Spoon River
Closed 1h 35m
Spoon River

Spoon River NYC Reviews and Tickets

(89 Reviews)
Members say
Great singing, Entertaining, Clever, Great staging, Delightful

About the Show

Canada's Soulpepper Theatre Company presents a musical adaptation of Edgar Lee Masters' 'Spoon River Anthology.'

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Member Reviews (89)

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716 Reviews | 219 Followers
Enchanting, Clever, Funny, Tuneful, Spirited

See it if All-in-fun spookiness as graveyard spirits recount humorous stories from their lives. Good musicianship.

Don't see it if You are looking for something more dramatic or meaningful. This is a series of disconnected vignettes.

716 Reviews | 157 Followers
Ambitious, Great singing, Thought-provoking, Slow, Clever

See it if you're a fan of the Masters work, you like ensembles that can bring to life a multitude of characters and a broad range of music, esp. folk

Don't see it if you wouldn't like a story told by town residents from their graves, you have a hard time being able to hear sung lyrics

505 Reviews | 729 Followers
Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Quirky, Delightful

See it if you enjoy a character-driven ensemble piece, and don't mind that there is no narrative (but there IS good music).

Don't see it if the lack of a narrative bothers you. Without one, I tended to tune in and out as different characters told their stories. Read more

479 Reviews | 262 Followers
Inventive, Rousing, Ambitious, Enchanting, Great singing

See it if you are a fan of Masters's poems. This production adds a delicious score and stellar performances. Amazing choral work. Viva Soulpepper!!

Don't see it if you don't like musicals or inventive theatre. You can't deal with vignettes or a linear story Read more

469 Reviews | 54 Followers
Entertaining, Great singing, Slow

See it if Enjoy poems set to music

Don't see it if Want a traditional musical

414 Reviews | 74 Followers
Clever, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if a musical that takes place in a graveyard & is a series of vignettes where those buried there sing or talk about their previous lives

Don't see it if you need a narrative, don't want actors playing multiple roles including playing instruments, don't want a musical staged in a graveyard Read more

391 Reviews | 133 Followers
Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Refreshing

See it if You like a mix of folk, Appalachia, gospel, and rhythmic, stage-shaking percussion.

Don't see it if If you don’t like poetry. The script is based on poems so the “dialogue” sounds more affected than in a naturalistic play. Read more

356 Reviews | 108 Followers
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Refreshing, Masterful

See it if You enjoy story telling in small clever vignettes. The songs are soulful and beautiful. This is an enjoyable evening out.

Don't see it if You want a full out Broadway musical. This was quiet and moving. Read more

Critic Reviews (19)

The New York Times
July 16th, 2017

"A kind of all-souls hootenanny...'Spoon River' is a feel-good show, a memento mori only in that it encourages its audiences to gather their rosebuds while they may. What’s most impressive here is the diversity of Mr. Ross’s songs and Mr. Schultz’s staging, and the ingenuity with which they match character to melody and stance...The production is a shade overstuffed and repetitive...Still, there’s a winning generosity in having these alternatives."
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Time Out New York
July 11th, 2017

"Composer Mike Ross has set several of Masters’s poems to rollicking, foot-stomping tunes...Adapters Albert Schultz (who also directs) and Ross have selected a sweet bouquet from the anthology’s 244 poems...In a universally strong cast, a few performers match their material so perfectly it’s nearly painful...Still, the most powerful moments are the massed ones, when the company fills the stage. The volume alone of so many people in so small a space is thrilling."
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July 20th, 2017

"A mash-up of tone poem and folk opera...Although there’s almost no interaction among the singing corpses, a portrait – complex, rich and varied as life – does emerge. Credit for this goes not only to the ingenious staging but to an exceptionally talented roster of actors, at once united and varied. That’s perhaps the most salient element on display in this Soulpepper bonanza: a unity of purpose and commitment from artists who have grown together."
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Talkin' Broadway
July 12th, 2017

"All of the stories are set to Ross's mostly foot-stomping, toe-tapping lively score, filled with the sounds of American folk music, Appalachian bluegrass, New Orleans funeral parades, and gospel. The uniformly strong cast not only sing and tell their stories but also perform splendidly on fiddles, banjos, mandolins, guitars, bass, and rhythm instruments. All in all 'Spoon River' is a joyful and fitting production."
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Theatre is Easy
July 18th, 2017

1"While each segment is engaging and the individual stories never fail to fascinate, the abundance of characters becomes overwhelming...It doesn’t introduce a traceable plotline, As a result, while satisfying as a visual and auditory experience, it doesn’t make a lasting impression...The musical arrangements are masterfully crafted...It’s a feast for the ears...The genius set and lighting design also add dimension to the piece. I was hoping for focus, or a point of view."
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Theater Pizzazz
July 11th, 2017

"In this version of 'Spoon River Anthology,' those souls are brought back to life in a sizzling thrill ride that packs quite a punch...It’s a brilliant piece of theater–the kind you might one day look back on and remember as one of the best things you ever saw. Soulpepper’s production is the perfect storm of elements yielding a theatrical ne plus ultra...The cast is a wonderment. All (or nearly so) are multi-instrumentalists who sing well, move well, emote brilliantly and make astounding music."
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July 11th, 2017

"This exhilarating, 95-minute musical features 19 top-flight actor-musicians, including the versatile Ross...Much of the score of 'Spoon River' has a classic country sound...All of it is appealing and much of it beautiful...Ross, Schultz, and the Spoon River company have transformed Masters' morose masterpiece into a gift of joy for New York. Let's hope the Soulpepper crew will plant their maple leaf flag in the Big Apple on a frequent basis."
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Front Mezz Junkies
July 12th, 2017

"A stellar and talented group of actors are there singing and saying what they need to say...It’s a show about death and dying, but you’d never know by the liveliness and exuberance the music and the cast give off. There are too many wonderful moments and songs to even try to categorize...The whole piece just has such tremendous fun with death, that one can’t help but celebrate along with them the great gift of life...A joyous ninety minutes."
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