Spoon River
Closed 1h 35m
Spoon River

Spoon River NYC Reviews and Tickets

(89 Ratings)
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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Show-Score Member Reviews (89)

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193 Reviews | 31 Followers
Clever, Great singing, Great staging, Great writing, Must see

See it if One of the best original performances.. a real treat.

Don't see it if You are a boring person

130 Reviews | 12 Followers
Entertaining, Ambitious, Absorbing, Delightful, Immersive

See it if you have ever read the monologues, this is the best you will ever see them performed. If you want an affirmation of life.

Don't see it if you don't like monologues, nontraditional, nonlinear shows, dealing with death, folk/song.

93 Reviews | 15 Followers
Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Riveting, Masterful, Intimate

See it if you seek brilliantly integrated music, design, and acting focused on storytelling. It is non-traditional in the best ways.

Don't see it if You're put off by simple Americana in song or subject. You don't want to deal with the subject of death. You want BIG.

82 Reviews | 21 Followers
Great music, Lively, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy quirky, dark, offbeat shows like Ghost Quartet.

Don't see it if You want a linear narrative or don't like folk music. Read more

87 Reviews | 13 Followers
Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great singing, stagin,, Creative

See it if you want to see a soulful, energetic musical with spirits coming back to life to share their anecdotal stories ,

Don't see it if you don't believe in the afterlife Read more

70 Reviews | 16 Followers
Clever, Profound, Great writing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy innovative interpretations of classic works, enjoy laughing and being emotionally moved within the same produciton

Don't see it if you don't like repetitious music,

71 Reviews | 7 Followers
Great acting, Entertaining, Enchanting, Delightful, Funny

See it if you enjoy great singing and acting

Don't see it if you do not like musicals

445 Reviews | 146 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

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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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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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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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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