Soft Power
77

Soft Power NYC Reviews and Tickets

77%
(148 Reviews)
Positive
79%
Mixed
16%
Negative
5%
Members say
Ambitious, Clever, Entertaining, Thought-provoking, Relevant

About the Show

Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang ("M. Butterfly") and Jeanine Tesori ("Fun Home," "Caroline, or Change") bring their new musical-within-a-play to The Public for its New York premiere.

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Member Reviews (148)

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60
Banal, Aimless, Uneven, Confusing, Lost

See it if some nice tunes derivative of known Broadway musicals. Nice sets. Ricamora is the only saving grace.

Don't see it if Other than Ricamora, the acting is really not great. This is aimless and all over the place. What is the plot? Read more

60
Chaotic, Unfocused, Unconventional, Uneven

See it if You want to see an original musical. It's well intentioned.

Don't see it if Show was all over the place. First Act has some strange musical numbers like the Hillary Clinton burlesque number in McDonalds... Strange.

Critic Reviews (24)

The New York Times
October 15th, 2019

"In the Musical ‘Soft Power,’ China Whistles the Tune: A complex look at democracy from an Asian perspective turns 'The King and I' inside out."
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Time Out New York
October 15th, 2019

"The awkward first 30 minutes of 'Soft Power' aren't musical at all, and we can tell from all the throat-clearing that the team feels hesitant about jumping into such a wild-spirited spoof…When Tesori's lush music starts, the play sighs with relief: Nothing, it turns out, buoys your post-2016 spirits like an orchestra in full swoon."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
October 15th, 2019

"Flipping the Classic Musical Script in 'Soft Power'"
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The Hollywood Reporter
October 15th, 2019

"Tony Award winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori collaborate on a 'musical-within-a-play,' satirizing American-Chinese relations and featuring a post-election Hillary Clinton as a major character."
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Variety
October 15th, 2019

"The American musical — and America — are reconsidered in this powerfully smart and entertaining show."
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The Wall Street Journal
October 24th, 2019

"Singing China’s Praises: The new David Henry Hwang-Jeanine Tesori musical tackles cultural diplomacy in the age of Trump in a smart and touching fashion."
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The Observer
October 15th, 2019

"Directed with the right balance of dry wit and shameless razzmatazz by Leigh Silverman, 'Soft Power' boasts one of the most appealing and hard-working ensembles onstage today."
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The Washington Post
October 15th, 2019

"Ever wondered how China sees America? ‘Soft Power’ offers amusing ideas."
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New York Post
October 15th, 2019

2/4 Stars "A head-scratcher with a twerking Hillary Clinton"
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Theatermania
October 15th, 2019

"'Soft Power' Imagines a Broadway Romance Between a Chinese Executive and Hillary Clinton: David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori create a golden age American musical for the Chinese century."
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BroadwayWorld
October 17th, 2019

"David Henry Hwang, Jeanine Tesori's 'SOFT POWER' Brilliantly Comments on Entertainment's Power To Mislead"
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Lighting & Sound America
October 16th, 2019

"With a premise as clever as it is convoluted, 'Soft Power' may be more fun to talk about than to see. Whether you feel that the small nugget of insight produced by all this effort is worth it is hard to predict…a continuously entertaining musical that leaves one faintly dissatisfied and hungering for more."
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Talkin' Broadway
October 15th, 2019

"A merry delight with wonderful central performances by Conrad Ricamora and Alyse Alan Louis"
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New York Stage Review
October 15th, 2019

3/5 Stars: "'Soft Power' is inventive, satiric, caustic and intriguing. But at some point-despite a joyfully singing and dancing Hillary Clinton-the fun stops as the fantasy runs aground."
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New York Stage Review
October 15th, 2019

3/5 Stars: "A frequently wry, extremely topical cheerfully mocking musical. Expertise, smarts, and speed gloss over the musical's lesser stretches and deliver a national lampoon likely to engage audiences who like their entertainment thoughtful."
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CurtainUp
October 15th, 2019

With the key cast members as well as director, choreographer aboard , David Henry Hwang's and Jeanine Tesori's genre busting "Soft Power" has arrived in New York. I can't think of a better place than the Public's Newman Theater for it to find an audience ready to buy into Hwang's dazzlingly original but flawed mash up of fact and fiction.
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T
October 29th, 2019

"There are threads of musicals within a musical within this complex and engaging play. Musical theatre aficionados will recognize many references to important (and even obscure) Broadway musicals. These references are in both Jeanine Tesori's alluring score and in Sam Pinkleton's powerful choreography."
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New York Theater
October 21st, 2019

"Clever, highly entertaining, hilarious, in places downright inspiring, and chock full of stimulating intellectual, cultural and political argument that forces us to look at American society, and the very nature of democracy, in a different way… confused….but not confusing."
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Theatre's Leiter Side
November 7th, 2019

"Satirizes a host of political and social issues in a generally entertaining but overlong and thematically overstuffed way…Much as liberal audiences will appreciate or even laugh at…the skewed view of America as seen from the outside, the humor falls largely on the heavy-handed side."
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Off Off Online
October 23rd, 2019

"The thrilling new musical...wears many hats: it’s a funny and touching East-meets-West love story, a postmodern Rodgers and Hammerstein–style book musical with multiple narratives and commentary, and a dazzling celebration of the rhapsodic power of Broadway song-and-dance."
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The Hollywood Reporter
May 17th, 2018
For a previous production

"This original musical by Tony winners David Henry Hwang and Jeanine Tesori includes a twerking Hillary Clinton atop a Big Mac and a White House made of beer cans in a 'political fantasia' where East meets West."
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Entertainment Weekly
May 17th, 2018
For a previous production

B+ "'Soft Power' is a form-busting examination of heartbreak and the American dream"
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Los Angeles Times
May 17th, 2018
For a previous production

"‘Soft Power’ at the Ahmanson: Big, bold, overly complicated and spectacularly unique"
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Theatermania
May 25th, 2018
For a previous production

"'Soft Power' Offers an East-Meets-West Story Wrapped in a Hallucinatory Dream A highly pedigreed creative duo tackles current events in this world premiere at the Ahmanson Theatre."
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