Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Dated, Ambitious, Disappointing

About the show

Encores! presents a staged concert of the 1954 musical comedy that reshapes the myths of 'The Iliad' and 'The Odyssey' into an all-American fable.

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Helen of Troy as a bored housewife? Ulysses as a dashing hero of the Spanish-American War? This whimsical and ambitious musical offers all that and more as it conjures up the days when pie-baking contests were cutthroat and lovers eloped in hot-air balloons. Despite its brief run, John Latouche and Jerome Moross’ show was hailed by critics, and introduced the classic torch song “Lazy Afternoon.”

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews


"Individual elements may be scrumptious, but consumed together you're likely to walk away with a massive stomachache...Unfortunately, this ambitious staging of an even more ambitious musical can't manage to keep the show's wings from melting under the blazing stage lights...There's just so much going on, audience members are liable to tune out from sheer exhaustion. This is inherent in the script and not for lack of effort by director Michael Berresse and his capable cast." Full Review


"Bookwriter/lyricist John Latouche mixes literary wit with hearty folksiness...An excitingly eclectic Americana sound that's rarely heard on Broadway...Lindsay Mendez shines brightly as Helen, singing with warmth, humor and gleeful sexuality...There are plenty of juicy supporting roles to go around and Encores! has gathered a top cast to play them...A musical that retains its youthful vim with its consistent cleverness...This one deserves a far greater following." Full Review

The New York Times

"These are the ingredients of a camp Americana operetta, which is what 'The Golden Apple' could so easily have been. But oh, the music: 135 glorious minutes of it, unsullied by dialogue...The glory of 'The Golden Apple' is a series of complex musical scenes and let’s-call-them-arias that define their own territory...The overall tone is generically cheerful and cute. There is way too much mimed jollity...There are some compensatory charms in the production’s make-do spirit." Full Review

New York Theater

"'The Golden Apple' got the Encores! treatment at its most glorious with a sonorous 31-piece orchestra, and a splendid 40-member cast...The score is delightful, a veritable catalogue of mid-twentieth century American music...The book is a busy, overly ambitious effort...Although many have praised Latouche’s lyrics, I am surely not alone in finding them inadequate for a full-length, sung-through musical...Still, I hope they issue a cast recording." Full Review

AM New York

"An unusual, daring and unapologetically brilliant 1954 musical...The Encores! staging is clean and simple but vibrant and beautifully sung by a fine cast led by Mikaela Bennett...Whether 'The Golden Apple' grows on you or not, this production shows off the Encores! series at its best, in producing a unique and extraordinary but underappreciated musical that probably would not have otherwise received another major New York production." Full Review

New York Daily News

"It's hit and myth, frankly...The delightful and punchy orchestral prelude gets things off to a rousing start — but it’s a mixed bag from there. Suffice it to say that compacting the whole Trojan War and its aftermath gets a bit zzz-inducing...Director Michael Berresse has assembled a game and talented cast of Broadway vets and new faces...When all is said and sung, the seldom-performed show is a curiosity worth seeing." Full Review


"The essential silliness of an incoherent plot takes nothing away from the qualities that have made the score treasured by Broadway cultists...The music has an infectiously Coplandesque appeal, careering from folksy to modern...The performances were utterly charming. But the true strength of the production lay in Berman’s musical direction of a plush-by-Broadway-standards orchestra playing spectacularly intricate, exuberant orchestrations. Earwormy bliss." Full Review

Front Mezz Junkies

"The music is certainly is worthy of the praise. It’s powerful and electric...And with this cast of stellar singers, it’s as beautiful sounding as one could hope...It’s a strange piece of work to say the least...Lindsay Mendez's performance is not to be missed... It’s not a perfect show, and at times it feels as tedious as a lecture on Homer’s 'The Odyssey,' but the magnificence of the vocal talent collected here to sing this rich music is a gift from the Gods." Full Review


"Excellently presented but underwhelming due to the patchy material...What may have been smart and cute long ago in a small Off-Broadway theater becomes dull on a large stage...Latouche’s lyrics have wit and craft, but his book is weak...Latouche and Moross’ efforts yielded a collection of likable songs...Berresse’s staging is lively and inventive...This spirited and mildly entertaining incarnation is an exciting event for musical theater aficionados, but is ultimately an uneven experience." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

"Extremely ambitious and wildly uneven...'Golden Apple' is the kind of show Encores! takes seriously, as evidenced here by the thoughtful direction of Michael Berresse and the often enchanting choreography of Joshua Bergasse. Their dedicated work goes a long way in both showing off the musical’s strengths and trying to cover up its weaknesses...One must also credit the Herculean efforts put forth by a star-studded cast." Full Review


