New York | 1h 45m | Already closed

Dust Can't Kill Me (NYMF)

From 6 critic and 34 member reviews
Members say: Great singing, Refreshing, Absorbing, Entertaining, Delightful

About the show

A New York Musical Festival alumnus: In this new tuner, drought, desperation, and a prophet’s promise of Paradise set a ragtag group of wayward souls on a Dust Bowl journey into the desert. More…

When the Paradise-seeking travelers arrive, their promised land is unlike anything they ever imagined...or desired. Driven by a spirited band of actor-musicians and directed by Srda Vasiljevic, this new folk musical asks what’s worth fighting for when all you've got is dust. Featuring Tony nominee Elizabeth A. Davis ('Once').

1h 45m | Already closed | Le Poisson Rouge (Greenwich V)


for a previous production "Elliah Heifetz has given this historical fantasy an all-American sound with his rousing folk score...This stellar cast delivers every number with commitment and heart, leading us to gladly suspend our disbelief. Director Srda Vasiljevic employs them as actor-musicians in the style of John Doyle, making this not just the most talented cast of the festival, but also the best band. Just try not to get goosebumps." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

for a previous production "The cast is uniformly talented with remarkable vocal and acting skills as well as being accomplished instrumentalists and dancers...Elliah Heifetz’s music and lyrics are engaging and enchanting...There are still some difficulties with the book, especially in the second act...Still a work in progress and, having seen its 'incarnation' in 2014, this reviewer looks forward to seeing its grace-laden apotheosis in the very near future.” Full Review

Stage Buddy

for a previous production "Vasiljevic revitalized the story of lost souls wandering in the 1936 Dust Bowl by adding a John Doyle-esque framing device which sees the actors not only playing their own instruments, but also being hyper-aware of the fact they’re playing characters...Vasiljevic allows each of his actors to embody the traits that best identify their characters...It’s Kathryn Gallagher as Lily who gives the show’s most ferocious, unforgettable performance." Full Review

The New York Times

for a previous production “This folk musical looked and sounded great on its rough-hewed set. If it had been a concert instead, the company couldn’t have done better, filling the house with richly layered strings and gorgeous vocals. The six musicians, who also make up the cast, were terrific...But the vitality that marks every musical moment evaporates between songs.” Full Review

Times Square Chronicles

for a previous production "The book is solid, but could use some fleshing out. The music is totally along the country folk vein and two hours of it is too much for me, but seems to please the downtown younger set…This entire company plays extremely well and starts and end as a band of musicians…The direction by Srda Vasiljevic keeps the piece moving…I would get this show down to 90 minutes as it drags in places, but I can see 'Dust Can’t Kill Me' playing downtown and all around the country." Full Review

Talkin' Broadway

for a previous production "It's definitely conflict-rich content, but for a short, taut one act. Stretching it across more than two hours makes it painfully repetitive and obvious early and often. It doesn't matter if the down-home songs are attractive or emotionally astute...With the exception of Hinkes, the cast members all do well at laying bare their characters' tortured souls. And the production is lively enough to keep you engaged. Not enough to keep you invested, however." Full Review

Absorbing, Exquisite, Masterful, Riveting, Great singing

See it if You like bluegrass music, multitalented actors/musicians (Kathryn and Elizabeth kill it), you want a unique theater going experience

Don't see it if you hate country music, there's a lot of it, and if you need a very clear/straightforward plot

Original, All star cast, Indie, Thought-provoking, Hit

See it if you love alternative theater. Folk inspired score with a great cast- Kathryn Gallagher is awesome. Original approach to Dust Bowl story.

Don't see it if you are turned off by actors playing instruments or folk musicals.

Absorbing, Clever, Original, Refreshing, Must see

See it if you want to see a near-perfect and interesting musical with inventive staging and distinct and compelling songs and singing.

Don't see it if you do not like plots that mention religion, gay themes, or minimal sets. It converted me to liking bluegrass, and has memorable music.

Absorbing, Entertaining, Great singing, Refreshing, Thought-provoking

See it if If you like folk/ bluegrass music, this is a must-see. The cast is incredibly talented and they all play their own instruments.

Don't see it if You don't like folk/bluegrass music and or you are uncomfortable with the following topics: death, homosexuality and mixed race couples.

Absorbing, Delightful, Great singing, Great writing, Refreshing

See it if You love folk musicals with clever and modern writing

Don't see it if You don't like folk music, small cast musicals, or serious themes


See it if You want to support new theater projects

Don't see it if N/A

Great writing, Original, Great singing, acting, and staging, Thought-provoking, Must see

See it if you appreciate the finest in musical theater. Original and even though it isn't the kind of music I typically enjoy, I was overwhelmed.

