East Cleveland, 1976. Jay is a charismatic slacker living above Paradise, the restaurant his father left him. But Jay is in deep debt to many, including Earlene Floyd, who wants to bulldoze Paradise and put up a parking lot. Jay enlists his old-school gang of misfits to help him raise cash by hustling across America, one game of Scrabble at a time. But old factions and Earlene’s offensive to crush them threaten Paradise's chances of survival. Who will have the last word?
"A delightful new musical with a great deal to offer. Mr. Sullivan and his creative team have carefully thought through a musical that features an outstanding cast, a fully developed story with a clear dramatic arc, and an engaging theme that readily connects to the audience...Michael Bello directs with a careful and sensitive hand throughout...Raises rich enduring questions about loyalty, letting go of the past, new beginnings, and the importance of friendship.” Full Review
"'The Last Word' manages to evoke the heart of the 1970s without overdoing it. It also successfully captures the fun and energy of a road trip narrative, a challenge for live theater. The music and dancing is a mixed bag, sometimes innovative and other times feeling simplistic and dated...What the cast and crew have managed to achieve in the time given is remarkable. This isn't just a musical that will make you smile; it will leave you wondering what friendship really means." Full Review
“Has the good-natured potential of a project still in the workshop stage...In essence, this is just the latest iteration of the 'motley crew of lovable misfits overcomes obstacles on its way to nationals' trope...Still, the magpie score amusingly flits around various pop styles, as if Mr. Sullivan was fiddling with the dial on a vintage AM radio. With more muscular arrangements and a crisper sound design, he might well be onto something.” Full Review
"It’s fun! But do we really care about this story? Likely not. 'The Last Word' is a colorful musical that certainly knows what it is. The book though, can use some cleaning up...Michael Bellow had a strong vision for his creative team and his actors. His direction was precise, for the most part. He allowed the story, however convoluted it may be, to shine through…The choreography was exceptional...'The Last Word' had some mighty high highs and some mighty low lows." Full Review
"Desperate to tell you that you're having a good time, yet it seems to work just as hard to be off-putting...Smart choices and trackable logic do not abound here; the gang has obstacles at just the right time, and turnarounds occur because otherwise nothing would happen at all…What does it have going for it? A killer last number that, for the only time in the evening, drops all pretense and just embraces the unbridled enthusiasm that musical theatre conjures better than almost anything else." Full Review
See it if You like new musicals in the making where actors have fun and story keeps you engaged and you root for the good guy in the end!
Don't see it if You want a big polished musical production with all the kinks- which aren't bad- ironed out already
See it if you're looking for a fun, light new musical at a great place in its development. The cast is incredibly talented, & the creative team shines
Don't see it if you want a fully realized project. NYMF shows are often still in development, and the audience must be on board with the ride!
See it if U like to hear awesome lyrics and music sung and danced by an energetic young cast;clever storyline about friendship, family, and creativity
Don't see it if You expect elaborate sets and profound dramatic moments; You do not appreciate the hard work involved in creating a brand new musical
See it if High energy dancing and singing. Demented plot - trying to save a failing Indian restaurant in E Cleveland by winning a Scrabble tournament
Don't see it if Talented cast -- some with Broadway credits -- gives the show their ALL. Nice pop score.
See it if You Like musicals .. don't mind silly story lines ...enjoy great choreography and like a comfortable cool space to watch a performance.
Don't see it if You want some substance in the story line Don't like silly stuff /don't have the patience to watch 2+ hours of theatre that should be 1 hr
See it if you enjoy a light-hearted show with a lot of potential and an extremely talented cast. Standouts: Finley, Kent, Jain & Kenkel (choreo)
Don't see it if you don't like developmental work. I believe the show should go for a more wacky tone. It isn't perfect, but it has definite potential.
See it if you enjoy new musicals with a great cast and tight ensemble. While some of the performances were uneven, as a whole they were charming.
Don't see it if you only enjoy totally polished & finished productions. It's a lot of fun & an entertaining story, but needs some work.
See it if It was just ok for me. The songs were cute, the actors invested, it just wasn't my thing. It was all me, just didn't connect.
Don't see it if I say give it a try. I can see someone else getting a kick out of it.
See it if you don't mind a show where the entire plot revolves around one line of a song. It's funny in a silly way.
Don't see it if you need to hear all the lyrics, I couldn't understand sometimes when the actors turned towards the back of the stage.
See it if you enjoy upbeat and fun musicals and are not bothered by seeing a work in progress. geared to a younger audience.
Don't see it if you're looking for something more professional. this feels like it needs a lot of tweaking. don't see if you like serious drama.