Members say: Ambitious, Quirky, Great singing, Entertaining, Raunchy

About the show

Pipeline Theatre Company presents the NYC premiere of this rock musical about Rasputin, the infamous mystic who helped topple the Russian royal family. Featuring music by Dave Malloy of 'The Great Comet' fame. 

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Beardo is a Russian indie-rock musical that explores the mad inner workings of Rasputin, who sexed his way to the fall of the Russian monarchy. Experience the mysterious ascent of one of the most peculiar and seductive figures in history. 'Beardo' is staged at a fully operational church in Greenpoint, Brooklyn, where the production makes full use of the venue's high-arched ceilings, stained-glass windows, and fully functioning pipe organ. 

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See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews


"A wonderfully strange new musical...Overflowing with mystery and mirth, this tragicomic riff on a familiar tale is an unforgettable theatrical experience...Malloy employs an eclectic mix of styles for a score that is both tuneful and daring...Surprises abound in Heyman's earthy production...'Beardo' thrillingly leaves us to ponder what we just saw and to distrust any immediate conclusions we might make about it." Full Review

Time Out New York

"Scruffy and messy, which is fun for a bit—before you start yearning for dramaturgical focus and stronger direction to bring out a decent musical...Director Ellie Heyman has fine individual ingredients to work with: Craig’s goofy-eerie dialogue and lyrics, Malloy’s folksy pop and a cast bursting with talent. It’s the integration of those elements and themes that doesn’t work...A novelty-song cycle grafted onto an absurdist historical fable, 'Beardo' needs trimming." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

"The entire enterprise suffers from a deficit of wit and the absence of a point of view...That 'Beardo' doesn't become entirely tiresome until late in the second act is largely due to Malloy's music...There isn't much that the director, Ellie Heyman, can do to impose any order on such often chaotic proceedings...Neither a comic romp, a pointed satire, nor a gripping historic episode, 'Beardo,' the musical, is little more than a superficial display of look-at-me cleverness." Full Review

The New York Times

"A louche, lewd and assertively weird fantasia on the life of Rasputin...Those lacking familiarity with pre-revolutionary Russian history may find themselves befuddled...This ought to be dark, ribald, rambling entertainment. And it is. But it also isn’t...Heyman approaches the material with gusto, conjuring some visual and sonic surprises, playing down the politics. But art alters as times change, and this show now seems less bouncy, more hollow and more queasy than intended." Full Review

New York Theater

"Some of the elements familiar from 'Great Comet' are present, most notably Malloy’s classically tinged, eclectic score offering everything from rock ballads to hearty drinking songs, as well as a game and talented cast. But 'Beardo' feels in comparison like a work in progress. The book and lyrics are playful, sometimes clever, silly, ribald, deliberately anachronistic, joyfully shocking and in-your-face weird. They are too accomplished to be labeled juvenile but 'adolescent' might fit." Full Review

Theater In The Now

"'Beardo' is a dangerously evocative musical that is breaking the mold...There are some flaws. A bunch. Some whiffs in the script. Is there room for trimming? Absolutely...This company certainly had a blast...'Beardo' is a beautiful mess of a musical that knows exactly what it is. And that’s what makes it, well, charming. If you take the show at face value, you’ll likely not get it. If you do a tad bit of research and allow yourself to embrace it for what it is, you’re bound to appreciate it." Full Review

Paste Magazine

"Adventurous but unfocused...Two and a half hours of a horny mansplainer who seemed to feel zero compassion for anyone and viewed himself as flawless...Most of the jokes in 'Beardo' go on for far too long...Rasputin has long been the subject of cultural fascination...but modernizing him through adolescent humor and cheap jokes, and making him nothing more than an entitled man-child, is not an effective or creative way to explore this subject." Full Review

Stage Buddy

"The production is sometimes adventurous, sometimes euphoric, and sometimes downright ludicrous...Craig can be surprisingly clever and sometimes the songs are oddly touching. The cast is terrific in its commitment to the eccentricity of the work...Damon Daunno shines as the protagonist...Even when the book provides no context for the action leaving the audience bewildered, Daunno keeps us grounded. Director Ellie Heyman creates a wonderful atmosphere for the actors to play in." Full Review