Don't see it if You're adverse to seeing great shows before they appear on a stage like The Public Theatre. Clearly that's it's next stop.

Fantastic music, Great singing, Great dancing at le poisson rouge

See it if you revel in exquisite folk music played with energy and emotion.

Don't see it if You need a complex plot; the plot appears to be there mostly to motivate the music.

Refreshing, Great singing, Unique, Great storytelling

See it if you like singer-songwriter type folk music (this is not twangy or bluegrass-y). You like stories that take you away.

Don't see it if You want very realistic stories (this feels like a folk tale in a really great way).

Also The music of this show is far stronger than I expected it to be. In sp... Read more Read less

Great singing, Refreshing, Resonant, Catchy, Absorbing

See it if you enjoy catchy folk songs performed by talented singers and musicians. Really great score! *Saw the concert version*

Don't see it if you prefer more classic show-tunes. This show has the potential to be heavily stylized. *Saw the concert version*

Great singing, Great music, Funny, Ambitious, Absorbing

See it if you like-Once-country/bluegrass/folk music-stories from the heartland-musical dramas-recital/concert format

Don't see it if you want-a lighthearted musical/play. don't like-actors playing instruments

Amazing musicianship, Entertaining, Great costumes, Great staging, Great singing

See it if you love country music. You'd like to see a diverse cast of "sinners" who were left out of shows like Bright Star. Fantastic score.

Don't see it if you hate actors playing instruments. The second act drags for plot reasons. Might work better with stronger, older actors. Abstract lyrics.

Relevant, Great singing, Resonant, Banal

See it if You like southern/Appalachian feel. Stories about the outcast.

Don't see it if You want a completely new story.

Magic-unrealism book, Flashmob choreography, Excellent cast/singer/musicians, Young downtown vibe, Folk/rock score engaging

See it if you like high octane folk music set in the Dustbowl 1930s with fantasy storyline, moshpit 'ography, & excellent performances,

Don't see it if you don't like folk/rock, need a realistic storyline, feel endangered by dancers popping out of audience, don't want 2 item food/bar/minimum

Also Nearly every song ends abruptly without build to ending, no signal 2 a... Read more Read less

Delightful, Great singing, Great staging, Refreshing, Enchanting

See it if Soaring bluegrass harmonies make your heart melt, nd if you're a fan of shows such as Bright Star.

Don't see it if You're looking for a clear, easy to follow plot.

Intelligent, Resonant, Slow, Intense, Great singing

See it if you like musicals that pull from other music genres and stray from a traditional Broadway feel

Don't see it if You don't like folk-type shows or slightly cliched story lines that feel more like a classic novel than a new-age musical

Great singing, Ambitious, Intrusive dancing, Great music

See it if exquisite folk singing, great musicians (unnecessarily) modern dancers. Special shout out to Garth Taylor (next stop broadway!)

Don't see it if if you don't like cabaret seating (long tables for 8) & 2-drink minimums

Tight harmonies, Refreshing, Confusing, Enjoyable

See it if you like bluegrass, good singing, and new musicals. Some strong numbers, and great voices.

Don't see it if you would like a linear or a captivating story.

Also I did see the 'concert' version so hopefully the story is clearer in t... Read more Read less

Entertaining, Great singing, Ambitious

See it if You like good blue grass/country music beautifully performed.

Don't see it if You don't like blue grass or country music or expect a clear narrative.

Great singing, Refreshing, Quirky, Delightful

See it if You want to hear some good musicians who have a lot of heart and good voices

Don't see it if You want a plot or good acting

Preachy, Confusing, Disappointing, Some beautiful songs

See it if you like bluegrass music enough to overlook that this is a concept album that's yet to figure out a workable script or believable characters

Don't see it if you'll be bothered by a script that feels shoehorned around songs (some gorgeous, others forgettable) and that tells more than it shows

Refreshing, Great singing, Ambitious, Work in progress

See it if you enjoy folk music or want to watch a show in the early stages of its development.

Don't see it if you're looking for something polished. Don't get me wrong, this show has a lot of potential. It's just not there yet.

Derivative, Nice harmonies, Shrug

See it if Interested in Children of Eden meets Bright Star*. To support young, talented actor-musicians. *see Bright Star review.

Don't see it if Annoyed by a muddy sound mix that drowns out lyrics. Want songs that move a plot, not a plot mashed together to justify songs.

Confusing, Disappointing, Excruciating, Insipid, Overrated

See it if You are related to some one in the show or were a collage roomate

Don't see it if You own a TV set

Refreshing, Entertaining, Great staging, Must see, Great singing

See it if If you like beautiful music performed by insanely good actor-musicians in a totally entertaining & absorbing production

Don't see it if You're not into blue grass or live music or good storytelling or good singing.