New York Theatre Workshop presents this surreal chamber musical from Dave Malloy ('Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812') where murder ballads, doo-wop, jazz noise, and raucous campfire drinking songs collide.

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'Ghost Quartet' is a haunted song cycle about love, death, and whisky. A camera breaks and four friends drink, in four interwoven narratives spanning seven centuries: a warped fairy tale about two sisters, a treehouse astronomer and a lazy evil bear; a retelling of Poe's 'The Fall of the House of Usher'; a purgatorial intermezzo about Scheherazade; and a contemporary fable about a subway murder. Featuring 'Comet' stars Brittain Ashford and Gelsey Bell.

 


Reviews (10)

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
83
Avg Score

85
The New York Times

for a previous production “A happily haunted song cycle…Directed with unobtrusive cunning by Tippe…On occasion the whimsy threatens to thicken to the clotting point. But the show never slows down enough to lose you, because Mr. Malloy is so infectiously in love with the dark arts of storytelling in all its forms…One of the most ingenious and affecting finales I’ve come across in years…Let’s just say that Mr. Malloy and company find new ways for guaranteeing that this exultant production’s melody lingers on.” Full Review

85
New York Post

for a previous production “Musically, Malloy reaches equally wide, his score an ingenious patchwork of folk, rock and jazz. But the best way to enjoy the show is to simply lose yourself in its otherworldly atmosphere, which easily goes from surreal to eerie, from touching to playful…Annie Tippe’s staging seems simple, but is actually ingenious…The finale is even better, one of the most wonderful staging coups of the season and too wonderful to be spoiled.” Full Review

85
Time Out New York

for a previous production “There’s not a linear story to follow, but the material coheres on a rich, intuitive level. Far less theatrical and character-based than Malloy’s ‘Great Comet of 1812’ this is an experiment in mood and evanescence, a chance to get inside the singer-songwriter’s head and savor the superb musicianship of his collaborators…They turn the Bushwick Starr into a cozy den of antique lamps and Persian rugs...Maybe like me, you’ll want to make it your regular haunt.” Full Review

90
British Theatre Guide

for a previous production “Anybody within reach of Edinburgh should not miss out on this delight. The show is impossible to categorize. Is it a concept album played live, a musical, a theatrical performance or a concert? It is all of these and none…An intoxicating 70 minutes…A remarkable finale…The atmosphere may be dark but it is always playful and tuneful, aided by the presence of four fine musicians…It may not be easy to categorize but 'Ghost Quartet' should be on everyone’s must see/hear list.” Full Review

70
The Stage (UK)

for a previous production “It's an intoxicating blend of lyrics and sounds...There is a rich vein of dark humour both in the lyrical exchanges and in the use of unfamiliar instruments…While there is no strict narrative, the characters are luridly crafted...Principal vocalists Ashford and Bell have complementary yet contrasting styles, but it's Malloy's engrossing songwriting skills that are the focus here. Try to imagine a song cycle curated by Tim Burton and directed M Night Shyamalan.” Full Review

85
What's On Stage (UK)

for a previous production “‘Ghost Quartet’ is nothing if not complex. But in its tangled web lies deep, dark magic as many ghosts emerge into the light…The whole thing is almost literally entrancing, as you strain to catch meaning while simultaneously reveling in the sheer fertility of creation on offer. The performers are superb musicians and compelling performers. My only reservation was how much of the show took place in near darkness.” Full Review

80
The Wee Review

for a previous production “A thoroughly enjoyable musical theatre performance that captivates and entertains…The musicianship on display is magnificent and majestic…At times the story does get a little bit lost in all the music and buoyant disorder that is being played out on the stage…An inventive show that combines upbeat folk music and twisted storytelling with haunting and beautiful results. The story is enjoyable and the songs memorable.” Full Review

80
The Scotsman

for a previous production “The four musicians not only sing but play a dazzling range of instruments between them. Bell and Ashford create some devastatingly fine harmonies...They manage to create a sense of intimacy and mystery. Casting their spell over the audience, they invite us into their weird, melodic, occasionally disturbing world and send us out into the Edinburgh night just a little bit haunted.” Full Review

80
Broadway Baby

for a previous production “A spellbinding song cycle-come-musical…The story feels summoned somewhere in the air between them, an electrifying presence, untethered to conventional blocking and choreography…As a narrative, however, it falls back on quite procedural motifs, and is difficult to piece together in the live setting, especially with so little staging. Whilst the whole is hard to assemble, 'Ghost Quartet' never loses its audience. Moment by moment, the vocals are full of mood and conviction.” Full Review

85
Three Weeks Edinburgh

for a previous production "Dave Malloy’s ‘Ghost Quartet’ feels like a dream and a nightmare: overwhelmingly beautiful, complex, soulful and gripping. I’m still not sure what it’s about though, as the narrative itself is kept purposefully vague...This emotional resonance is backed up by incredibly talented musical orchestration. The show brilliantly oscillates between musical genres, displaying an incredible variety of instruments and stunning vocal abilities...Absolutely lost for words." Full Review

See: Critics' Reviews | Members' Reviews
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