The Mad Ones
Closed 1h 30m
The Mad Ones

The Mad Ones NYC Reviews and Tickets

(89 Reviews)
Members say
Great singing, Cliched, Great acting, Disappointing, Entertaining

About the Show

59E59 and Prospect Theater Company presents this new musical that immerses audiences in the complex inner life of a young woman and asks: when every choice feels like life and death, how do you turn the key?

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Member Reviews (89)

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Great singing, Profound, Absorbing, Riveting, Tear jerker

See it if You liked Next To Normal. This seemed to push a lot of those same buttons for me, maybe a bit more light hearted, at least at first.

Don't see it if You don’t understand metaphor! Or if you don’t remember what it was like to be 17 years old and have your whole world seen so possible.

Great singing, Resonant, Thought-provoking, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if You liked next to normal or dear evan Hansen. Has a vibe of both if stripped down. Amazing performances. Needs tweaks but still loved it.

Don't see it if You don’t like emotional stories about high schoolers and teen angst.

Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Resonant

See it if you like to see 4 talented singers perform as a team. Also some wonderful lighting.. And Jack K. lives again. H.S. to Univ. prob lives ..

Don't see it if If you need more scenery or if you never faced the H.S. graduate problems.

Has potential, Good singing, Slow, Repetitious music

See it if You like stories about high school friends and the bonds they develop and share; you are OK with sad stories told with heart and humor.

Don't see it if The play has potential but developmentally, it is in its infancy. Needs more story and editing. Some of the music works but repetitious.


See it if Scenes with the mom (including her extended song) are great.

Don't see it if The 2 younger actresses have screeching voices. Bright lights constantly shine into the audience's eyes. Show drags (1 hr 45) & needs cuts!

Excruciating, Banal, Indulgent, Tedious, 100 minutes of your life you will never get back

See it if you enjoy hearing the shrill voices of women singing the boring songs.

Don't see it if you are smart. This is not high-quality entertainment. Read more

Entertaining, Delightful, Great singing, Refreshing, Pop-y

See it if you want to discover & become a fan of Kerrigan and Lowdermilk

Don't see it if you hate newfangled pop musicals, want a big orchestra sound, dislike indecisive protagonists Read more

Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing, Cliched

See it if you want to see the great performances from the two leading ladies. Generous score mostly for entertainment value; other elements lacking.

Don't see it if you're looking for great songs. Most were pleasant, yet forgettable. The play itself is entertaining throughout, but cliched/predictable.

Critic Reviews (17)

The New York Times
November 20th, 2017

"'The Mad Ones' is a nonstarter...It feels like a claustrophobic, overheated road trip. We’re the ones stuck in the car...Too much rewriting has over-narrowed the characters into one-note clichés...Their tuneful songs reward flashy vocalism and are generic enough to flatter many kinds of interpretation. But only sometimes are they truly theatrical...The rest of the 14 songs, stacked like pancakes and nearly as identical, glop together...Plays are not playlists."
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Time Out New York
November 16th, 2017

"Kerrigan and Lowdermilk are good at crafting catchy theater pop...Under Stephen Brackett’s fluid direction, the vocally gifted performers deliver the songs with conviction. But Samantha is a cipher, and the show is weighed down by stock characters, familiar metatheatrical devices and multiple clichés. Although 'The Mad Ones' might be enjoyable as an original cast album, on stage it has the same problem as many an angsty teen: It’s not as original as it thinks it is."
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November 16th, 2017

"Musical cliché...Kerrigan and Lowdermilk set their confused story to a generic musical theater score...Director Stephen Brackett's staging is efficient...After sitting through 100 minutes of muddled plotlines and passionate wailing, it is hard not to see 'The Mad Ones' as a musical tribute to YOLO...If you want to see a great musical, I suggest you hit the road, Jack."
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November 20th, 2017

"The production has a well-developed story, great staging, and a memorable score...People of all ages can relate to this touching and humorous story...The four-person cast of 'The Mad Ones' is a dream team...These Broadway stars master the thoughtful, clever dialogue along with the charm and spirit of the musical score...Rich, contemporary songs with live musical accompaniment that beautifully express the themes in the show."
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Lighting & Sound America
November 17th, 2017

“Kerrigan and Lowdermilk lay bare Sam's dilemma with considerable tenderness and wit...The first half is both intriguing and a little bit frustrating...But the second half suddenly, sharply comes to life...Brackett handles this material with sensitivity, keeping the first half from seeming too precious and zeroing in on the conflicts that drive the action to its conclusion...It takes some time to get going, but, on its own terms, it has some exquisite moments."
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Talkin' Broadway
November 16th, 2017

