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Unexpected Joy

From 140 member  reviews
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.  More…

In modern day Cape Cod, Joy, a baby boomer and proud hippie, is holding a memorial concert for the other half of her popular musical duo, Jump & Joy. When her tightly wound conservative daughter and her sweet rebellious granddaughter arrive from Oklahoma, the sparks fly as one family seeks to find the common ground in their different values, dreams and goals. A heartfelt and comic story that celebrates diversity and acceptance, 'Unexpected Joy' weaves folk-rock, pop, and blues in bringing together a family that hasn’t experienced true joy together for decades.

Member Reviews (140)


Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Funny, Relevant

Cliched, Disappointing, Great singing, Indulgent, Slow

See it if If you enjoy a small scale musical about family relationships. Lots of religion and moral issues.

Don't see it if If you do not enjoy musicals about religion,morals and family conflict .

Indulgent, Disappointing, Ambitious

See it if you are a fan of Luba Mason.

Don't see it if new musical that haven't been tried and true aren't worth you time.

Cliched, Dated, Great singing, Overly-long, Slow

See it if you like seeing stories about gay marriage and a religious family member not accepting it.

Don't see it if you're not a fan of folk/Carpenters-style music.

Relevant, Compelling, Great acting, Revue-like, Fluffy

See it if You want to see a compelling story about the relationship between four very different women

Don't see it if You want a conventional book musical. The songs did nothing to advance the plot, and were very irritating in disrupting the narrative flow

Funny, Cliched, Disappointing, Slow

See it if you have a particular interest in inter-generational relationships with complications.

Don't see it if you don't care for a story about an aging hippie and her right wing, religious daughter and open minded granddaughter.

Cliched, Entertaining, Disappointing

See it if You just want something entertaining and aren't overly critical about the overall structure and character development in a show

Don't see it if You like musicals where the songs actually advance the story rather than just be interchangeable fillers

Also I saw this structurally as a jukebox musical even though all the songs... Read more Read less

During previews
Disappointing, Great singing, Slow

See it if You want a night out with very good performances. You like to see new productions

Don't see it if You are tired of the same old generational biases - there are much better ones. This has nothing new.

Also This still needs work. It would be fine for a college production, but ... Read more Read less

During previews
Cliched, Great singing, Excruciating

See it if You like musicals and centrist ideas of "you are just as bad as the people that want you dead."

Don't see it if You want something more than a basic music that really doesn't do anything for anyone.

Also The show is... Lackluster. Most of the songs don't move the plot forwa... Read more Read less

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-s...
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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 informa...
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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 ...
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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 genuinel...
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