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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
Avg Score

Delightful, Fluffy, Great singing, Fun, Sweet

See it if Looking for a light feel good show with some good music and great vocals.

Don't see it if You’re looking for something meaty

Delightful, Entertaining, Funny

See it if You want to see a new musical with a mostly accomplished score and really resonant performances.

Don't see it if You have a lack of patience for the tried and true dynamics of a dysfunctional family. The story gets a bit bogged down in its latter half.


See it if You enjoy the unbreakable bond between women along with some singing.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy musicals or an all female cast.

Great singing, funny, poignant, entertaining, uplifting

See it if If you like pop-folk music, family dramas full of comedy, and uplifting stories with a "message" that doesn't hit you over the head.

Don't see it if You don't like "message" musicals, in this case marriage equality and tolerance.

Also I loved this show. I'd see it again. My friend was reviewing and took ... Read more Read less

Great singing, Relevant, Cliched, Entertaining, Sweet

See it if you want to see a new pop/folk musical about 3 generations of women with conflicting political & religious views finding 'common ground.'

Don't see it if you're expecting something mindblowing from the book and characters. It's got a bit of a jukebox musical vibe. A little corny.

Also It's pretty much exactly what I expected it to be. I guess it's nice t... Read more Read less

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!

Also The music reminded me of early Loggins and Messina--a total compliment... Read more Read less

Refreshing, Hilarious, Romantic

See it if If you Like musical with a story. Good voices!

Don't see it if Don’t see if you don’t Like Musicals!

Great music, Preachy, Cliched

See it if you want to hear some good music sung by strong women.

Don't see it if you don't want to be hit over the head with messages of acceptance

Also Listen, there's good in this show. The music is catchy and fun. The wo... Read more Read less

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.

Relevant, Funny, Thought-provoking, Refreshing, Timely

See it if As a Christian my initial reaction as the show progressed was uncomfortable as there is “Christian bashing” and generalities voiced as facts

Don't see it if You are conservative Christian and don’t want to see a show which bashes your beliefs.

Also However the ending was brought together honestly which is uncommon in ... Read more Read less

Great singing, Great acting, Uneven, Thought-provoking

See it if you want to see four fantastic female performers. Great band, nice staging, solid production.

Don't see it if you're not looking to have a conversation about religious freedom, free love and homosexuality afterwards. Also, inconsistent quality.

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.

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

Great singing, Entertaining, Relevant, Thought-provoking, Delightful

See it if You want to hear four fabulous voices singing great songs.

Don't see it if You are conservative and not tolerant of alternative lifestlyes.

Great voices -country musical

See it if Intimate theatre with wonderful atmosphere for musicals. Powerful voices. Original songs.

Don't see it if No chemistry between the 2 women..

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

Entertaining, Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Relevant

See it if You are looking for a play where you can gladly enjoy a good time with excellent music a well written story very well played.

Don't see it if I don’t see any reason to skip it. Allow yourself to be surprised with this delightful play. You won’t regret it at all.

Also It Is not a "musical" but the characters of the story are musicians an... Read more Read less

Good, varied music, interesting story, Resonant

See it if You like intimate musicals, value shows about women, enjoy hearing a wide range of music styles

Don't see it if You are looking for a big musical experience or are bothered by relevant messages in your theatre

Entertaining, Funny, Relevant, Great singing, Thought-provoking

See it if You want to see 4 great women with great voices singing great songs.

Don't see it if You don't like intimate 4 character musicals

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.

Also Went with 6 others of all different ages and we all really loved the s... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great acting, Delightful, Enchanting

See it if Go if you appreciate beautiful, diverse music, familial stories, great singing and acting, Cudos for Ms. Mason's unbelievable vocal range!

Don't see it if If you are a stuck in the mud cumudgeon and cannot appreciate a beautiful score and the talented actors who bring it to life skip it

Delightful, Clever, Entertaining, Funny, Relevant

See it if if you have mother/daughter relationships in your life. Unexpected Joy is heartwarming, funny, and totally enjoyable. Music was great!

Don't see it if you don't like conflict.

Great singing, Funny, Fluffy, Sweet

See it if You’d like a cute original musical about family and acceptance performed by a fantastic cast

Don't see it if You want a particularly powerful book

Delightful, Funny, Entertaining

See it if - you like fun, original music - you like a story about a free spirit and her family - you like a great band (they rocked)

Don't see it if - you don't like new musicals - you have no heart

Cliched, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if You like good singing.

Don't see it if Are interested in good storytelling.

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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