The Harder They Come
Ends Apr 09 1h 50m
The Harder They Come

The Harder They Come NYC Reviews and Tickets

(95 Reviews)
Members say
Entertaining, Great singing, Absorbing, Delightful, Ambitious

Pulitzer-winning playwright Suzan-Lori Parks' musical adaptation of the 1972 film of the same name.

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Member Reviews (95)

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664 Reviews | 293 Followers
Ambitious effort to turn iconic movie into musical, Musical re singer/outlaw in 1970 kingston jamaica, Avge sscore score 4 this seems buoyed by shills

See it if shows anti-hero as agent of social justice vs corrupt church/police/record industry; features 30+ reggae numbers & sensual Jamaican dancing

Don't see it if using song excerpts as narrative/shallow, predictable plot/turning amoral lead into a naif robs movie of appeal Read more

500 Reviews | 328 Followers
Lively, Some great songs!, Ambitious, Confusing, Great singing

See it if You love the original album (although the changes are a bit disconcerting.) Excellent singing. Colorful, lively show.

Don't see it if you don't like "sung-through" shows with very little dialogue.

505 Reviews | 73 Followers
Hard knock life in jamaica

See it if Great singing of reggae songs. Small town hustler/singer goes bad in the hard city streets to anti-establishment folk hero status.

Don't see it if Audience that watched the film / know the songs seemed to like it more, gray area of hustling vs criminal enterprise, not the smoothest plot Read more

356 Reviews | 44 Followers
Great singing, Entertaining

See it if Jimmy Cliff and other reggae beats. Great voice talents. Entertaining … sway in your seats.

Don't see it if Lacks hard-hitting grittiness.

215 Reviews | 35 Followers
Ignore the reviews

See it if you want to see terrific dancing, tuneful songs, and excellent acting. You will be dancing in your seat!

Don't see it if you don't like musicals. Read more

202 Reviews | 43 Followers
Dizzying, Riveting, Great staging, Great singing

See it if You like reggae music and Jimmy Cliff and can’t believe The Harder They Come was released in 1972.

Don't see it if You do not like very loud musicals. And the play is a little confusing like the movie was.

163 Reviews | 37 Followers
Slow, Refreshing, Fluffy, Great acting, Entertaining

See it if You enjoy the movie or want to see a musical using all reggae music.

Don't see it if You can’t sit through some slow parts or a 2 hour runtime Read more

155 Reviews | 14 Followers
Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to see a new "juke box" musical with excellent singing. Most of it is a lot of fun.

Don't see it if you don't like reggae music. There are a lot of songs in this show. Read more

Critic Reviews (11)

The New York Times
March 15th, 2023

" 'The Harder They Come' falls right into the trap of the rest of that title lyric: “the harder they fall.”
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New York Magazine / Vulture
March 15th, 2023

“The Public Theater’s adaptation takes the film’s subject and setting a lot more seriously, so much so that its creators struggle to stuff in everything they want to comment on, modify, and underline from the original, alongside all the hit songs.”
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New York Theatre Guide
March 16th, 2023

“New, exciting musicals are hard to come by, and ’The Harder They Come’ features a big cast with big beats — and big potential.”
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Lighting & Sound America
March 15th, 2023

“Onstage, The Harder They Come is a slick, two-dimensional melodrama set to a playlist of reggae hits, but Parks' by-the-numbers approach does away with the film's blaxploitation edge…The score, expanded with additional reggae hits and some contemporary contributions by Parks, remains eminently listenable and most likely you will find yourself swaying in your seat from time to time. But the numbers address the characters and their situations in only the most generalized way… One could arguably reshuffle the song order without materially affecting the narrative.”
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Talkin' Broadway
March 15th, 2023

“Many hands, many voices, and yet all cut from the same exuberant cloth. By any measure, 'The Harder They Come' is a decided success for the Public Theater and deserves a long life after this run has ended.”
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New York Stage Review
March 15th, 2023

“ ‘The Harder They Come’ is a fun show, as the 25 song inclusions prove.”
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New York Stage Review
March 15th, 2023

“So much top-drawer talent has been poured into this production, it’s dispiriting to see it put in service to such a simplistic scenario. At best, the stage version may inspire you to re-watch the movie, which unfolds in gritty detail like a semi-documentary.”
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Front Row Center
March 17th, 2023

“If you want your spirits lifted by music and a band of mighty performers – get thee to this show.  The story may be dark but somehow you will see through it to the glory.”
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