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. More…
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.”
"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
“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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"'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
"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
"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
"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
"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
"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
See it if You love musical theater, care about dancing (ballet dancer in many companies, including modern) in role of Paris, love classic musicals.
Don't see it if Musicals aren't your thing (duh). I am not a fan of Oklahoma. This too is a musical about farmers in middle of nowhere but smart, not hokey.
See it if you want to see Encores do what it was meant to do: give a seldom-performed musical the most polished production it's ever likely to get.
Don't see it if you're put off by the idea of a musical based on the Iliad and the Odyssey. The book is not without flaws, but the music carries the day.
See it if beautiful music, great singing, terrific Joshua Bergasse choreography. Ryan Silverman's baritone is powerful. Lindsay Mendez shines.
Don't see it if This Odyssey adaptation makes Paris a dancing role and Barton Cowperthwaite is wonderful. Moving the story to 1901 Pacific NW is strained.
See it if You wonder why this has been a cult classic for 63 years. You are interested in the history of the musical theater.
Don't see it if You like realistic plots and deep characterization. Plays heavy with dialogue about contemporary subjects.
See it if you love the nostalgia of R+H, G+S, and showtune-y showtunes. This show is a fun ride with a talented cast and great numbers.
Don't see it if you want something modern or experimental, this show is straightforward theatre that will leave you sated but maybe not stunned
See it if You're a fan of Linsday Mendez, Alli Mauzey, or Ashley Brown, and love experiencing a musical you've never seen before.
Don't see it if You don't like Golden Age shows, or are easily bored by adapted plots.
See it if the you like innovative theater. 1954's GA feels new. Sometimes it tries too hard, but often succeeds. Many great voices. Mendez stands out!
Don't see it if you only like classic musicals. The score has hints of G&S, opera, Copland, Gershwin, etc. Clever lyrics, but some are lost to bad diction.
See it if You love musicals, enjoy some good music and voices. Lyrics are fun, a few songs really special. Good singing/dancing. It's Encores!
Don't see it if You like big staged effects, loud rock musicals, have no feel for old musical gems or semi-precious stones.
See it if You enjoy encores! Minimal sets but a full orchestra! Voices were fabulous and choreography too
Don't see it if Slow moving and dated story line but costumes and staging made up for it
See it if you want to see a seldom seen cult musical that has fabulous singing and quirky, interesting plot line.
Don't see it if if you get easily confused. based on the Illiad and the Odyssey. first act drags a bit but the second act soars.
See it if you're a fan of the original or love any of the members of the ensemble cast, they're all wonderful!
Don't see it if you love modern musicals with a book that moves plot along, or aren't a big fan of concert staging over full productions
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.
See it if you want to see a show that isn't produced much. This was an excellent production of an imperfect work.
Don't see it if you prefer more traditional musicals. If you aren't familiar with the Odyssey you may be lost (as I was). 2nd act felt slow to me.
See it if you like opera-like musicals...lots of singing...superior dancing...very well done...lovely music
Don't see it if you find confusing plot/books difficult..mixture of illiad and odyssey updated which does not really work
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