See it if Hair & Chorus Line had a baby and that teenager ran away with the Partridge family. It was fun 90min. Full of heart & recognizable melodies.
Don't see it if You need a plot & don't appreciate vignettes strung together to form something of a whole.
See it if You want to hear great music performed by a talented young cast. It's entertaining and the subject matter is relevant and has heart.
Don't see it if You need a strong story or character development. In the style of Hair, vignettes w/ common theme but no through storyline.
See it if you enjoy young talent. Many can sing, some can act. They're having fun, despite the dark material. Songs in many styles; some work.
Don't see it if you want a plot or enlightenment (as in insight into runaways' plight). The marriage of a musical and very dark material doesn't work.
See it if you appreciate high-energy musical portrayal of angst of youth, abandoned by parents, performed with passion
Don't see it if /since like Hair but w/o strong plot, like Chorus Line but w/o memorable songs/dancing, like Spring Awakening but w/o signature moments
See it if you are interested in seeing how a once-popular musical has aged—and not for the better. Also, if you enjoy seeing an exuberant cast.
Don't see it if you like hearing the lyrics of a song (sound design is awful). Also, if you like shows with character development—this musical has none.
See it if you lived through the 70's when this subject was part of NYC street lore.
Don't see it if you are looking for an uplifting musical. This is not the show for you. More depressing than the 1978 production.
See it if you like politically motivated musicals that deal with serious social issues and you like to see a talented ensemble of young performers
Don't see it if you were hoping for a full-scale production or polished performances. This is a very raw production.
See it if you want to see young performers really shine. I appreciated this more than loved it and recognize how groundbreaking it must have been.
Don't see it if you want a more traditional, plot-driven show,
“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?”
"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.”
"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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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.”
“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'."
"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."