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Songs for a New World

From 89 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Great staging, Resonant, Must see

About the show

The first musical by Tony Award-winner Jason Robert Brown comes to Encores! Off-Center. A collection of songs examining life, love, and the choices ordinary people make when faced with extraordinary moments. More…

From the deck of a 1492 Spanish sailing ship to the ledge of a Fifth Avenue high-rise, each character faces the new world which follows the unique challenge they encounter. Kate Whoriskey, director of the recent Pulitzer Prize-winning and Tony-nominated 'Sweat,' directs this City Center revival. 

Member Reviews (89)


Great singing, Entertaining, Great staging, Resonant, Must see
Avg Score

Ambitious, Quirky, Resonant, Absorbing, Great singing

See it if Brown's first musical/song cycle is quirky, wholehearted, moving & earnest Well staged but dancers a bit intrusive Bean & Kilgore shine

Don't see it if Songs get a little political in act 2 but well served by Kilgore Would be more effective w/song cuts into intermissionless 90 minutes

Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if see also

Don't see it if see also

Also There were 4 super talented singers Both of us favored the young Solea... Read more Read less

Great writing, Great singing, Masterful, Romantic, Entertaining

See it if You love Jason Robert Brown’s music, or would be fine with 90 minutes of great modern, musical theater songs sung by a crazy talented cast.

Don't see it if You want something with a plot, or really hate being surrounded by musical theatre geeks who clap, scream, and cry at everything.

Clever, Entertaining, Great staging, Great singing, Thought-provoking

See it if you enjoy songs that have wonderful lyrics. Interesting staging and use of dance.

Don't see it if you like songs with lush melodies. The lyrics of each song tell a story. Intelligent songs and well sung.

Also Great cast with wonderful individual performances. This show attracted... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Masterful, Must see

See it if you want to hear some of JR Brown's earlier work. Shoshana Bean & Mykal Kilgore steal the show mainly because they have the best material.

Don't see it if you need a plot. This is a collection of story songs. Some of the songs connect even though they are in different parts of the show.

Also I was concerned with the inclusion of dancers. However, they were used... Read more Read less

Brown's sensational song cycle

See it if Perfectly cast singers for an enchanting song cycle. The audience went wild. Brown's songs are 23 years old but very current.

Don't see it if Mykal Kilgore was wonderful. Shoshana Bean is terrific, too. Quirky dancers added pizzazz. Orchestrations and on-stage band were a big plus

Also I attended the "Lobby Project" before the show. The Civilians intervie... Read more Read less

Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Refreshing

See it if Amazing cast. Kilgore is giving a Tony-worthy performance, Bean is hilarious as Mrs. Claus, Pfeiffer sounds angelic. A breath of fresh air.

Don't see it if you want story arc or you only like straightforward singing. There are lots of riffs and runs and the actors really make the songs their own

Must see for a jrb fan, Great singing, Refreshing, 4 well matched talents

See it if Its 2 hours of pure singing. Four performers with different niches. Each assuming his role perfectly. Voices meld (usually) brilliantly.

Don't see it if You want a straightforward narrative. You dont want a young, loud enthusiastic audience.

Also Kilgore is the obvious star here and Shoshona Bean and Donnell yield t... Read more Read less

Great singing, Great staging, Great score, Great cast, Great choreography & dancing

See it if you are a fan of Encores. This is a fine example of what they do best. Minimal but brilliant staging, expertly performed by a great cast.

Don't see it if you want more than just a song cycle. There is no through story line & the individual numbers have little or no connection to each other.

Also There was a talk back after the show with Brown that gave insight into... Read more Read less

Great singing, Great staging, Must see, Refreshing

See it if you want some of the best singing and dancing on stage right now. Shame it's only here thru Sat.

Don't see it if you don't like review or cabaret style musicals. There is no story.

Also A joy to see so many young people in the audience for a B'way composer... Read more Read less

Great singing, Resonant, Enchanting

See it if This was a must-see for fans of the album or for anyone who wanted to see something rarely done. An incredible cast.

Don't see it if you aren't familiar with the score–it would still be enjoyable but this is very much a cult favorite.

Great singing, Beautiful song cycle

See it if you love JRB! Great music. Shoshana Bean's Surabaya Santa hysterical & Mykal Kilgore's Flying Home stopped the show!

Don't see it if you want a story, or a related themes. If a great dance ensemble that completely upstage the singers bothers you.

Also Jason Robert Brown's album was released today, so the highlight of the... Read more Read less

Clever, Great singing, Great writing, Must see, Great staging

See it if You want to enjoy a show so much you start nodding to the music! Fan night for JRB lovers.

