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The Golden Apple

From 18 critic and 77 member reviews
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. 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.”

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

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

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


"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

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

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


"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

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


"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

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

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

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


"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

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


"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

Ambitious, Brilliant, Enchanting, Funny, Dancers' dream

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.

Also I didn't know a thing about Golden Apple when a music critic friend in... Read more Read less

Great score., Great singing, Great staging, Enchanting, Exquisite

See it if You enjoy American folk operas such as Candide, Most Happy Fella and Love Life beautifully performed.

Don't see it if You prefer contemporary book musicals.

Also Watching Mikaela Bennett make her professional debut while still a Jul... Read more Read less

Delightful, Entertaining, Great acting, Great singing, Quirky

See it if you love golden age musicals

Don't see it if you hate golden age musicals

Great singing, Great dancing, Entertaining

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.

Forgotten 50s musical masterpiece

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.

Delightful, Entertaining, Ambitious

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.

Also This sung-thru musical from 1954 is not for everyone. But as someone w... Read more Read less

Funny, Great acting, Fluffy, Clever, Entertaining

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

Also Lindsay is worth the price of admission herself and lights up the stag... Read more Read less

Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Slow, Great singing

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.

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

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.

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.

Ambitious, Clever, Unusual, Sung-through, Epic

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.

Also I felt privileged to see this lost gem. I went with no prior knowledge... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing, Romantic, Ambitious

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

Delightful, Entertaining, Refreshing, Slight story, but who cares?

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.

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

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

Confusing, Dated, Great staging, Great singing, Entertaining

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

Entertaining, Great singing, Quirky, Ambitious, Intelligent

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

Clever, Great singing

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.

Entertaining, Great singing, Refreshing

See it if you like wonderfully melodic music and rarely heard songs such as "Lazy Afternoon".

Don't see it if you don't care for a morality play or minimal staging.

Delightful, Great singing, Great staging, Dated

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

Quirky, Ambitious, Great singing, Slow, Entertaining

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

Clever, Great singing, Confusing, Quirky, Slow

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.

Also There were some lovely performances. Keep an eye out for newcomer Mika... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Ambitious, Entertaining

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

Delightful, Entertaining, Dated

See it if you already know and love The Golden Apple, like operettas, or want to see "The Iliad" and "The Odyssey" re-imagined as an American tale.

Don't see it if you are more into the modern style of musicals.

Entertaining, Great singing, Dated, Funny

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

Cast & Creatives (46)