These Paper Bullets!
Closed 2h 35m
These Paper Bullets!
75

These Paper Bullets! NYC Reviews and Tickets

75%
(73 Reviews)
Positive
79%
Mixed
11%
Negative
10%
Members say
Entertaining, Clever, Funny, Delightful, Hilarious

About the Show

The Atlantic presents a musical, modish ripoff of William Shakespeare’s 'Much Ado About Nothing' about a rock group from Liverpool that returns to swinging ’60s London after conquering the U.S.

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Member Reviews (73)

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962 Reviews | 339 Followers
65
These paper bullets take aim, but slightly miss the mark

See it if you love Beatles-que music, the sixties, Shakespeare, cleverness, great costumes and hair, ambitious concepts. I was mostly entertained.

Don't see it if you get bored (it's too long) or you dislike stupid slapstick (I found the Scotland Yard segments painfully unappealing).

850 Reviews | 896 Followers
80
Funny, Entertaining, Delightful, Fun

See it if you like to have fun & listen to fun beatles-like music.Loosely based on Much Ado About Nothing. Some lines taken verbatim from the original

Don't see it if you are a Shakespeare purist.

826 Reviews | 1004 Followers
84
Entertaining, Funny, Great music, Great cast

See it if You like funny shows with great music or like the 60s (music, fashion, celebrity) It's a lot of fun! The women are particularly hysterical!

Don't see it if You don't like over the top shows. It's a farce of the 1960's, the Beatles, fashion, twiggy, etc. It's very well done but 20min too long.

593 Reviews | 221 Followers
72
Funny, Dizzying, Confusing, Disappointing, Insipid

See it if You love the British invasion and don't mind a quirky, meandering play-that-wants-to-be-a-musical.

Don't see it if You are looking for a smartly-written musical.

470 Reviews | 713 Followers
90
Ambitious, Clever, Funny, Great staging, Original

See it if you like Shakespeare or The Beatles (it's sort of a mashup of both) and fantastic staging.

Don't see it if you don't like Shakespeare or The Beatles.

407 Reviews | 67 Followers
70
Ambitious, Disappointing, Indulgent, Fluffy, Entertaining

See it if think a show that evokes the Beatles and Shakespeare is a must see. Acting is good. Songs are better.

Don't see it if a crisp well written script is high on your list of wants. Billy Joe Armstrong would have been better suited to do a Beatlesesque album.

292 Reviews | 94 Followers
88
Funny, Plot could be confusing at times, Great for beatles fans, Great setting: sixties london, Original

See it if you don't mind your Shakespeare being mixed up a bit!

Don't see it if you love Much Ado About Nothing just the way it is (was). Also, don't see it if you hate the music that came out of the British Invasion.

NS
254 Reviews | 197 Followers
75
Expected more, Clever, Confusing, Overrated

See it if I saw a preview, perhaps it improved. But I found it flat and draggy.

Don't see it if You loved American Idiot and expect that level of music and intensity.

Critic Reviews (40)

The New York Times
December 15th, 2015

"A lively if labored update of “Much Ado'...The jangling rock tunes by Billie Joe Armstrong provide energizing interludes...Jolly though it remains throughout, 'These Paper Bullets!' becomes exhausting as Mr. Jones piles on the complications...What has most crucially gone missing, unfortunately, is any depth of feeling in the main characters, which becomes a liability as the show stretches to two and a half hours."
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Time Out New York
December 15th, 2015

"Jones takes liberties with story; there are also wacky diversions into Benny Hill silliness...Snappily directed, with tremendous costumes, 'These Paper Bullets!' fizzes with the comedy of sexual liberation...Parker’s bravura physical comedy made me laugh harder than anything I’ve seen in the theater all year....The show is well acted all around, but the women are particularly fab."
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New York Magazine / Vulture
December 15th, 2015

"Whether you will like 'These Paper Bullets!' will probably depend on how much you like 'Much Ado About Nothing.' Depend inversely, I mean. If that most deeply human of Shakespeare’s comedies means little to you, its adaptation as a play with music may amuse. Otherwise you are likely to find it, as I did, leaden, juvenile, chaotic, and nearly intolerable, except when it sings. Then, it’s nice."
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The Hollywood Reporter
December 15th, 2015

"Unfortunately, 'These Paper Bullets!' is not a musical, but rather a laborious farce, uneasily combining satirical riffs on The Bard with tired spoofing of The Fab Four. Since both ideas have been done to death over the years, there's little that's fresh here...The chief pleasures of the show stem from the handful of Armstrong's songs, which ape the Beatles' music. The problem is that there aren't nearly enough of them, and there's too much of everything else. "
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Deadline
December 16th, 2015

"Jones has a gift for reconstituting Shakespearean dialogue with just enough sampling of the real thing to keep us feeling both amused and smart. Even more impressive, each of Armstrong’s songs mimics an identifiable number from the Lennon/McCartney canon while ingeniously turning the songs inside out...The whole may not be more than the sum of its parts, but the parts positively sparkle."
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New York Daily News
December 15th, 2015

"Too bad 'These Paper Bullets!' — a riff on 'Much Ado About Nothing' by Rolin Jones and Billie Joe Armstrong — misses the mark when it comes to being fully engaging. This play with music comes off labored and overlong, despite a fine ensemble and direction by Jackson Gay, whose staging packs energy and clever live video."
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AM New York
December 15th, 2015

"The main problem lies in Rolin Jones’ labored, overlong script, which uneasily combines lines from the original text with colloquial language. It would have been better to either perform 'Much Ado' as is or use all-new dialogue. Jackson Gay’s direction is not so great. The cast tries too hard to win laughs with broad, frantic antics, and visually the production is ugly and cluttered."
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NY1
December 18th, 2015

"The farcical elements are high points but the play is overstuffed. At two and a half hours, the novelty wears off and it becomes exhausting trying to keep up with the myriad references...Director Jackson Gay lets it all hang out for better and worse, though there clearly is method to the madness. If only there wasn’t so much of it."
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