On Stage Blog

"An entertaining and fascinating evening of theatre...So much about this production works well...The cast is exemplary...What didn't work for me was nit-picky. The repetition employed throughout the score and book is cute the first time, but I suspect would fall flat with repeated viewings...I'll always seek out a Malloy show from now on. It's a guaranteed unique, high value and immensely original experience." Full Review

Yes Broadway

"Dave Malloy's score is simply delicious. The book and lyrics, by Jason Craig, are hilariously relatable to life in 2017 and brilliantly anachronistic...You likely won't forget Damon Daunno's legendary performance as Beardo himself for a long time. His 2.5 hour tour-de-force portrayal of this tortured historical figure is sexy from beginning to end...This is ambitious theater that totally triumphs." Full Review

Daily Beast

"'Beardo' is near brilliant, played with pitch-perfect timing by the cast, particularly Damon Daunno, in a star-making turn...If this is kept from falling into juvenilia, or just pure silliness, it is largely a credit to the tight direction from Ellie Heyman. Comedic stunts like those pulled here can grow tiresome, but they never do...It is pure pleasure, and doesn’t leave the audience with much to argue over on the way out the door." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews

Dizzying, Immersive, Great setting, Misterious

See it if you want to see an immersive musical show inside of a church. It is a site specific piece.

Don't see it if you live far away from this church, it is not worth all the trip.

Also This review is just for the first act. Since you step in the church yo... Read more Read less

Funny, Edgy, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if you enjoy the music of Dave Malloy. Very funny moments. Very irreverent take on the tale of Rasputin. Enjoyable!

Don't see it if If you are expecting a story that hangs together and isn't a bit rough shod.

Funny, Ambitious, Great singing, Overlong, Weird

See it if you like Dave Malloy, great singing, wacky takes on history, unusual settings and themes, & don't mind a long, sometimes confusing storyline

Don't see it if you need traditional structure and story, can't sit in a pew for 2.5 hrs (1 interval), or if you expect a factual retelling of history

Also Okay, look, it's too long, they could cut out the entire beginning, it... Read more Read less

Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great staging

See it if You enjoy historical tales with quirky twists. Some excellent staging, narrative, bizarrely hilarious moments. Great music and atmosphere!

Don't see it if You prefer traditional historical tellings, or are offended by sexually explicit subject matter.

Intelligent, Masterful, Must see

See it if Dave Malloy. Incredible dedication and talent. Hopefully, only the beginning.

Don't see it if Need to stick to the conventional

Clever, Entertaining, Great music, Needs editing

See it if you like good music, good performances, and quirky staging.

Don't see it if you are not able to sit through a long play that needs editing or if one dimensional characters bore you.

Cliched, Promising, Entertaining, Unique, Nontraditional

See it if a nontraditional site-specific show that approaches Russian history and religion in an irreverent, anarchic way sounds exciting.

Don't see it if a three hour production all the way out in Greenpoint that is vulgar, sacrilegious, crass, juvenile in humor, and meandering sounds hellish.

Also The show assumes that you’d get bored with Russian history & so it ser... Read more Read less

Ambitious, Delightful, Exquisite, Indulgent, Hilarious

See it if you enjoy irreverent theatre in non-traditional spaces, murder-ballets and tales of insane monks doing dirty things to increasingly odd folk

Don't see it if you're stuffy and strictly believe in the traditional musical form.

Also A remarkably kickass night!

Funny, Ambitious, Clever, Quirky, Raunchy

See it if if you are a huge fan of Dave Malloy and want to see something incredibly unique and fun

Don't see it if if you can't handle things that are raunchy and stories that don't completely make sense.

Also While there are a lot of flaws about this musical the one thing I will... Read more Read less

Quirky, Indulgent, Disappointing, Slow, Great singing

See it if you like Dave Malloy's music and want to hear it sung well by a talented cast in a beautiful space.