“The unpretentious little musical, has almost no dramatic tension, with a thin plot that serves mostly as a frame for showcasing the songwriting team...The performers deliver on all the charm, energy, and humor they can muster. With the exception of two of the numbers, however, the score itself is mostly unmemorable theater pop...If Kerrigan and Lowdermilk want to ramp things up, they would do well to listen to the kinds of heart-thumping musicals the cast members have on their bios.".
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November 17th, 2017

“The drawn-out opening number is a young woman alone on the relatively bare stage singing a lackluster song about driving. It’s not a very promising start...The mostly harsh music is heavy on the strings and has repetitive, thumping motifs. The lyrics are simple and declarative and inspire the cast to at times border on yelling...It’s only fitfully compelling but could strike a chord with those have an affinity with the subject matter.”
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Theatre is Easy
November 16th, 2017

“A fun and heartfelt musical road trip through a young woman's mind...What carries the show is the relationship between Sam and her best friend...The chemistry is quite effective...Occasionally a sort of ‘concert tone’ takes over, and all this musical flair begins to detract from the story...A fun show with great music and an honest message about being your own person...If you like new musical theatre at all, or even just good music in general, don't miss ‘The Mad Ones.'”
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Theater Pizzazz
November 16th, 2017

"Directed by Stephen Brackett, if you’re of a certain age you’ll most likely relate to the woes of youth as presented here in 'The Mad Ones.' Kerrigan and Lowdermilk surely have a way with words and lyrics and there are some genuine laugh out loud moments...The downside: the show attempts too strenuously to get its points across but it doesn’t always work as words crisscross and lines become blurred."
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November 17th, 2017

“Occasionally sluggish with no plot, no narration, little focus, slivers of flashbacks. The songs evolve out of memories. The lyrics are incisive and emotional. The music is contemporary and often repetitive...Many of the songs are belted and these performers are up for it. A fine orchestra in the balcony adds melodic harmonies. With a solid cast, changes in the characters emerge subtly through the show...This show will appeal most to coming-of-age viewers with many ‘if only’ moments to face.”
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Front Mezz Junkies
November 25th, 2017

"The premise is striking and very uniquely investigated within the smart book and songs by this fantastic writing team. The numbers are powerful and fantastically crafted and performed, but the intricate details become a bit foggy as the piece accelerates forward. The songs, although majestically sung, start to blend into one another, losing the distinction of meaning and purpose between them...As written, it’s still an impressive venture and one we were glad to go on."
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November 29th, 2017

“A coming of age story that is propelled by the Jack Kerouac’s iconic 1957 novel ‘On the Road’ but laden with clichés, superfluous situations and a skimpy script that tries to invent reasons to perform fourteen musical numbers...The musical numbers are written in the Broadway belt fashion and after a while acquire a sameness that diminishes the crisis or turmoil at hand. The cast is nothing less than remarkable...Not an unpleasant experience but nothing exceptional or groundbreaking.”
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Theatre's Leiter Side
November 17th, 2017

“A well-performed, small-scale, dramatically inert new musical…The fuzzy narrative has very little punch, the effect being more an episodic assortment of emotional reactions to various stimuli than dramatic actions. Too much teeters not only on the brink of over-familiarity but on the banal…Kerrigan and Lowdermilk's score favors songs requiring big, belting voices, which the company very capably provides…Well sung as the songs are there's a sameness to them that blends one with the other.”
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The Huffington Post
November 27th, 2017

"Samantha takes about 90 or 100 minutes to dither, which isn’t very engagingly dramatic. She and the others do become dramatic when singing about their various emotional conditions, and these accomplished singers frequently maximize those moments. But it’s not the same thing as raising the dramatic stakes—only repeating Samantha’s predicament so that the Kerrigan-Lowdermilk songs begin to sound too much like each other."
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Village Voice
November 29th, 2017

“It’s an intriguing but empty shell, a husk of a musical from which the nourishing substance inside is inexplicably absent. This is a pity. Everyone involved clearly has talent, including the authors...The piece itself appears attractive and solid while it’s going on, but the solidity vanishes in retrospect...Nor does ‘The Mad Ones’ offer a compelling male alternative to balance this one-dimensional female dialectic."
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November 16th, 2017

“A musical of both youthful exuberance and heartbreak...The cast has the pipes to carry the show beautifully...Most of the songs are very good: catchy and fun or serious and soulful. There is an over reliance on the metaphor of a car as freedom, which grinds after a while...The sparse direction of Brackett is perfect for the space...It is a spare story in a spare space and he allows the actors to fill it with pathos and song."
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Off Off Online
November 26th, 2017

“You can recognize a Kerrigan/Lowdermilk song by its refusal to settle for one note per syllable; the pair never met a melisma they didn’t like...But a little melisma goes a long way, as does a lot of fortissimo, and the songs, like the story, become repetitive and fatiguing in their sameness...’The Mad Ones’works as pop music, but not as theater. The plot rambles, as befits a memory play, but without any sense of forward motion, the story simply spins its wheels.”
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