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Billy and the Killers

Members say: Great singing, Entertaining, Edgy, Intense, Great staging
67
Critics
50
3 reviews
Members
69
24 reviews
 

A play meets a rock band in this world premiere alt-rock musical about a pair of misfit lovers and a bloody crime of passion.

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Billy is a sensitive young songwriter, but his music is violent and disturbing. Living in a trailer park with his ex-con father, the deck is stacked against him until he meets Nell, a kindred spirit, fascinated with death and in love with music. Billy’s dark vision mixed with Nell’s rebellious nature is a volatile combination. When Nell is brutally murdered, the police listen to Billy’s music and accuse him of the crime. Why is it art can heal the artist and destroy the artless?


 

Cast & Creatives (14)


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Reviews (27)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
50
Avg Score

60
Front Row Center

"A lackluster and mopey affair...This production is guilty of several crimes. These include harboring an uninteresting minor, operating a fog machine with intent to choke, lyric writing without a poetic license, and, most egregiously, failure to rock when given the right of way...All the cast is under-served by the score. Stopschinski’s music had the audience sitting still for 100 minutes while Shankman’s lyrics are a downward spiral of end rhymes." Full Review

40
Times Square Chronicles

"The music is 80’s rock, which if it weren’t so loud and had better lyrics would have been enjoyable. It is well sung...Another problem is the songs do not seem to fit the plot...The book is generic and the dialogue thin...The direction does not help, as the dialogue breaks into song for no reason at all except to put on a concert...If you are looking for an indie pop concert, this will be up your alley. If you are looking for a musical with substance, you might find want to bring a aspirin o... Full Review

50
TheaterScene.net

“But then the music stops, the dialogue returns, and it's back to dullsville, with Shankman's nonlinear story mostly vacillating between the insipid and the inane. Although one part does cover both bases: the explanation for why Billy is in that orange jumpsuit. It seems a detective (Paul Sadlik) thinks he killed someone, and neither Billy's ex-con father (Tom O'Keefe) nor his shifty lawyer (Sean McDermott) can prove him innocent, at least not until a groan-inducing deception is revealed.” Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
69
Avg Score

82
Entertaining, Good music, Great singing, Tuneful

See it if You want to see a fairly simple murder mystery with some good music mixed in. This would be great as just a cast recording.

Don't see it if You're sensitive to sound because it's a small space and the music is loud. Also the story isn't that great and ends up pretty obvious.

80
Entertaining, Great singing, Clever staging, Excellent musicianship, Very dark & intense

See it if you enjoy LOUD rock. Story is rough but it's highly supported by some great music/musicians, singing (w/harsh & dark lyrics), & ok acting.

Don't see it if you can't handle the above. It's not BIG other than some excellent musicians who act AND sing, plus 4 great band-mates supporting the cast.

Also Edgy hard-rock, well-worth experiencing.... Read more Read less

40
Dark, Slow, Uneven, Complicated

See it if you like contemporary music with a focus on dark topics & quality onstage musicianship. It's attempting to be edgy without much success.

Don't see it if you want an easily relateable plot or characters. It's over the top with only one relateable relationship. Also has uneven actors & singers.

81
Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if Rockabilly opera with talented singers appeals to you. Slight convoluted plot adds to energy.

Don't see it if You abhor loud music

2
Disappointing, Excruciating

See it if You love loud rock music and play in a loud rock band.

Don't see it if Dull plot, bad acting, heavy smoke effects burn the eyes, music way too loud & people had fingers in their ears. Torture on all the senses.

78
Intense, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want an intense and dark teen love story from leads who can really sing

Don't see it if you're not a fan of rock music or dark, slightly exaggerated storylines

Also If anyone knows how I can get my hands on a recording, please tell me!... Read more Read less

51
Boring, Dull, Meatless, Wasted time

See it if you want to suffer 1hr40min. Actors really try but the music and story just don't have it. The whole annoys and leaves a dull aftertaste.

Don't see it if This is one of those shows, which is not horrible but it just doesn't deliver. It doesn't touch you and one can't wait till it's over.

71
Edgy, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like angst-driven garage band music &"trailer trash" narratives that reveal the heart in characters who often are judged to be heartless

Don't see it if you like strictly linear story; you don't like couplet-rich indie rock. The story has lumps to be ironed. Characters act out-of-character.

