Unexpected Joy
Closed 1h 30m
Unexpected Joy
81

Unexpected Joy NYC Reviews and Tickets

81%
(140 Ratings)
Positive
92%
Mixed
6%
Negative
2%
Members say
Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Funny, Relevant

About the Show

The York Theatre Company's world premiere musical centers around three generations of female singers, long-held family tensions, and a week together where change is in the air. 

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Show-Score Member Reviews (140)

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506 Reviews | 1005 Followers
98
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if Spectacular singing by all four. Spectacular lighting, Great tale re: the generational gap.s A 97% & a 99% gets the 98%

Don't see it if Minimal sets but it fits the play perfectly.Only negative.... it should play on and on and on.

65 Reviews | 17 Followers
95
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing

See it if You want to see a fresh, well acted, truly enjoyable musical. The 4 actresses were outstanding and the story fun and relevant.

Don't see it if No reason not to see it. Read more

150 Reviews | 24 Followers
95
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Masterful, Must see

See it if The best off-Broadeay Musical I've seen since Hamilton. Brilliant script/lyrics; great singing; lyrics define roles.

Don't see it if See it. Don't see if you're misogynistic.

1214 Reviews | 486 Followers
94
Great singing, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant, Delightful

See it if You want a lighthearted but not fluffy show. Surprisingly full of thought provoking and real subject matter yet never gets bogged down.

Don't see it if You don’t want to see a musical that tackles some current controversial topics.

107 Reviews | 34 Followers
94
Delightful, Funny, Great writing

See it if you are a fan of beautiful, happy musicals with a real story. The lyrics are fantastic and the characters are wonderfully drawn.

Don't see it if Can't think of a reason! Read more

474 Reviews | 114 Followers
93
Great acting, Great singing, Entertaining, Refreshing

See it if High energy musical with beautiful ballads and great group songs. Realistic fast paced and a tale of acceptance in a family.

Don't see it if You'd prefer a classical show instead

52 Reviews | 22 Followers
91
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You have an interest in Mother Daughter Drama presented through music reminiscent of the sixties yet relevant in today's world

Don't see it if Mother Daughter Drama holds no interest for you.

55 Reviews | 14 Followers
91
Delightful, Entertaining, Absorbing, Funny, Great singing

See it if You want to hear great voices. Beautiful family story. Lots of family dynamics in 3 generation relationship. 4 terrific actresses/singers

Don't see it if You are homophobic. Not for conservative folks

Critic Reviews (19)

The New York Times
May 3rd, 2018

"The show had its premiere on Cape Cod two summers ago with a different director and cast. Revised since then, it retains both its primary strengths — Hood’s music and Russell’s lyrics, though their title song is still underwhelming — and its fatal weaknesses: Russell’s strained plot and sitcom-shallow dialogue, and a central character so self-absorbed that you have to wonder what Lou, who is a catch, sees in her. Mason’s performance...is the least assured in an otherwise strong cast."
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Theatermania
May 3rd, 2018

"The end result is like what you'd imagine would come from a Netflix version of 'The Brady Bunch' — it has some leeway for edgier content but doesn't exactly know how to use it...The show seems to lose sight of the fact that it is preaching to the converted, not relaying new or revelatory information. The book's weaknesses become even more frustrating when compared to some of the truly lovely songs...Don't expect anything unexpected in this musical."
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BroadwayWorld
May 8th, 2018

“Sweet, funny and very entertaining new musical...Sure, the plot can be a little contrived, but Russell's words are filled with wit and sincerity and Hood's music, played by music director Beth Falcone's four-person band, is a catchy blend of pop styles. Directed by Amy Anders Corcoran, the York Theatre Company's production is swift and light, but the show blasts into high gear when the four talented cast members raise their voices in rousing harmonies.”
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Lighting & Sound America
May 7th, 2018

"'Unexpected Joy' lives or dies on the audience caring whether this fractious little family holds together. But all the characters do is restate their positions, repeatedly, rendering the question unimportant and uninvolving...Admittedly, 'Unexpected Joy' goes down easily, thanks to some genuinely funny wisecracks, a passel of tuneful songs, and a quartet of performances that make everything seem better than it is."
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Talkin' Broadway
May 3rd, 2018

"A cheerful, rousing celebration that also boasts surprising complexity in its characters and their warped relationships...Credit composer Hood and especially librettist-lyricist Russell, who really, really knows how to write women...What may catch you unexpectedly is how equitably Russell has dished out the good and bad human traits among these four...Corcoran's direction is unfussy, and she allows pauses and silences where they're warranted, a rarity among directors of musicals."
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New York Stage Review
May 3rd, 2018

"It does give credulity quite a stretch, but it doesn’t test it to the absolute breaking point...Many 'Unexpected Joy' audiences will forgive its unexpected story line because the Bill Russell score, which has solos for all as well as duets and trios and quartets, is so pop-music-gospel-music strong...One of the unexpected joys of this production is the glorious singing on every song."
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New York Stage Review
May 3rd, 2018

"Well-intentioned but wan...The show’s setup—and its hazy framing device—is a memorial performance for Jump. A little predictable, but convenient, as it gives Joy, Rachel, Tamara, and Joy’s friend Lou (Allyson Kaye Daniel) an excuse to stand around and sing a bunch of songs, concert-style...Getting from song to song—that pesky libretto!—is the problem. Russell has a knack for one-liners, but not for plotlines."
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TheaterScene.net
May 10th, 2018

"The accomplished score and vivid performances transcend the clichés making the predictability seem fresh...Russell’s appealing book expertly charts everyone’s backstory, sets up topical debates and resolves personal battles with an optimum amount of sentiment that doesn’t become cloying. The natural flowing dialogue contains much wit...Corcoran’s work with the cast is superlative...'Unexpected Joy' isn’t groundbreaking but is good-natured entertainment that’s affectively presented."
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