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.
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.
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
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
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.
See it if You're okay with works in progress.
Don't see it if You don't like works in progress.
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).
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
"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."
"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."
"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."
“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.”
"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."
"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."
“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."
"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."