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Unknown Soldier

From 117 member  reviews
Members say: Great singing, Absorbing, Great acting, Romantic, Great staging

About the show

Playwrights Horizons presents Daniel Goldstein and Michael Friedman’s sweeping, elegiac musical about a woman’s journey to unearth the secrets buried in her family’s past. More…

From the show:

Cleaning out her grandmother’s home, Ellen Rabinowitz discovers a mysterious photograph of an anonymous soldier, tucked away in a box of keepsakes. And so begins Daniel Goldstein and Michael Friedman’s sweeping, elegiac musical about a woman’s journey to unearth the secrets buried in her family’s past. Spanning three generations, Unknown Soldier unravels a delicate tangle of family lore, as Ellen chases the extraordinary story that unlocks her history — and charts her future.

Member Reviews (117)


Great singing, Absorbing, Great acting, Romantic, Great staging
Avg Score

Entertaining, Great singing, Uneven

See it if You enjoy stories about uncovering a family's past. The cast is excellent, really great voices.

Don't see it if There were parts I really enjoyed and others whose tone didn't match the rest of the play that could be completely cut

Great staging, Intelligent, Refreshing, Romantic

See it if well acted and sung small musical taking place in multiple time frames. keep one engaged and caring about the characters

Don't see it if want big flash and froth. this is small show.

Great staging, Great singing, Romantic, Enchanting, Absorbing

See it if If you want a romantic & haunting story that will make you feel all kinds of feels. You like time shift productions. To see a beautiful tale

Don't see it if You expect an all out production, don't like musicals, don't like time shift productions. Don't like romatic tales.

Fine singing, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if A new musical with an intricate plot and nuanced emotions. Multi-Generational search for fulfillment and closure.

Don't see it if Unconventional musical. Or perhaps this is the new convention for musicals. Smaller, more personal, more recitative.

Also Very enjoyable journey. The music though reminiscent of Sondheim, and ... Read more Read less

Dizzying, Absorbing, Great acting, Great singing

See it if Late Michael Friedman's elegiac music, heartfelt emotions,talented cast& designers not always mix well w/ multilevel,convoluted 90min story.

Don't see it if don't care abt "play-within-a-play" structure. Saw this musical in preview.Hope story changes to be equal w/terrific score.

Also Troy, NY 1973... Read more Read less

Romantic, Great singing, Great acting, Confusing, Entertaining

See it if you like stories about WWI. You like good singing.

Don't see it if You get frustrated by ambiguous plot lines.

Slow, Romantic

See it if You like new musicals. You like shows with plots and characters that interweave of long time periods.

Don't see it if A show that will give you an emotional payoff in the end.

Also There's moments and numbers I liked, but the overall show feels too ti... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Great staging, Great singing, Confusing

See it if You like Michael Friedman's work. And excellent singing in small musicals that could have been bigger in the 90s. Extremely memorable

Don't see it if You want perfection or the next big hit

Also I saw it a few weeks ago, while it was in previews, and it has been in... Read more Read less

Undramatic, Dated, Cliched, Disappointing

See it if you like stories about the interaction of generations of an American family dramatized to produce more of a mood than a revelation.

Don't see it if you are looking for a well constructed book musical with memorable music and lyrics.

Ambitious, Resonant, Intelligent, Great acting, Absorbing

See it if important subject matter, spanned generations in a creative, relevant way

Don't see it if bland set, awkward staging

Gorgeous score, Great singing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you like original musical. Both plot and music are wonderful.

Don't see it if You only interested in 'big show'

Resonant, Great singing, Absorbing

See it if you want another chance to hear Michael Friedman's gorgeous, intelligent music, in a chamber musical with surprisingly universal themes.

Don't see it if you need spectacle in your musicals; you like tidy resolutions

Resonant, Profound, Great writing, Great singing, Enchanting

See it if You love great singing, great music, thoughtful writing, contemporary musicals.

Don't see it if You don’t like interesting shows

During previews
Great singing, Clunky plotting, Poignant, Absorbing

See it if you like sung-through-dialogue lyrics. Strg voices, adept staging, nice costumes, gd projections/set, gr musicians. Polished presentation.