"Ending the Encores! season with strenuous ambition and serious talent in a cornball musical-comedy hodgepodge...A turn-of-the-last-century farm town full of sophisticated arcane winking and over-the-top homespun goofballs mugging through director Bergasse’s mostly coarse choreography...There are so many multiple personalities that one would think, if we didn’t know better, that its creators were afraid they’d never get a chance to write another musical." Full Review

Wolf Entertainment Guide

"Encores! has retrieved this legendary show in a staging that reveals why so many people have revered the musical with its glorious score by Moross and lyrics by Latouche. One of the most thrilling aspects of this revival is the rendition of the score by the Encores! orchestra...Excellent singers are required and this presentation has them...'The Golden Apple' is exactly the kind of work that bears rediscovery. And Encores! has provided an enjoyable and very accomplished revisit." Full Review

Musical Theater Review

“A nonpareil gem…The affection vibrated through the inspired work of director Michael Berresse, choreographer Joshua Bergasse and musical director Rob Berman…A gleeful take on the Homeric epics…The music and the lyrics/book are virtually seamless...The abundance of on-the-money pastiches are enough to perhaps make even Stephen Sondheim a bit envious…The cast bursts with one formidable talent after another." Full Review


"The 1954 show that earned raves for its glorious score, clever lyrics and broad but sly humor...An offbeat, sung-through operetta...Barton Cowperthwaite as Paris never speaks or sings but is poetically eloquent in his leaps, balletic stretches and graceful movements...Mikaela Bennett possesses a celestial soprano that suggests future stardom. Encores' cast of 40 is top-notch in this long neglected cult show...'The Golden Apple' is an ambitious production." Full Review


"Despite the impressive music and clever lyrics, 'The Golden Apple' never quite becomes engaging, let alone transportive. The characters are of the one-adjective, two-dimensional type. The book is plodding, and there’s an artificial quality to many of the songs...The show just feels mechanical. The drama never becomes real, nor is there any discernible genuine emotion." Full Review

Theatre Reviews by John Clum

"This is a real score, a worthy companion to the great American operas of the period...The musical values have been not only preserved but celebrated...Ryan Silverman and debutante Mikaela Bennett sing beautifully...Lindsay Mendez is her usual terrific self...Berresse's staging is simple but effective as is Bergasse's choreography. Bravo to Rob Berman for such superb musical direction...A real treat." Full Review

Film Festival Traveler

"The kind of musical Encores! was made for...Most noteworthy is Moross’s beguiling, sung-through score...Luckily, the story’s silliness doesn’t derail the show...Lindsay Mendez, an amusing Helen, steals scenes right and left...Berman and his Encores! orchestra give Moross’s charming music the best possible platform, but an inane plot and large cast make 'The Golden Apple' a doubtful Broadway revival any time soon." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

"While the show certainly has its serious, deeply moving sections...overall it's notable for the creators' wonderfully light touch, and there's general agreement that the Moross/Latouche score is among the very best ever created for a flop Broadway musical...The quality and range of the music in 'The Golden Apple' is astounding, the lyrics true genius...One of the essential series' finest and most noteworthy achievements." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Ambitious, Clever, Disappointing

See it if you want to see a very rarely produced classic

Don't see it if you want to see it done right

Also I wish the current Encores people would stop casting so bizarrely. Lin... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Great acting, Great singing

See it if you care at all about Classic musical theatre. It's a most eclectic piece that needs a great cast & creative team.

Don't see it if you don't care for musical theatre or through singing.

Great acting, Dated, Great singing

See it if you are tired of seeing the same old musicals get revived again and again.

Don't see it if you aren't interested in a show that is quite dated and didn't do very well in its own time.

Quirky, Cliched, Overrated, Slow, Great singing

See it if You enjoy seeing pieces of theater history that often aren't performed. You love Lindsay Mendez being amazing.

Don't see it if You don't like slow dated musicals realistically about little. The second act drags on and what may have been revolutionary then is now old.

Ambitious, Confusing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Good songs, fantastic singing. Overall good show. 1st act (Iliad) is solid fun clever & understandable.

Don't see it if 2nd act (Odyssey) is very confusing and unfocussed. Only a good knowledge of the original kept me interested.

Also I can't speak more highly of the singers. Truly wonderful all of them ... Read more Read less

Confusing, Entertaining, Great singing, Uneven

See it if You enjoy experiencing lesser known musicals. The singing & orchestrations were gorgeous. Act1 is strong & very entertaining.

Don't see it if Act2 kind of flew off the rails for me. Found it slow, confusing and overly long. It's a shame since Act 1 was strong. Still glad I saw it.

Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Disappointing

See it if This well known musical is finally available at City Center and it is a golden opportunity to get to see it, The song Lazy Afternoon rings.

