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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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Great singing, Entertaining, Delightful, Funny, Relevant
81
Avg Score

During previews
75
Great singing, Great musicians, Clunky book/lyrics, Strong composer

See it if hearing great singers/musicians satisfies. Plot is cliched, lines/lyrics clunk, but the music (CW/soft rock) is good.

Don't see it if you want a believable story (this isn't!) Best songs are inset; plot-based songs thud. Spare set works; staging is solid. Strong female cast

During previews
84
Great singing, Great music and lyrics, Live band plays easy rock

See it if Three generations of female singers work out relationship and child rearing issues finding common ground in music.

Don't see it if You want an elaborate set. You want a musical that is longer than one act.

During previews
80
Great singing, Predictable, Entertaining, Cliched

See it if a musical about family, diversity acceptance, lesbian themes & religion is of interest. Cast & musicians all 1st rate.

Don't see it if you want to be surprised. Somewhat predictable plot, occasionally preachy.

During previews
84
Entertaining, Great singing, Relevant, Some great songs make for an entertaining evening

See it if you want to see a show that's definitely of its time with a talented all-female cast .

Don't see it if you need big production values. This cast of four (and four musicians) acquit themselves beautifully.

During previews
84
Great singing, Entertaining, Interesting women, Somewhat predictable

See it if you like family dramas with music. Nice to see 4 strong women onstage, all individuals. Great voices.

Don't see it if you are a member of a evangelical church--you might be offended. If gay themes bother you or can't stand to see a show of only women.

During previews
82
Funny, Great acting, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if Well acted and thoroughly entertaining production with original music and funny stories even though they are a bit far fetched.

Don't see it if You do not like small-scale musicals intertwined with funny anecdotal stories that are a bit over the top.

During previews
87
Absorbing, Great singing

See it if you like a show about the trials of family and that are female lead/driven.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals or hippies.

During previews
80
Great singing, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if You want to be a person who"saw it first". An original show. Great music, great voices.

Don't see it if You don't like unfamiliar songs and controversial subject matter.

During previews
89
Great singing, Entertaining, Funny, Delightful

See it if you want an evening of pure fun. The four singers are fabulous and when not singing, they tell their story in a funny and entertaining way.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a family of three generations confront each other about sexuality, individual choices, & religion (in a joyful way).

Also Each of the four singers had their own style and a terrific voice. The... Read more Read less

During previews
88
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Intelligent

See it if you love a good family story full of great country style songs.

Don't see it if you don't like country music or nontraditional families.

During previews
83
Clever, Great singing, Intelligent, Fun

See it if Another delightful musical from York. Great singing- with tunes where the words matter.

Don't see it if Upset by unconventional lifestyles and/or swearing

During previews
64
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
74
Entertaining, Fluffy, Refreshing, Good singing, Good story line

See it if You like musicals and lighter story lines

Don't see it if You don’t like feminist or lesbian stories or content.

During previews
82
Great singing, Great writing, Intelligent, Relevant, Resonant

See it if you want to hear great music sung by 3 generations of a family and significant other with diverse world views trying to connect and love.

Don't see it if female relationship musicals are not your thing even if the songs are great and the ideas are thought provoking.

During previews
75
Cliched, Disappointing, Entertaining, Overrated, Ambitious

See it if You are looking for a new musical that deals with modern day issues (this tries at least)

Don't see it if You are looking for a show that takes a hard look at prejudice and hate

Also This show tries but keeps skirting the issue. Good performances do the... Read more Read less

During previews
73
Great singing, Cliched

See it if You like pop rock tunes sung by solid voices about unexpected joy and finding common ground

Don't see it if You're looking for a deep-dive into the issues

During previews
96
Entertaining, Great singing, Relevant, Masterful, Clever

See it if You like great music and great singing. Wonderful portrayal of family drama.

Don't see it if If you don't like a cast of all women.

During previews
91
Entertaining, Great singing, Romantic, Must see, Thought-provoking

See it if you want an entertaining thought provoking 90 minutes of joy. The music is scrumptious. You will laugh. You will cry. You will cheer.

Don't see it if you don't want to be entertained by four wonderful actors sharing a story that should be shared and thought about.

During previews
75
Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy, Cliched, Ambitious

See it if You would like a great singing intimate show.

Don't see it if You want a serious elaborate musical.

During previews
91
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Relevant

See it if You enjoy great singing/ well written lyrics and dialogue detailing three generations of female family members with dissonant values.

Don't see it if This lived up to it's name, "Unexpected Joy". See it.

During previews
76
Great singing, Relevant, Resonant, Ambitious

See it if you wish to hear a great soft rock/country score. Music/ lyrics/singing are spot-on. Book is certainly timely even with lawful changes.

Don't see it if shows about homosexual/religious issues frighten you; if you are expecting a musical on a grand scale. If an all-female cast is off-putting.

During previews
88
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging, Must see

See it if What a joy to see this great casts of a show. It brings uplifting energy and poignant social issues without being preachy. Don’t miss it!

Don't see it if Talking about Christianity and gay issues offended you for 95 short minutes.

During previews
86
Delightful, Entertaining, Great singing, Refreshing

See it if you like: small musicals where you can get to know the characters; wonderful music and great singing; story lines about family dynamics

Don't see it if you are expecting a large Broadway production; don't like one act plays; don't like shows about family dynamics and/or social issues.

During previews
85
Great singing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy musicals, an all female cast,

Don't see it if you want a major production, don't like the idea of same sex marriage,

During previews
90
Delightful, Great singing, Relevant

See it if you enjoy musicals and stories about family tension and overcoming differences

Don't see it if you are very conservative, or if you are expecting something very emotional. the story was nice, but not gripping.


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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