Sweetee NYC Reviews and Tickets

(79 Reviews)
Members say
Great singing, Entertaining, Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow

About the Show

Dream Big Theatrical presents this '30s-set musical about an integrated group of musicians touring the Jim Crow South.

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Member Reviews (79)

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Inane plot, Clunky dialogue, Strong singing, Needs cuts, Unearned ending

See it if Some good songs, well-sung. The young leads are talented; everyone tries hard. The band is good. Nice costumes.

Don't see it if you want a coherent plot with an emotional impact. This is a mess. Many of the dull songs should be cut. Other songs should be lengthened.

Uneven, Slow, Disappointing, Not bad, Not good

See it if You want to see a show that has a couple good singers but no great songs and a poorly written book. It's not a total waste of time.

Don't see it if You want a good show. You need to find things to like about this. Some good talent they were just not given good material to work with.

Ambitious, Quirky, Slow, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if you enjoy new musicals, black singing groups in the 30's-40's, fan of jazz and gospel, tracing growth of a shy young female to assertiveness

Don't see it if musicals in development are not your thing, issues of abuse discomfort you, expect large production numbers, too much coincidence

Great singing, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Confusing, Uneven acting

See it if You want to hear very talented singers. You like Southern-style music. You want a musical w/a social message.

Don't see it if You want good acting from the whole cast: some are painful! You want a clear story: there are unexplained plot points & time jumps.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy an interesting story about a black girl growing up in deep south in the 30s. Very excellent performance by girl who played Sweetee

Don't see it if you don't like stories about Jim Crow South. The story does show how one can rise despite bad beginnings

Banal, Indulgent, Slow

See it if You like supporting actors most of whom are making their off-Broadway debuts. You like slow musicals with tons of songs that sound the same.

Don't see it if You want a fast-paced musical, you want to feel the emotions (rather than one-dimensional flat & boring characters).

Good work in progress. some good music and good performances

See it if You're okay with works in progress.

Don't see it if You don't like works in progress.

Mildly entertaining, Earnest cast, Some good songs

See it if You like small ensembles with varying talents. Costumes and a few moments are good, but the cast is not well-served by the script.

Don't see it if You want creative staging or sets. Although the cast works hard, at times it felt merely like a good high school production. Read more

Critic Reviews (14)

June 1st, 2017

"This mounting is pretty obviously a workshop more than anything else...Still, there's a lot to cherish in this piece, which still needs work but is on the right track...The first act is a simultaneous mix of too much and too little expository information...But once Cat Jones comes on stage, the show takes off...The second act, however, plays more like an outline than a fully fleshed out story...A cheerfully optimistic piece that encourages audiences to dream big."
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Lighting & Sound America
June 2nd, 2017

"A promissory note for a show not yet fully conceived...The characters are little more than attitudes in period clothing. The songs are like placeholders...And the book consists of a series of big moments lacking the connective tissue that would string them together into a meaningful narrative. Furthermore, much of what happens is downright odd, in dire need of further explanation...Birch's staging is solid enough, but she can't do much to straighten out the sketchy, jumbled script."
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Talkin' Broadway
June 1st, 2017

"Certainly, there is potential for a compelling work within this outline. But sadly 'Sweetee' is altogether sketchy as the story plays out through a series of short, poorly connected scenes...Of the cast, Jelani Alladin is the standout, while Jordan Tyson shows she is likely to evolve into an excellent performer...However, while the show may encompass big dreams for its characters and its creator, it will take a great deal of continued work to bring 'Sweetee' to stage-worthy readiness."
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June 10th, 2017

“There is nothing very wrong with Gail Kriegel's new musical, ‘Sweetee,’ other than that it seems very familiar and derivative. An on-the-road story set in the racially divided Deep South 1936-1942 and ultimately ending up in New York, it resembles the social commentary Warner Brothers films of the late thirties...While the music is catchy, Kriegel's lyrics are mainly clichés and don't forward the plot one tiny bit. Her melodramatic story is both repetitious and predictable.”
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Theatre is Easy
June 2nd, 2017

