Members say: Entertaining, Funny, Clever, Great singing, Quirky

About the show

Part of the New York Musical Festival: A group of Scrabble hustlers try to raise the funds to save a friend's restaurant in this new musical dramedy.

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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?

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The New York Times

“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

Talkin' Broadway

"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

Theatre Reviews Limited

"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

Theater In The Now

"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


"'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

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Quirky, Banal, Disappointing

See it if Meh. Kinda boring. Nice try but.

Don't see it if Don't think this will make it to Broadway.

Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if You like to see what a group of people will do to come up with money to save a business

Don't see it if If you dont like small productions


See it if you like a fun musical. Not too heavy, easy evening. Cast does a nice job of things. The ending was slightly unexpected.

Don't see it if don't like musicals.

Cliched, Dated, Great singing, Offensive, Lazy

See it if you thought Honeymoon in Vegas was hilarious but wished the music and lyrics were dumber. Decent vocals and lots of dancing. Not a bad cast.

Don't see it if you thought Nick Bottom was incredibly annoying. You don't like repetitive songs that seem endless. You expect a Scrabble show to be clever.

Original, Great singing, Fluffy, Great choreography

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.

Banal, Disappointing, Excruciating, Cliched, Insipid

See it if You think stereotypical representations of minority groups is 'diversity'

Don't see it if You would expect a musical about scrabble to have good lyrics.

Funny, Quirky, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you enjoy poppy scores and a fun story. Solid cast with a decent story and characters.

Don't see it if you need polish or substance.

Clever, Great staging, Fluffy, Great dancing, Bad music

See it if You're a scrabble geek, appreciate great choreography and dancing, and want to support diverse musical theatre (there's an Indian lead!)

Don't see it if You want good or plot-relevant music (the songs seem almost an afterthought in Act 1), or want a sympathetic protagonist (he's the worst)

Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if It's was meh. Definitely still in development. Songs were meh. Staging meh. Story meh.

Don't see it if You want a polished show.

Predictable, Uneven, Great choreography, Felicia finley is amazing, Repetitive lyrics

See it if you want to see how a show progresses. Compare this to the rewrite it needs. There is very little sense of drama. And not much scrabble.

Don't see it if you want a finished book & lyrics. The music is solid. And the theater has great air conditioning.

Clever, Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You like scrabble, nerds, romance, curry and fun.

Don't see it if You expect a Broadway caliber show. This is NYMF where you get to see new works in progress.

Clever, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You enjoy fun musicals and 70s nostalgia. Also if you like seeing stories about people of ethnicities other than white.

Don't see it if You like shows with more substance or shows with deep characters.

Funny, Quirky, Great singing

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.

Funny, Cliched, Entertaining, Cute, Great singing

See it if you want something fun and entertaining

Don't see it if you are bothered by plots and/or character details that don't make sense

Funny, Great acting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to see big talents. Some of the choreography are cheesy, but it was an overall fun show!

Don't see it if you're expecting a grand production.

Delightful, Quirky, Great singing

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.

Original, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing, Energetic

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

Funny, Original, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

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

Funny, Original, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining

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.

Funny, Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Fun, cute, great group of actors/dancers. Just fun musical theatre.

Don't see it if You don't like musical theatre.

Funny, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you love adorable musicals that just make you happy from beginning to end

Don't see it if you hate happiness.

Quirky, Entertaining

See it if You like the idea of a scrabble themed buddy roadtrip comedy.

Don't see it if You don't want to see a show that needs work.

Cliched, Entertaining

See it if You think Scrabble could carry a musical

Don't see it if There are so many other choices

Original, Quirky, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You like fun lighthearted comedies.

Don't see it if You want really well-developed, complicated, and fleshed out characters.

Funny, Original, Quirky, Entertaining

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.