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Ghost Quartet

Members say: Great singing, Absorbing, Quirky, Clever, Enchanting
86
Critics
83
10 reviews
Members
87
46 reviews
 

New York Theatre Workshop presents this surreal chamber musical from Dave Malloy ('Natasha, Pierre & The Great Comet of 1812') in which 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 a quartet of interwoven narratives spanning seven centuries: a warped fairy tale about two sisters, a tree house 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 'The Great Comet' stars Brittain Ashford and Gelsey Bell. Ages 21 and up only.

 

Cast & Creatives (10)


Reviews (56)

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
87
Avg Score

85
Enchanting, Confusing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you enjoy ethereal, atmospheric pieces, beautifully sung, and are a fan of Dave Malloy's work.

Don't see it if you need more of a concrete story told in a linear fashion, or if you dislike periods of being in a very dark room.

100
Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Must see, Great singing

See it if You like the cast. You like Dave Malloy's music. You don't need a straightforward plot.

Don't see it if You need a plain plot or fully staged show. You don't like experimental shows. You're afraid of the dark.

Also More brilliance from Dave Malloy. Indescribable.

74
Delightful, Slow, Great singing

See it if you want to see a song cycle beautifully performed with some very unique ideas.

Don't see it if you are looking for something that's heavy in plot. This is not. Or production value. There is little. It's a quaint production.

Also I'm not sure I understand ANY of the story, but I had a good time. The... Read more Read less

80
Quirky, Entertaining, Intimate, Haunting

See it if you want to see a sometimes whimsical, mostly eerie, but always gripping semi-staged spectral song cycle by the creator of The Great Comet.

Don't see it if you aren't a David Malloy fan (tho I found this more enjoyable than Comet) or you need distance between you & the performers to enjoy a show

90
Enchanting, Masterful, Quirky, Great singing, Dreamy

See it if The beautiful and mysterious in magical environment attracts you. Or you like whiskey with your theater.

Don't see it if You want a linear plot and predictable characters.

86
Delightful, Quirky, Great singing, Intimate, With whiskey!

See it if you'd like a concert in your living room with Dave Malloy at the piano, plus super- talented Brent Arnold, Brittain Ashford, & Gelsey Bell

Don't see it if you want a play with a clear, linear plot. All sung at mikes; quirky, time-shifting storyline; ghost themes; darkness; but free whiskey

Also Doors to lobby open at 8:00, theater opens for GA seating at 8:15, sho... Read more Read less

80
Absorbing, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Confusing, Great singing

See it if you are a fan of Dave Malloy's work, or intimate evenings at the theatre

Don't see it if you want something straightforward and simple

92
Must see, Quirky, Riveting, Confusing, Haunting

See it if you're a fan of Malloy, Comet, & co. Or gorgeous singing and folksy tunes. If you've ever wanted to drink bourbon at a wonderful show.

Don't see it if You want a linear narrative or consistent story. This Quartet veers wildly through time, styles, and characters.

Also To borrow a phrase from Tony Kushner, I spent most of this show on the... Read more Read less

89
Absorbing, Clever, Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You enjoy amazing singing; ethereal plots; Dave Malloy; and shows that make you think. You’re ok with non linear plots and sitting in dark

Don't see it if You are expecting the Great Comet reincarnated; are confused by the abstract or non linear plots; or need everything spelled out for you.

Also Gelsey Bell and Brittain Ashford are supremely talented; their voices ... Read more Read less

76
Confusing, Atmospheric, Not my cup of tea

See it if You are a Dave Malloy fan and enjoyed Great Comet.

Don't see it if You're like me and don't really connect with Malloy's work.

Also The fact that I didn't enjoy this work all that much probably says mor... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Quirky, Entertaining, Great singing, Intimate

See it if you want an intimate musical experience with great singing and musicianship, enjoy quirky ghost stories and an eclectic, haunting score.

Don't see it if you don't like staged concerts, you're afraid of dark & possible audience participation (playing percussion instrument, passing out drinks)

78
Edgy, Intelligent, Quirky, Intimate, Scattered

See it if you like the idea of making a classroom instruments moment Jimmy Fallon style, but instead of Jimmy you get Dave Malloy

Don't see it if you fear audience participation

90
Original, Spellbinding, Beautiful singing, Intricate storytelling

See it if Inventive weaving of several haunting stories told in song & music by wonderfully attuned cast. Blends of folk, soul, jazz music create...

Don't see it if ...sort of concept album of eerie old & new tales. No linear plot but it doesn't really matter if the stories confuse you. Super finish too!

91
Masterful, Must see, Great writing, Great singing, Great staging

See it if You love seeing dazzling performers weave you into an intimate evening of haunting otherworldly mystery.

Don't see it if you prefer linear plots.

88
Absorbing, Edgy

See it if Dave Malloy, Brittain Ashford and Gelsey Bell. Fanciful storytelling through song. Musicality of Great Comet deconstructed.

Don't see it if Expecting linear story telling. Scared of the dark.

90
Dark, Intense, Riveting, Talented cast

See it if you like weird, electronic but also simple music and lyrics but a very complex story told by a small cast

Don't see it if you like traditional theater, don't want to pay a lot of money for a small show

95
Absorbing, Exquisite, Quirky, Great singing

See it if you love Dave Malloy's music, unique and intimate theatrical experiences, spooky/ghost stories, or whiskey.

Don't see it if you want a show with a simple plot.

90
Quirky, Great music, Great singing, Great staging, Intimate

See it if you've liked Dave Malloy's other shows or enjoy eclectic music styles and intimate but eccentric theatre performances.

Don't see it if you prefer a structured story with characters and plot or if you don't respond to Malloy's music.

85
Ambitious, Enchanting, Quirky, Refreshing, Great writing

See it if you're interested in another unique gem from Dave Malloy. You like nonlinear fantasy stories, live music, and an intimate setting.

Don't see it if you want a conventional theatre experience. You don't like morbid stories or listening to music in the dark. You're not over the age of 21.

Also I became interested in Ghost Quartet after seeing Natasha, Pierre, and... Read more Read less

85
Absorbing, Ambitious, Quirky, Indulgent, Great singing

See it if you're a fan of intellectual music, high concepts, and virtuosic performances

Don't see it if you need a plot-driven show that hangs together as a comprehensible piece

96
Absorbing, Enchanting, Must see, Great singing

See it if You are looking for something different - can enjoy quirky, non-linear storytelling

Don't see it if You want a fully staged production - have qualms about sitting in total darkness for several minutes

Also It might be more of a concert - but the singing and the story/stories ... Read more Read less

98
Delightful, Quirky, Riveting, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love theatre!This is another Dave Malloy gem.Funny.Beautifully written & performed.Intimate setting.Totally involving.LOVED it.

Don't see it if you are dead!This show is as good as it gets.The run is sold out for a very good reason.This is brilliant.It's the next great thing. GO!!!!!

86
Clever, Intelligent, Quirky, Great writing, Great singing

See it if You enjoy great storytelling and folk music; an intimate setting to take in a slightly confusing story

Don't see it if You can't get tickets; You want a big production or are afraid of the dark

100
Absorbing, Clever, Delightful, Epic, Great singing

See it if BEST THING IVE EVER SEEN

Don't see it if No. See it

85
Absorbing, Enchanting, Exquisite, Intelligent, Great singing

See it if you like music you like stories told in unusual ways, or many stories told in one platform with small connections slowly revealed.

Don't see it if you simply do not want to listen to music for nearly two hours, no matter what style, you'd rather a clear-cut, "traditional" story.