Don't see it if you want a coherent plot; US strains credulity. Some lyrics are lacking. Drags a bit. Touching ending. Strg theme of discovering truth/past.

During previews
Interesting, Uneven, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if You like mystery history stories. The main story is very entertaining and absorbing and the singing and music are great.

Don't see it if The show has this parallel story that is jarringly misplaced, annoying and kinda bizarre in contrast with main story of the show.

During previews
Great staging, Great acting, Entertaining, Ambitious

See it if Very good off bway show. Entertaining with great staging and acting. Has a nice plot too it.

Don't see it if If you want as big production on Broadway.

During previews
Promising, Confusing, Overrated, Great singing

See it if you want to see pretty people sing pretty songs in a small-scale but overconceptualized musical about fabricating one's family history.

Don't see it if you want to avoid a rather convoluted, time-jumping, sentimental musical with too many subplots & too-few glimpses of potential greatness.

Also There are two concurrent burgeoning love stories being told, one conte... Read more Read less

During previews
Satisfying, Tuneful, Wise, Involving, Innovative

See it if you want to see a new musical that’s tuneful, innovative & says something wise about people & how they interact all at the same time.

Don't see it if you prefer your musicals to be staged traditionally.

Also Playwrights Horizons is on a roll! Halfway through last season, in bot... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Great singing, Enchanting, Clever, Absorbing

See it if Makes one think. Fascinating tale. Singing superb by entire cast. "Playwrights" comes thru again. Great ending. Wonderful set.

Don't see it if Have to work on this to think of something.

During previews
Disappointing, Slow, Quirky, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if You enjoy musicals, Romantic war stories, untrustworthy narrators, historical mysteries with modern repercussions , chamber musicals

Don't see it if You don’t like Small-scale musicals with two simultaneous timelines,, war stories, obsessed heroines, lonely characters who can’t connect

During previews
Romantic, Great writing, Great staging, Great singing, Great acting

See it if A secret love & marriage bourne of impulse, proves no escape from personal mythology:"Has unknown soldier found true love?" Parsons/Cullman!

Don't see it if Sweet creamy centre with a hard, bitter shell, unexpectedly linked to Cullman. Amnesia. "I fall deep into story/Why can't you say my name?"

Also "I can't die twice, I'm already living in Troy/My short-term memory is... Read more Read less

During previews
Sad/funny, Great acting, Great singing, Funny, Absorbing

See it if Story full of questions about the past with great singing (musicals

Don't see it if Looking for big lights and alot of dancing.

During previews
Run-of-the-mill, Touching, Romantic, Great singing, Enchanting

See it if You love original, small, romantic musicals about finding love and finding oneself.

Don't see it if You’re more interested in big, bold musicals that are either splashy or completely different than what you’ve seen before.

During previews
Powerful and moving, Great writing, Great acting, Masterful, Absorbing

See it if you want to see a very well written and acted drama. The story is beautifully told and the singing is great. This show may go to Broadway.

Don't see it if you are from Troy, NY.

Also You don't get better writing than this show. Very powerful and moving ... Read more Read less

During previews
Great acting, Great singing, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if Beautifully acted, gorgeously sung, Broadway-ready musical.Large cast of various ages from esteemed Estelle Parsons to talented little girl

Don't see it if You don't like 90 minute musicals. You don't like being moved or musicals that take place in different time periods.

March 9th, 2020
"Lies of Love and Memory Swirl Through ‘Unknown Soldier’: This thoughtful, history-spanning portrait of elusive identities testifies to the versatility of its composer, Michael Friedman."
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March 9th, 2020
"Every Day a Little Death: 'Endlings' and 'Unknown Soldier'"
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March 9th, 2020
"Michael Friedman's Accomplished Score in 'Unknown Soldier' Is Trapped in Nonsense: The late composer's memory is let down by collaborators Daniel Goldstein and Trip Cullman at Playwrights Horizons."
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March 10th, 2020
"What first appears to be a prettily arranged tearjerker is in fact a surprisingly tough-minded meditation on love, loss, memory, and the stories -- true or not -- by which families live. It is the most original and accomplished new musical to turn up so far this season."
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Cast & Creatives (4)