Members say: Great singing, Cliched, Great acting, Entertaining, Disappointing

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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Mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved...Samantha Brown balances on the edge of her future, car keys in hand. As she sits in the driver's seat, she faces a choice: will she follow in her mother's footsteps, or take the dare of her impetuous best friend and chart a new path?


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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

90
BroadwayWorld

"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." Full Review

80
Theatre is Easy

“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.'” Full Review

75
Front Mezz Junkies

"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." Full Review

75
Lighting & Sound America

“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." Full Review

75
Reviews Off Broadway

“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." Full Review

70
Theater Pizzazz

"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." Full Review

67
CurtainUp

“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.” Full Review

65
The Huffington Post

"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." Full Review

65
TheaterScene.net

“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.” Full Review

60
Theatre Reviews Limited

“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.” Full Review

60
Off Off Online

“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.” Full Review

60
Theatre's Leiter Side

“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.” Full Review

60
Time Out New York

"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." Full Review

45
Village Voice

“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." Full Review

45
Talkin' Broadway

“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.". Full Review

40
The New York Times

"'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." Full Review

35
Theatermania

"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." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

90
Funny, Quirky, Resonant, Great singing

See it if you love a great score and amazing performances from the whole cast of powerhouses. A thoughtful story about youth and choice.

Don't see it if you're a fan of more linear story based shows and more classic musical theater. This style is very folksy and contemporary.

75
Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You enjoy stories about characters just trying to figure out life. You’re looking for catchy music and great singing.

Don't see it if You don’t like stories about teenagers. You’re looking for a story that moves forward. Most of the story is Sam thinking about the past.

70
Cliched, Great singing

See it if You want to see a beautifully scored musical that doesn't have a lot of new things to say.

Don't see it if You are looking for a more focused, driven show that packs the punch it intends.

69
Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you want to see three performers (of four) at the top of their game. Emma, Jay, and Krystina are fantastic and the music's great.

Don't see it if The direction isn't good and the actress/singer playing the mother can't act nor sing. Don't see it if you can't stand a weak link.

79
Absorbing, Cliched, Entertaining, Great singing

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.

90
Funny, Great acting, Moving, Great singing, Underrated

See it if you’d enjoy an affecting musical gem w/a great score & A+ performances. The audience audibly sniffled at the end. P.S. I NEED A CAST ALBUM!

Don't see it if you’re wrongly influenced by the inexplicably low Show Score average. I am normally in agreement w/the majority here, but NOT in this case.

60
Boring, Cliched

See it if you want a show about teenage angst.

Don't see it if you want a show where the characters hold your interest. Most songs sound alike and are overly dramatic, some bordering on screaming.

83
Great acting, Resonant, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if A women’s coming of age Kerouac On The Road musical. Good music,staging, In the style of Next to Normal

Don't see it if You don’t want to be reminded how fragile life can be

52
Banal, Confusing, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if you are a teenager and like seeing the same old themes replayed. Yuck.

Don't see it if You are an adult and want to be entertained.

75
Great acting, Intense, Great singing, Good songs

See it if you want to see a completely origina musical with some nice songs.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals that explore darker subjects

80
Ambitious, Relevant, Resonant, Cliched, Great singing

See it if you want to see a great coming of age story with phenomenal singing.

Don't see it if you want big staging with lots of sets and costumes.

95
I loved this bright, inventive 4 hander with a very talented score and cast.

See it if You like relatable, accessible music. You like to see good singing, well directed in a small minimal stage. Great band, nice orchestration.

Don't see it if You mind screeching. The lead sometimes oversings but she has a delicate soft modulation so the screech can be unlearnt. You want BIG..

Also This is actually a nice turn on a tale of youthful discovery. The clas... Read more Read less

90
Clever, Resonant, Entertaining, Great singing

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.

69
Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you enjoy intimate setting w/very talented well credentialed cast, don't mind minimal staging & underdeveloped lyrics & not meaningful story

Don't see it if you want developed solid story. opportunity to be bored; excellent cast voices tarnished w/weak lyrics & over-exaggerated & loud production

68
Ambitious, Disappointing, Great singing, Over reaching

See it if you enjoy talented performers in an intimate space-the voices were superior to the content. You like stories about angsty high schoolers

Don't see it if if you want a book that makes sense - the two main characters would never really be friends - the main conflict is about taking a gap year -

91
Absorbing, Resonant, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like small musicals about emotions and real life. You want to see something fresh with a great score and songs. You like DEH.

Don't see it if You want a musical with big production numbers or a fancy set. You can’t sit still for over 90 minutes!

Also Frankly I thought the songs and score were far superior to DEH, and th... Read more Read less

69
Groupies glad, rest plain mad

See it if You are under thirty or love musical theater more than life itself.

Don't see it if You hate angst ridden teens or having a ghost on stage. Show badly needs either an intermission or cut. Last half hour cast shows off pipes.

Also Some beautiful, toe tapping songs. Young crowd loved show, older folks... Read more Read less

58
Good performances, Adolescent angst, All the songs sound the same, Characters not developed

See it if You’re 17 years old.

Don't see it if You like shows in which something happens.

55
Slow

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!

67
Banal, Disappointing, Cliched

See it if a musical with an unimaginative plot about teenage angst with minimal staging and generic songs (with 1 or 2 exceptions)

Don't see it if you want a deeper plot or expecting a smaller version of Dear Evan Hansen

Also The actors were clearly emotionally invested in their characters but t... Read more Read less

75
Clever, Delightful, Great singing

See it if You enjoy singers belting the highest notes they can in a musical about a key transition in a young adult's life.

Don't see it if You hate cliche musicals or dead characters "coming back to life."

55
Cliched, Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy, Uneven

See it if you want a show that is aimed at a younger audience (25 & younger). There are a few GREAT songs & heartfelt moments.

Don't see it if you want to avoid an often heavy-handed coming of age story. The acting, book, & score are uneven though there are some truly great moments.

98
Sad, Clever, Refreshing, Great singing

See it if you love talented singers, with more singing than dialog; you enjoy stories about high school seniors

Don't see it if you don't want to see a show that might make you sad (hint, one of the teens dies but you know that early on)

72
Best for those under 35, Every song sounds the same, Good cast, with an excellent mother

See it if You are under 35 (my wife and I are not and liked it, but the other customers over 50 we overheard did not); you like coming of age musicals

Don't see it if You are paying full price--check TDF; you do not like repetitious rock music

95
Profound, Refreshing, Relevant, Resonant, Great singing

See it if you love talented women singing their brains out. Loved the balance of the cast, 3 females & 1 male-finally a show representing real life!

Don't see it if you aren't interested in teen angst or pop musicals, of if sets or choreography are your favorite parts. Set was just OK & barely any dance.

Also I loved it but want to see lots of little tweaks. Could be funnier; co... Read more Read less


Cast & Creatives (17)