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Sweetee

From 14 critic and 79 member 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. More…

Based on real events, 'Sweetee' tells the story of an outcast minister, a young street singer, and a band of orphans in the Depression-era South. As they struggle to make music and find their place in a world amid bigotry and poverty, a tale of spiritual triumph in the face of adversity and racism emerges. Directed by two-time Emmy winner and five-time Tony-nominee Patricia Birch.



65
Broadway Blog

“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.” Full Review

65
The Huffington Post

"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." Full Review

65
Theatermania

"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." Full Review

60
TheaterScene.net

“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.” Full Review

55
Talkin' Broadway

"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." Full Review


69
Ambitious, Great singing, Slow, Uneven

See it if you like musicals, historical drama, good character actors, nice vocals

Don't see it if you don't like music without dance, don't like historical stories

69
Quirky, Slow, Corny, Not inspiring, Pacing dragged

See it if You like corny, quirky shows

Don't see it if Like fast paced shows with a more action

69
Ok, Has potential, Lots of charisma from jelani alladin, Needs more work, Banal

See it if You want to see a show that gets a little better in the second act.

Don't see it if You are hoping for a great musical

67
Sweet and sour

See it if Not a bad seat in the house given three qtr thrust. Young cast supplies as much pluck as possible. Lead's suitor feels more like lead.

Don't see it if Mediocre, forgettable songs. Lead is sweet and charming, but lacked presence. How many shows about orphans can audiences endure?

Also Footnote: Footwear joke dragged out for entire show, but finally paid ... Read more Read less

67
Cliched, Slow, Trying hard, Well intentioned

See it if You want to see a show early in its development that needs lots of work, that's what this run should provide .

Don't see it if You want character development and great singing , still not sure who or why we were watching these people

67
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.

66
Cliched, Banal, Great singing, Dated

See it if If you want to see some younger actors with great talent and one senior actor with great talent wasted on a mediocre show.

Don't see it if You're impatient with mediocre writing despite great talent on stage.

Also This show is full of cliches, poorly written yet cast with very talent... Read more Read less

65
Ambitious, Entertaining, Cliched, Uneven, Low-budget

See it if you're interested in new musicals, know the movie, want to see young up-and-coming performers, are interested in a jazz-inflected musical.

Don't see it if you're expecting a full budget off-Broadway musical. This is an off-off or workshop production in an off-Broadway space.

65
Predictable, Cliched, Slow

See it if You appreciate actors who actually play live on stage.

Don't see it if You're looking for a captivating performance with a cohesive storyline.

65
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.

65
Enthusiastic but misses the mark

See it if You enjoy seeing young, developing, and enthusiastic performers regardless of the material

Don't see it if You are expecting an engaging narrative and polished score

Also The cast was enthusiastic but the material was superficial and just di... Read more Read less

65
Banal, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you dont mind work in progress production, not so catchy songs, simple small staging

Don't see it if you want better musical, big production, uncomfortable about race issues

65
Cliched, Disappointing, Banal, Lacked chemistry, Shallow

See it if ... you are ok with an amateurish book and insipid lyrics... if you don't want any depth in the characters or storyline.

Don't see it if you don't like wondering throughout the show what could possibly have enticed the impeccably-credentialed cast/crew to get involved in this

63
Banal, Cliched, Ambitious, Unremarkable, Disappointing

See it if You never met a musical you didn't like. You somehow know nothing about the Jim Crow era, in which case this might be revelatory.

Don't see it if You set the bar a little higher than that. Seriously, the songs all blur into one another and the lyrics are so on the nose it hurts.

62
Wanna-be "feel-good", Cliched, Disappointing, Well-meaning, Confusing

See it if you want a well-meaning musical with a superficial Disney-perfect ending & don't mind drowning in cliches to get there.

Don't see it if you want depth, emotional complexity, or surprises. So predictable it hurts. Could have napped, woken up, & still known how it would end.

Also This musical was so fluffy & cliched, at times it almost felt like a m... Read more Read less

60
Banal, Cliched, Great singing, Terrific acting, singing and music , but unfortunately in service of a tired and predictable script.

See it if Delightful and talented cast is enough to let you overlook the clichéd story.

Don't see it if Excellent musical talent isn't enough to overcome the tired same old story you know by heart.

58
Banal, Cliched, No-chemistry, Disappointing, Lame-book

See it if Lots of money went into this production - successful veterans directing and producing - but the book/lyrics are hopeless + ZERO CHEMISTRY

Don't see it if you have no patience for banal lyrics and a confusing book even when the all aspects of presentation are highly polished.

Also This is NOT a total waste of time, primarily because of several good s... Read more Read less

56
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).

55
Confusing, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if I really thought that I was going to be blown away by this show! It has all the workings of a fantastic ride but it really fell flat for me.

Don't see it if The direction was just off...many times characters are just standing around not sure of what to do or where to go.

Also This play has tremendous potential. It really could use some rewrites ... Read more Read less

55
Great singing, Ambitious, Underwritten

See it if Some extraordinary young talent, ambitious story

Don't see it if script not totally flowing, and some underwritten characters. Music inconsistent styles

55
Disappointing, Fluffy, Slow, Mediocre

See it if You want to support young, up and coming talent, although I thought only the male lead stood out

Don't see it if You are expecting more than a simple plot, shallow characters, mediocre music. hoping for jazz, ragtime,blues & heard mostly a sappy musical

53
Banal, Confusing, Cliched, Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You have a few hours to kill on bad theater

Don't see it if You want to see something written well

50
Slow, Great singing, Confusing, Disappointing, Overrated

See it if If you like a musical that's still in its workshop stage. If you like better-than-average singing. If you like shows that are slightly edgy!

Don't see it if You're not a fan of hearing the "N" word said by white men. If you're expecting a Broadway Musical Production. If you hate a minimalist set.


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Cast & Creatives (21)