The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin
The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin
80

The Bubbly Black Girl Sheds Her Chameleon Skin NYC Reviews and Tickets

80%
(40 Reviews)
Positive
88%
Mixed
10%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great singing, Delightful, Entertaining, Relevant, Funny

About the Show

Encores! Off-Center revives Kirsten Childs’ 2000 musical about the journey of a young African-American dancer. Starring Tony winner Nikki M. James.

Read more Show less

Member Reviews (40)

Sort by:
  • Default
  • Standing in our community
  • Highest first
  • Lowest first
  • Newest first
  • Oldest first
  • Only positive
  • Only negative
  • Only mixed
84
Ambitious, Great staging, Relevant, Quirky, Great acting

See it if Childs' semi-autobiographical musical of growing up in early civil rights era Sassy music darkened by O'Hara's deft staging James a knockout

Don't see it if Rough edges don't necessarily hurt but make for a little choppiness & 2nd Act meanders somewhat but a great production of still timely piece

85
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Intelligent

See it if you like pleasnat dancing and singing. Nikki James is a delight. I like it better thanwhen we saw it at Playwrights ages ago.

Don't see it if you expect a production on a par with the ENCORES broadway productions. Also, two performance are not enough.

78
Story 'bout black girl trying to find identity a bit ragged but nikki james as bubbly charms your pants off

See it if tells important story girl caught btwn black/white worlds in '60s forward, songs cleverly parody '60s tunes, fine ensemble dancing

Don't see it if lyrics and book not up to level of music; bubbly black girl problem resolved by becoming less bubbly, duh!; disappointing concert version

75
Great writing, Resonant, Messy, Exciting, Not the best production

See it if you're able to see past some VERY uneven performances and odd staging choices to the actual show itself, which is extremely interesting.

Don't see it if you're expecting a more fully staged Encores show--there were a LOT more scripts and music stands than any other recent Encores production.

96
Delightful, Entertaining, Great staging, Great singing, Great choreography

See it if you like incredible singing & choreography.Nikki James is amazing.I have problem with the show's basic premise; I think being nice is good!

Don't see it if you are expecting good lighting or sound. I was in the 5th row and missed a lot of the lyrics.Balance was WAY off.

87
Delightful musical tale of a singular black girl/woman

See it if Captivating musical about a bright LA black girl who wants to be a dancer and white. Her eagerness to please melts away when she gets to NY

Don't see it if limited production -- only 2 perfs-- perfect for off-Bway transfer. Nikki James nails the part. Many other outstanding perfs. Read more

83
Delightful, Great staging, Great singing, Intelligent, Relevant

See it if See an overlooked show with a great cast and great staging

Don't see it if Like more traditional musicals

82
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Refreshing

See it if you want to see a bravura performance from Nikki James. Triple threat: acting, dancing, singing.

Don't see it if you need to see a fully staged musical. This more a concert version (as advertised).

Critic Reviews (7)

The New York Times
July 27th, 2017

"Little on NY stages right now is as much flat-out fun...Has lost nothing of its high spirits—or, sadly, of its relevance...Material that is wonderfully motley and personal...The result, for all its idiosyncrasy, rings authentic...O’Hara’s production favors the kind of wild spontaneity you find in his own plays over a more tucked-in approach. Combined with the short rehearsal time, that leaves 'Bubbly Black Girl' a bit ragged in places, though never when it sings."
Read more

AM New York
July 27th, 2017

"It is a smart, unusual and interesting show and an ideal programming choice for the Off-Center series...With an outsize smile and big voice, James more than captures Viveca’s sunny personality, sincerity and innocence...The score has some catchy pop/R&B sections, but is mostly forgettable, and the book scenes can be meandering...But the key idea behind the show...is explored by Childs with great humor and honesty."
Read more

Theatermania
July 27th, 2017

"Many of the songs and scenes in 'Bubbly Black Girl' feel like they were written in direct response to today...The strength of Childs's book derives from the childlike propensity for openly discussing those things that most adults have the good sense to avoid...Director Robert O'Hara smartly does little to dissipate that discomfort, resulting in a concert presentation that is as dramatically compelling as it is tuneful...The staging also benefits from a remarkable performance by James."
Read more

New York Theater
July 29th, 2017

“One of the most remarkable aspects of Childs’ debut musical is that the racism that Bubbly witnesses and experiences is woven into a show that is full of satire, given hilarious expression in this production by the director, Robert O’Hara...But the satire is folded into an all-around entertainment. Childs melodic songs range from jazz to funk to gospel to Broadway ballads…Another highlight of this production was Byron Easley’s choreography…A triumph and a delight in every way.”
Read more

Newsday
July 27th, 2017

"James is onstage pretty much the entire time, and every minute of it she’s an absolute joy to watch...O'Hara brings to the fore the exuberant energy and bright irreverence that make 'The Bubbly Black Girl' pop, and helps make it one of the zippiest, funniest shows you can see right now. And one of the best sung. James is in very fine voice, and she gets sterling support from the ensemble."
Read more

Magical MissTari Tour
July 27th, 2017

"I had a great time at 'Bubbly Black Girl'...The music is just filled with joy, I don't know how else to describe it. It's as thought-provoking as it is joyful, though. Even when 'Bubbly Black Girl' tackles tough subjects, which it does...the musical presents these serious moments with clear-eyed honesty, yet you still feel the affection for these characters...Nikki M. James is a delight as Viveca, so so funny and smart...The direction and the choreography are just first-rate."
Read more

Z
July 27th, 2017

"Played brilliantly by James...this Viveca is a three-dimensional character whose journey has resonance...The cast is strong across the board...Childs’s book and lyrics are stronger than her work here as composer. The songs...have funny, clever lyrics, but the music tends toward excessive repetition...Encores! Off-Center productions must grapple with finding just the right tone...In this regard, O’Hara and choreographer Easley have been quite successful."
Read more

Watch This Next (3)

93
Must See!
21K+ Reviews
Open run
NYC: Midtown W

This all-ages musical spectacle tells the untold true story of the Witches of Oz.

85
Excellent
147 Reviews
Ends Jan 30
NYC: East Village

Sondheim's dark, TONY-winning musical comes to CSC in a new star-studded production. 

78
Good
49 Reviews
Opens Jan 26
NYC: Midtown W

Tony winner Phylicia Rashad stars in the Broadway premiere of Dominique Morisseau's Skeleton Crew.