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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815 Reviews | 889 Followers
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

791 Reviews | 1003 Followers
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.

878 Reviews | 218 Followers
69
Quirky, Overrated, Fluffy, Banal

See it if If you want to see something original at the public. It gets confusing at times to what they try to portray in the show.

Don't see it if If you dont like light weight. It's nothing great. As lite as Hillary and the Hillary at Mc Donalds.

691 Reviews | 212 Followers
70
Repetitive, Cultural, Quirky, Lush, Biting

See it if Musical satire showing a warped version of US culture from a Chinese perspective. Lush music w/full orchestra & strong vocals.

Don't see it if No real plot; a collection of SNL-like sketches. Repeated themes get tiresome: guns, democracy, romantic love vs familial duty. Read more

MJK
677 Reviews | 187 Followers
65
Uneven, Ambitious, Disappointing, Lightweight, Indulgent

See it if u want to see a very meta geopolitical musical that takes on Hwang's very real personal trauma & America's very real political drama.

Don't see it if u hope for a new work of genius from this powerhouse creative team; ur not prepared to accept an overstuffed but half-baked work-in-progress Read more

687 Reviews | 113 Followers
78
Resonant, Thought-provoking, Great staging, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if Tesori's lush score, Silverman's robust staging & Ramos' lavish designs all conspire to strengthen Hwang's interesting but overstuffed drama

Don't see it if A horrible opening segment gradually opens up to reveal a panoramic view of America & it's discontents Political & personal never quite gel

567 Reviews | 146 Followers
85
Satirical, Relevant, Great staging, Clever, Ambitious

See it if Grand is the musical-play that seeks to engage the target audience it singles out to indict:USA leads culture after rescuing the unaware.

Don't see it if Meta multi-genred yellow perspective of the white worldview using accepted Asian cliches are deterrents to serving both involved parties. Read more

456 Reviews | 256 Followers
90
Great staging, Confusing, Clever, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you are a fan of original musical theatre pieces. This is not based on a movie from the 80's or 90's.

Don't see it if you are easily confused. There is a lot going on, so concentration is imperative. Read more

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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