”
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AM New York
July 7th, 2016

“Somehow, ‘Runaways’ is not depressing, which it could have been in lesser hands. In fact, it’s enthralling - a fast and furious, poignant and disturbing 80 minutes. The pop-oriented songs are also pretty memorable...The production is directed by Sam Pinkleton with the utmost simplicity...Choreographer Ani Taj lends wild, seemingly spontaneous movement that reflects the characters’ heightened emotional states.”
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July 7th, 2016

“Presenting a work that is so much a product of its time more than 30 years later isn't an easy task...But under the exciting direction of Pinkleton and with head-banging choreography by Ani Taj, those fears are banished in the first 30 seconds…As for the material itself, it is still startlingly relevant, with an exciting score and fascinating script that are still unparalleled in their truthfulness.”
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Talkin' Broadway
July 7th, 2016

“The writing is neither captivating nor distinguished; Fenwick's nine-piece band sizzles, but Pinkleton's direction and Ani Taj's reluctant-feeling choreography fall short of its electric ideal; and this particular cast, though energetic, is only intermittently up to the material's largely modest demands...‘Runaways’, unlike its subjects but like its audiences then and now, doesn't live on the streets - it just wants to visit.”
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Theater Pizzazz
July 7th, 2016

“That one doesn’t walk out of the theater despondent is thanks not just to Swados’ canny use of rock, folk, and anthemic music, but even more so to the highly energetic direction of Sam Pinkleton, the freewheeling yet disciplined choreography of Ani Taj, and above all, the spirit of 25 young performers who deliver 80 minutes of passion and commitment...Even more now than then, it feels like the slightly misshapen love child of the Public’s biggest hits, 'Hair' and 'A Chorus Line'."
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The Huffington Post
July 7th, 2016

"Even though 'Runaways' only takes up 80 minutes, Swados herself appears to run out of fresh comments to make...What Swados had going for her then, though, and what director Sam Pinkleton and choreographer Ani Taj have now are young performers bringing 'Runaways' to exuberant life...There is no way to overestimate the contribution these on-stage runaways are offering the audience...While depicting runaways, they do an admirable job of running away with Swados’s show."
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