The six band members teach themselves music from behind bars and earn a slot on a prison-based radio program. Through sisterhood, determination, and a little bit of luck, these women work (and play) together to fiddle their way to freedom. Inspired by a true story, 'The Goree All-Girl String Band' is a tale of redemption that features an ensemble of actor-musicians performing a brand-new country score. An official selection of the 2017 New York Musical Festival Next Link Project.
"One of the most interesting shows to hit NYMF in a long time...The cast, for what they had to do in such a short time, was stellar...Bradley’s book and lyrics are powerful, though the first act could use some tightening...Because this story is so interesting we actually want to know even more about these characters...The delightful country score is soulful with strains of bluegrass...Mark my words this show will have a life beyond NYMF. Catch this if you can!" Full Review
"One of NYMF's best offerings...A sweet story of female friendship, the reclamation of agency, and the healing power of music—themes that in Bradley's book can sometimes drift into the formulaic, but in their unique context and with clear direction by Monroe, remain compelling. It's the story that hooks you, but it's the music that keeps you there...It's all a pretty joyful platform for the cast's musicianship...On the whole, 'Goree' seems to have a bright future ahead." Full Review
"If Act One is emotionally pent up, Act Two breaks out beyond all expectation...Nine women on stage equates to sweet harmonies aplenty...There is some work to be done. Mozelle needs a first-act number of her own, and the authors need to find a way to bring consequence to the few dark moments that shadow the women. But the first half of the second act arrives fully formed with four consecutive killer numbers...It’s a production that deserves a longer run." Full Review
"A musical so tunefully entertaining that one could make allowances for such an outlandish plot. But we don’t have to: 'Goree' is based on a true story...The misery is played down. The music is what matters...There are faint and feint stabs here and there at character development and complications...Bradley’s book and lyrics play second fiddle to the fiddles...These musical numbers are so damn fun that, while 'Goree' may have its flaws, like the governor of Texas, I pardon them." Full Review
“Successfully couches a message about redemption through music in a consistently funny play…It is ultimately the humanity of these women ‘who've done bad’ that emerges from Bradley's well-plotted book and the fine acting of ‘Goree's’ ensemble…The songs in Act II are stronger than those in the first act…The last few songs are anti-climactic…But the ensemble finale is grand, and the ‘The Goree All-Girl String Band’ ends on a high note." Full Review
"The show is frustrating, though, because for all the lovely vocal harmonies of the prisoners, and for all the sweet sounds of their string instruments (cello, fiddle, bass, banjo, guitar), the songs are largely unmemorable, the lyrics and dialogue larded with clichés. And while this cast is abundantly talented, the characters are so thinly written and the plot so meandering that it’s hard to feel invested." Full Review
See it if This new musical has a cast of fantastic actors who are also fantastic musicians. The story is good, everyone gets a solo, a fun evening
Don't see it if You don't like country music or shows like Bright Star. It's not perfect yet, there is some writing that needs a little clarification
See it if You loce a powerhouse of performers who can act, sing, dance and play instruments. The story and music are wonderful!
Don't see it if I voted this as Best of the NYMF fest among the shoes I saw. Can't think of why you would not go.
See it if you like C-W music. GASB has many terrific songs, well performed. True story plot fascinates. Great talent on stage. Better than Bright Star
Don't see it if you dislike ALL musicals, but GASB is special. It needs trimming. Too many solos; loses focus. Big Act II song for lead fizzles.
See it if You like a fact based story with country western music. You enjoy seeing actors & musicians playing dual roles. But some trimming is needed
Don't see it if You dislike a simple set musical, with a Texas/country western flavor. No frothy, fun stuff here.
See it if Heartfelt dramatic musical about female inmates at Texas prison farm during the 30's.Great musical pastiche with impressive work from cast
Don't see it if Book need to be fleshed out w/more characterization & pace needs tightening but even still a crowd-pleaser Best of NYMF 2017
See it if You want to see an incredible true story nearly forgotten by history, played by a multi-talented cast that'll win your hearts.
Don't see it if You don't like country music or can't sympathize with convicts.
See it if you enjoy "Grand Old Opry" style music. Really enjoyed the singing and dancing but the book let me down.
Don't see it if you want the back story of how the girls got in prison, how they learned to sing/play instruments & formed the band.
See it if you want to see a show with an interesting subject ad some nice music that you don't typically here on Broadway.
Don't see it if you don't like country music or shows with a lot of underdeveloped characters.
See it if You're a fan of country and western or bluegrass music, and enjoy some really great singing.
Don't see it if You're bothered by holes in storylines and plot points that don't really move anything along.
See it if you like any of the actors (who were all lovely in the production) and enjoy musicals with pretty, but by no means ground-breaking, music
Don't see it if you have an eye/ear for when you're being queer-baited (the two leads had crazy chemistry, but the script all but shouts "no homo!" at you)
See it if you enjoy country music and minimalistic sets. This show reminded me of "Once."
Don't see it if You're looking for a fast-paced story line. The book drags throughout and feels a bit corny.
See it if this score has potential as a cute country-like production. Needs good singers and instrumentalists to leave a positive impression.
Don't see it if you can hardly tolerate bad instrument playing and very average singing with some out of tune notes.
See it if you enjoy a show with a problematic book (with tons of cliches), a generic score, and an amateur cast. Poor singing & instrument playing.
Don't see it if you enjoy musicals with a strong book, an interesting score, and highly professional actors.
See it if You like true stories well told in a musical theatre genre by superb actor/musicians. Lyrical and entertaining also moving and powerful.
Don't see it if you don't like musicals that pack a really fun punch.