Also Adrian Blake Enscoe has pipes! I'm an alt rock fan. I didn't love the ... Read more Read less

66
Quirky, Raunchy, Cliched, Insipid, Slow

See it if You like raucous musicals

Don't see it if You're sensitive to loud music

70
Ambitious, Raunchy, Great singing

See it if The music was great, so if you enjoy good music this show works.

Don't see it if If you're looking for a plot that makes sense, this is not your show

Also So it needs work. The actors/singers/musicians were amazing. They are ... Read more Read less

60
Disappointing, Slow, Great singing

See it if you like loud rock music and want to see a mostly strong and talented cast. You prefer to hear rock songs over seeing a well developed plot.

Don't see it if you can't handle adult subject matter, want to see a traditional musical. Want to see a polished musical with songs that further the plot.

Also I really wanted to like this show but it needs a lot of work. It could... Read more Read less

79
Absorbing, Intense, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you like interesting intense theatre mixed with rock music and unique staging

Don't see it if you dislike rock bands or dislike dark bloody tales

95
Absorbing, Clever, Edgy, Intense, Great staging

See it if You like the psychological and physical outcomes of socities views of 'hard-core' music and what goes on in the lifestyle of the artist.

Don't see it if You dislike more intense music, limited staging, and actors playing multiple roles.

68
Intense, Slow, Good acting, Loud music, Good singing voices

See it if you enjoy watching an energized cast singing rock tunes inter-weaved with a story about trailer park people. A live band accompanies them.

Don't see it if you don't like a lot of loud rock music with difficult-to-understand words and a plot that has some mystery but goes very slowly at times.

Also I had mixed reactions to this play because, although the plot had poin... Read more Read less

75
Clever, Intelligent, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you like a rock & roll show with a play mixed in.

Don't see it if you don't like loud music and don't love small theaters.

74
Fun, Great songs, Not too deep

See it if If you like rock music-- a la Hedwig and the Angry Inch or American Idiot. It's entertaining, but I wish it went deeper.

Don't see it if If you don't like rock music and teenager type stories

87
Edgy, Great singing

See it if If you liked American idiot and you love rock and roll.

Don't see it if Loud music is not your thing

44
During previews
Insipid, Weak

See it if Music was good. Singers and musicians talented. But in general the songs weren't integrated into show.

Don't see it if Book - weak. Plot - thin. Dialogue - awful. The actors all had good singing voices and some played instruments but all but one couldn't act.

71
During previews
Edgy, Thought-provoking, Relevant, Predictable, Great singing

See it if You liked shows like American Idiot or Murder Ballad. They rock out but the story itself feels more like a made for TV movie.

Don't see it if You can’t appreciate it for great singing and mostly kick ass songs. If you’ve ever seen a Lifetime Movie you’ll see the ending a mile away!

90
During previews
Intense, Great singing, Great staging, Multi-talented cast, Energetic performances

See it if you like a story told in concert-like performances w/ a live band too- reminiscent of the American Idiot rock opera but in an intimate scale

Don't see it if you don't like dark themes with strong language/lyrics - but these are essential to the story. The fun musical experience should compensate.

Also The young lead couple gave mesmerizing performances in their singing/p... Read more Read less

85
During previews
Edgy, Intense, Great writing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you like discovering new musicals or you love any musical with deep emotion and honest relatable characters.

Don't see it if loud heavy rock music isn't your thing. It's actually not MY thing, but the sweet honesty and incredible charisma of the leads sold me.

Also Keep your eye on these two young actors, Adrian Blake Enscoe and Sydne... Read more Read less

55
During previews
Edgy, Intense, Raunchy, Slow, Good songs

See it if You like rock music, appreciate good staging

Don't see it if You like good dialogue (it was really awful), if songs with lyrics "kill yourself, kill yourself" will upset you (& other talk of murder)

83
During previews
Edgy, Intense, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You like romantic tragedies and rock/alternative music. Enjoy non linear storytelling with a mystery component.

Don't see it if you are sensitive to themes if suicide, murder, teen angst and violence. Want something cheery. Dont bring children.

96
During previews
Edgy, Riveting, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love rock musicals!

Don't see it if You like classical musical theater.