Don't see it if You want a story with a plot. This is more of a song revue with a tenuous connection. Just sit back and enjoy the show.

Also The only downside for me is that the orchestra occasionally overpowere... Read more Read less

Great singing, Entertaining, Riveting

See it if Love the music, go see this. Don't know the music, you should. Really well sung. Can focus on the songs instead of just listening to them

Don't see it if Want a story line, skip this. Need full staging, not for you. Choreography was distracting.

Quirky, Masterful, Indulgent, Funny, Clever

See it if you are a fan of Jason Robert Brown’s talented work.

Don't see it if you were expecting a Jason Robert Brown Musical Review with some tying together theme to it, because that ain’t whacha will be getting.

Also I pride myself on referring to myself as a musical theater fan. Robert... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Great writing, Intelligent

See it if You want to experience terrific actors/singers, and dancers performing great songs in interesting vignettes. The voices bring down the house

Don't see it if You prefer more traditional musicals with a linear story .

Great singing, Disappointing, Overrated, Slow, Fluffy

See it if you know the songs or just like cabarets without talking or connection.

Don't see it if you need the songs to have a central theme or a flow to them.

Delightful, Great singing, Riveting, Funny

See it if You like Jason Robert Brown as a composer, or want to see some excellent songs, each of which is a one-off, self-contained. Good dancing too

Don't see it if you don't like JRB, revues, or are looking for something with a connected, straightforward plot.

Enchanting, Great singing, Resonant, Refreshing, Intelligent

See it if One of musical theater's finest song cycles. Wonderful ful production with top notch performances.

Don't see it if See it, if not too late.

Phenomenal singing, Simple but effective staging, Great dancing, Beautiful songs, Range of emotions

See it if you enjoy seeing what Encores does best. Beautiful songs--some funny, some touching--sung incredibly well. Back up dancers fantastic.

Don't see it if you want a plot. There is no book, it's just a collection of songs. Originally presented in cabaret format. Works perfectly for Encores.

Enchanting, Great singing

See it if you like song-cycle type shows.

Don't see it if you need more of a plot in your musicals.

Exquisite, Great singing, Great staging, Masterful, Absorbing

See it if You are a fan of the original. While the orchestration has been expanded, all for the better, the show is just as it was.

Don't see it if You dislike the original. Prefer traditional book musicals.

Also "You don't know me, but you will." ... Read more Read less

Great singing, Entertaining, Great dancing, Charming, Delightful

See it if a fan of phenom Jason Robert Brown's gorgeous music. Bean was Streisand-esque, Pfeiffer enchanted, Donnell charmed, Kilgore blew us away.

Don't see it if averse to musicals in concert format, though the dancers & orchestra (stage rear) added great textures & the music wows—even if unfamiliar!

Entertaining, Exquisite, Great singing, Must see, Riveting

See it if This was exceptional. The energy between the audience and performers was palpable. JRB made a cameo, and people went crazy. Amazing night.

Don't see it if You need a staged production, or are looking for a fleshed out story. It’s a night of vignettes, with 4 performers playing multiple roles.

Ambitious, Great staging, Hilarious, Great singing, Resonant

See it if Perhaps equal or exceeding the original cast in vocal chops; addition of dance sequences was generally positive

Don't see it if Addition of dance sequences were NOT always additive in nature; Colin O'Donnell came off a bit vanilla amongst the current cast

June 28th, 2018
"Flourishing in a glorious Encores! Off-Center iteration, savvily directed by Kate Whoriskey...For all the richness of Mr. Brown’s new orchestrations, and the vitality of a five-person dance ensemble choreographed by Rennie Harris, this staging smartly errs on the side of less is more...Ms. Whori...
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June 28th, 2018
"At first glance, Jason Robert Brown’s 1995 revue 'Songs for a New World' appears to have no plot or characters. But a closer inspection reveals it to be a complex, thematically-linked work in which each song (written in diverse styles of pop) is a one-act play...The piece is receiving an unexpec...
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June 28th, 2018
"It's everything someone who was obsessed with the recording could want...The joy of seeing it onstage comes from being able to fully appreciate how certain songs and arcs are connected...It's easy to see why 'Songs for a New World' resonates with so many people. Brown's score is filled with soul...
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June 30th, 2018
“Sublime…Music director Tom Murray's nine-piece on-stage orchestra plays Brown's new orchestrations that bring out more of the music's contrasting and blending rock, gospel, chamber and folk textures...The focus, as is should be, is on the characters created by the music and lyrics, performed by ...
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