"The use of the space is well thought out and allows for a seamless and unencumbered telling of the story. Yet the story itself is a bit scattered...While the show attempts to incorporate an abundance of ideas and goes in many directions, it does not fully commit to any single choice...Overall, I enjoyed the show. The actors are lively, engaging and charismatic...But in the end I wanted a stronger emotional attachment to the characters and their lives."
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Theater Pizzazz
June 1st, 2017

"The Depression-era South is the fearful setting for much of the poignant, uplifting and soulful musical 'Sweetee' in a limited, must-see run. 'Sweetee' is a unified, dynamic production that is well-acted, lyrically sung, precisely directed/choreographed, staged and set with minimalist brilliance. Gail Kriegel demonstrates her prodigious talents (book, lyrics and music), in her thoughtful characterizations, developing story line and versatile command of music genres."
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June 6th, 2017

“The scenes are sketchy, but the show moves swiftly under the sure hand of director-choreographer Patricia Birch...Tyson’s singing and youthful energy enliven the spirituality of the gospel and hymn songs of the Reverend's band…Many songs are just short snippets and at least four are from the hymn/folk songbook…'Sweetee' has heart but it needs CPR in plot and music to make this show a credible theatrical event."
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Stage Buddy
June 5th, 2017

"The score is by far the best thing about 'Sweetee.' And it's definitely a show in which the music takes center stage - the play often feels like it's all built around the musical numbers. That's not necessarily a bad thing. Still, I could have wished for a little more story at times, and some further character development might not have been a bad idea...But for the most part, 'Sweetee' rolls along at a nice pace, featuring characters who are lovable underdogs."
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Broadway Blog
June 2nd, 2017

“If your theatergoing sweet tooth craves a sugar bun of a rags-to-riches show business musical, you might consider tasting 'Sweetee'...It's got plenty of gooey plot implausibilities and clichés that stick in your gullet, but it sings a song of social significance and has an appealing cast, a tuneful score, and a sprightly staging...The script is loaded with stereotypical characters, and the narrative not only has too many loosely connected scenes but can be annoyingly predictable.”
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The Huffington Post
June 1st, 2017

"The tuner certainly has the feel of someone awkwardly transferring the sprawling events of a complicated narrative from page to stage...Nevertheless, much can be forgiven in a musical that so firmly has it heart in the right place...Its pluses are many, starting with strong voiced Tyson...Director-choreographer Birch has her keen way with the cast...The songs are always tunefully serviceable...The ballads have some power but maybe aren’t the kind auditors long to hear over and over again."
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Times Square Chronicles
June 2nd, 2017

“Implausible…The casting of Ms. Tyson as this amazing singer makes no sense considering Morgan Siobhan Green has the better voice…Mr. James has that leading-man persona and Alladin is a standout. I take my hat off to these performers who were given material that is untuneful, lyrically a bore, and a book that seems more community theater than Off-Broadway. What does stand out is Tim Mackabee's set and the off-stage band that made the most of this material.”
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Wolf Entertainment Guide
June 3rd, 2017

“A charmer of a well-cast little musical…Best of all, it has in the title role Jordan Tyson, a highly appealing actress with a dynamic, infectious voice. She is worth a special trip and so is this standout show…The plot is a stretch but the performers, Birch’s astute staging, and the appeal of the score dominate…The love aspects may be clichéd, but there is an overall spirit that ignites, and a good feeling emerges when the company gathers for a singing finale.”
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June 6th, 2017

"An exuberant quintet of ragtag youthful music-makers makes a lot of 'Sweetee' quite a satisfying theatrical journey...Birch’s fluid staging keeps the picaresque story pushing ahead with clarity and spirit, using the intimate venue and her talented cast to good advantage...Kriegel’s storytelling hits some bumpy patches, with plot developments that threaten to turn really dark and then somehow get glossed over…‘Sweetee’ may not yet be a total confection, but she’s a gal worth keeping an eye on.”
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Says Me Says Mom
June 3rd, 2017

“'Sweetee' is a delight. It is a very entertaining show with an interesting plot and fascinating characters…It is definitely worth seeing. The acting in the show is extremely good…There is not one role that has not been perfectly cast. The songs in the show are quite engaging as well…This is a show that definitely stirs your emotions…If you like theater that really touches you emotionally, you will love this show.”
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