Don't see it if Your easily confused by a lot that's going on. Large cast playing many parts and a show sung through.

Confusing, Disappointing, Insipid, Overrated

See it if you want to see a cult classic that will never be performed professionally that is sung through and is an updated version of Greek classics.

Don't see it if you don't enjoy operatic sung through musicals where it is hard to understand the operatic singers and the story is confusing and boring.

Clever, Quirky, Confusing, Slow

See it if tales of the ancient Greeks done operatic style by a talented singing cast

Don't see it if no talk ... a bit slow... sometimes confusing

Confusing, Excruciating, Overrated

See it if you want to spend 2-1/2 hours confused because you cant understand the lyrics they are singing in this opera, and you just want to listen.

Don't see it if you are not needing a sleeping pill.

Ambitious, Romantic, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to hear a luscious score done by exemplary artists

Don't see it if You want dialog and script scenes or hate mythology

Disappointing, Entertaining

See it if you're curious about this cult musical. Great voices, orchestrations, dancers. It may be another 63 years before this chance comes again!

Don't see it if you don't like opera-tinged musicals, need a straightforward plot, & don't know Greek myths. It's a cult musical for a reason; buyer beware.

Quirky, Slow, Dated, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You enjoy Encores! productions, old operettas, beautiful voices, or want to see a show that will likely never be staged on Bway again.

Don't see it if There's a reason it's rarely performed. Show is sung-through, Act I is slow & just a build up for Act II. Most songs forgettable.

Ambitious, Intelligent, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you have an interest in legendary flop musicals

Don't see it if you don't

Also The Golden Apple is a legendary flop based on the Iliad and the Odysse... Read more Read less

Disappointing, Dated, Great singing

See it if You believe the hype of it's Cult Following...though the singing was Great!

Don't see it if You're expecting an amazing Score or Plot for a Musical!

I left at intermission

See it if you like Lindsay Mendez (sings beautifully despite general overamplification) & Ryan Silverman.

Don't see it if you value your time. Overamplification made me feel the cast was shouting at me, not singing. Nevertheless, lyrics were unintelligible.

Also Staging of this 1950's musical was also from the '50s. When the chorus... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Overrated, Entertaining, Great singing, Great dancing

See it if You want to enjoy a show from another era. And, you enjoy excellent performances. Plus you like shows reflecting Greek tragedies.

Don't see it if You want a fast moving show, that is relevant for today.

Clever, Confusing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You love City Centers approach to shows u may never see anywhere else

Don't see it if You don't like these types of presentations and r looking for modern pieces

Also A cult classic from a different time. The first show to transfer to Br... Read more Read less

Encores revives older tuneful but aimless musicals w top notch talent; this ulysses takeoff is more ridiculous than most

See it if /4 superb dancing/B. Cowperthwaite as Paris is star in the making; Lindsay Mendez as Helen of Troy winning songstress

Don't see it if musical transfer of the heavy Helen/Ulysses tale to 1900s US farming community strains credulity as cheeky entertainment vehicle

Entertaining, Great singing, Great dancing, Fabulous music, Goofy plot

See it if You want to see and hear a cult musical with wonderful music and terrific dancing.

Don't see it if You want the book to be as good as the music and dancing.

Also I enjoyed seeing this because of the singing and dancing and lush orch... Read more Read less

Disappointing, One-note, The desecration of an american cult musical, Sluggish direction—needs a shot of adrenaline, Ambitious but not successful

See it if you have never seen "The Golden Apple" and you want to have the experience. You would be much better off listening to the recent recording.

Don't see it if you can't tolerate slow moving productions. Very poor direction—stage feels terribly cramped throughout the evening.

Also "The Golden Apple" was done by the York Theatre Company when they were... Read more Read less

Funny, Dated, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Like sung-through, old time musicals. Great cast, especially Ryan Silverman. It's definitely old school.

Don't see it if Want something modern or relevant

Dated, Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if You enjoy old fashion musicals, updates versions of the classics - Homer in this instance; strong vocals - particularly Lindsay Mendez

Don't see it if You are looking for something on the modern side

Ambitious, Quirky, Slow, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to see a rarely produced version of what is considered a cult classic of the 1950's. Great singing, clever lyrics & a great cast.

Don't see it if if an updated version of the Odyssey & the Iliad that is mostly sung does not sound appealing. There are slow stretches.

Also The entire cast is wonderful. Lindsey Mendez is outstanding & ... Read more Read less

Delightful, Great staging, Terrific costumes

See it if you enjoy wonderful voices and like light opera. See it if you want to see a Robert Fairchild-type dancer with terrific moves.

Don't see it if old-fashioned musicals are not your thing.

Cast & Creatives (46)