Encores! revives the late Elizabeth Swados' musical about the lives and challenges of runaway children. More…
In 1977, Elizabeth Swados spent several months observing and interviewing teen runaways before shaping their stories, fears, and fantasies into a musical. A deeply unconventional work in its day, 'Runaways' feels like the funkiest, most heartbreaking mixtape ever to come out of a 1970s boom box, packed with reggae anthems, hip-hop, soul-food lullabies, and spoken-word poetry. Cast largely with NYC students, this production of 'Runaways' honors the crowning achievement of a theater visionary who was ferocious, inspiring, and left us far too soon. Part of Encores! Off-Center season.
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 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 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 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 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 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,
See it if You want to see a significant work of late 1970s era musical theater expertly performed by a very talented teen aged cast.
Don't see it if You require a linear storyline to enjoy a show.
See it if you missed the original, want to see a much better musical and pre-cursor to Rent, appreciate emotionally challenging content, like teens.
Don't see it if you want an easy, fluffy musical experience.
See it if Don't care about plot, like Swados' music, want to recapture the late 70's, like teenagers performing
Don't see it if Want a plot or elaborate staging
See it if you like a strong ensemble show with high energy performances
Don't see it if you want a linear plot, or any sort of plot at all. This is more a collection of songs and monologues.
See it if You don't mind uneven talent, hard to understand lyrics, chaotic staging.
Don't see it if You want to see a fantastic show. It didn't do much for me. Two or three numbers were great. Several very talented kids.
See it if a short run of a way-too-unheralded musical from a distinctive writer with an up-n-coming cast & director is enuf to make you leave yr home.
Don't see it if you want a story & characters you can follow. I wish the talented performers had more edge but given the 2 wk prep, they're all impressive.
See it if you love musical theater and missed previous productions.
Don't see it if you enjoy character development and plot. Just because it's based on real life doesn't make it real or engaging. Don't like cliches? Skip it
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.
See it if You want to see something way overpraised originally. Hair ripoff. Music doesn't match lyrics emotionally nor does choreography.
Don't see it if Can't stand actors with no emotional connection to what they're performing. Staging & choreography that doesn't bring out material's soul
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).
See it if you want to further familiarize yourself with the work of Liz Swados, and/or witness some amazing kid talent
Don't see it if You want adults as your protagonists