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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

During previews
Great singing, Delightful, Thought-provoking

See it if 95 minutes of great singing and fun music. The story is not as predictable as you might anticipate.

Don't see it if You don't like rock and roll music.

During previews
Great singing, Funny, Entertaining, Cliched

See it if you enjoy wonderful singers and catchy tunes.

Don't see it if you don't like musicals or are looking for something deep.

During previews
Delightful, Great singing, Great acting, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if Wow wow wow! What a show! Tour-de-force performances by 4 very gifted singer/actresses, wonderful original score and moving story line.

Don't see it if No reason on the world not to see this great show. One of the most entertaining shows I have seen in a long time! Run!!!!

During previews
Great singing, Refreshing, Thought-provoking, Absorbing, Must see

See it if want to learn a story that involves conflicts among different generations in a family and how it is eventually "resolved".

Don't see it if you don't like shows that involving topics relate to same sex marriage.

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

During previews
Ambitious, Relevant, Great singing

See it if you enjoy good music, all female actors

Don't see it if you dont like all female cast, simple staging

During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Edgy, Great singing

See it if You love musicals. Enjoy seeing family drama presented comically. Enjoy the relationships between mothers and daughters. Want to laugh.

Don't see it if You aren't into stories about women. Don't like stories with a gay theme. Aren't into musicals. Want elaborate staging.

During previews
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like being a part of a New American musical.

Don't see it if You don’t like musicals

During previews
Cliched, Great singing, Disappointing

See it if you like to see works in progress and enjoy some wonderful singing. If you like a Lifetime TV movie this is the show for you!

Don't see it if you can't forgive a book that still has some depth to flesh out.

Also This was a well-done production of a show that still needs to find som... Read more Read less

During previews
Delightful, Refreshing, Relevant, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want a heartfelt musical that leaves you laughing, singing and thinking. You will relate if you have any dysfunction in your family.

Don't see it if you don't like shows that deal with somewhat edgy topics.

During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Funny, Great singing, Must see

See it if you love GREAT music like The Beatles and Carole King. Its a great WomYn Power musical. It will make you smile and hum for days!

Don't see it if you don't like empowering shows and folk-rock music.

During previews
Delightful, Entertaining, Must see

See it if If you like an original musical with fabulous music in the style of Carole King, Stevie Nicks, Janis Joplin and a powerhouse all-female cast

Don't see it if If you want to see another stale revival with no original plot or ideas.

During previews
Great singing, Romantic, Entertaining, Funny, Resonant

See it if you enjoy some great music and a lighthearted plot filled with many funny moments!

Don't see it if you don't typically enjoy muscials

During previews
Absorbing, Thought-provoking, Enchanting

See it if If you love or hate your mother

Don't see it if you are David Mamet

During previews
Great acting, Great singing, Hilarious, Thought-provoking, Great new unique music

See it if you're looking for a show that has exciting new music that isn't of typical faded Broadway fashion.

Don't see it if you're against being open minded; not to just "liberal" ideas, but to everyone, and what fears and experiences lead them to their opinions.

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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