Don't see it if you're expecting deep/emotionally connected material, if poor staging bothers you, if a comfortable seat or clear view is important to you.

Great acting, Raunchy, Great singing, Subversive, Weird-o

See it if You like subversive, unique, weirdo theater. You like to laugh and think WTF at the same time. You want to discover some acting gems.

Don't see it if You like linear, straight musicals with a plot (this ain't no Anastasia). You don't like raunchy situations. Messy shows aren't your jam.

Ambitious, Clever, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if for the wonderful innovative score and the hilarious 2nd act. Arrive early to get a seat with a clear view of the stage.

Don't see it if the G train is terra incognito, 3 hours on church pew offends your delicate posterior or historical inconsistencies disturb you.

Ambitious, Quirky, Indulgent, Great music, Overlong

See it if you're a fan of Dave Malloy and enjoy eccentric takes on historical figures.

Don't see it if you have little patience for long and awkward shows that contain moments of greatness in music, performance and staging.

Great acting, Quirky, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great music

See it if you like David Malloy music; dramatic rock/folk stuff. You like charismatic actors obviously having a good time.

Don't see it if half the show is dance sex; if you will be bored of dance sex, give this a pass.`

Funny, Clever, Raunchy, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if if you like clever quirky musicals.

Don't see it if it if you do not like raunchy comedy

Dizzying, Quirky, Raunchy, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if you love absurdist theatre, playful interpretations of Russian history, delightfully lunatic characters, and unusual performance spaces.

Don't see it if you prefer your characters realistic, genuine, and deep. It's also performed in a slightly worn-down church; don't expect a standard theatre

Ambitious, Clever, Indulgent, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you like to discover new scores and like environmental stagings..

Don't see it if you want a tightly written or brassy musical.

Funny, Clever, Quirky, Raunchy, Entertaining

See it if Biographical farce based on Rasputin. Wonderful music and clever verse. Lots of sexual humor. Original and different.

Don't see it if You don't like raunchy silly comedy. You are looking for something more serious or dramatic.

Also Wish I could buy a soundtrack.

Absorbing, Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if like intelligent musicals; it's the story of Rasputin, performed in an old church. It's a better Natasha, Pierre and Great Comet.

Don't see it if aren't interested in Russian history or a weird take on the Rasputin Story

Great music, Baudy, Very talented cast, Confusing historically

See it if See it for the music; it's beautiful. Cast and direction are also really good.

Don't see it if Story's a mess and hard to follow at times. Also really long; almost 3 hours.

Clever, Entertaining, Absurd

See it if you enjoy the site-specific staging and an absurd yet enjoyable show

Don't see it if you prefer a more logical show with more talents in it.

Quirky, Strange, Uber talented cast, Echoes of great comet of 1812, Unexpectedly laugh out loud

See it if want to be on Dave Malloy bandwagon, experience a super talented cast that lands near all possible comedic elements of the tale of Rasputin

Don't see it if drowning, poisoning, shooting, black swans, hemophiliacs, the Russian revolution, assassination, sex, nudity or men in tutus, give you pause

Poorly executed, Great concept, Unique venue, Awful dialogue, Lousy score

See it if you want a unique theatrical experience. The show, with it's strong cast, is being staged in a rundown church in Brooklyn

Don't see it if you have something better to see. While well intentioned, this show is a mess. The score, the dialogue, the pacing; it just doesn't work


See it if Has some interesting songs and scenes such as the feast at the large table...

Don't see it if ...but it runs 2 hours 45 minutes and needs deep cuts. Way too long.

Ambitious, Intense, Masterful, Must see, Great staging

See it if SEE THIS SHOW! Absolutely fantastic! The music (of course!) is incredible! The cast is completely amazing! The setting & staging perfection!

Don't see it if You may not enjoy the show because of subject matter: language, sex, violence. It is full of bold choices & lots of risk taking by the cast.

Cast & Creatives (26)