See it if you want to join a NOLA second line that leads to a dance hall celebration of the origins of jazz & the story of its forgotten originator.
Don't see it if ur not able to stand (& dance) for 90+ minutes & immerse yourself in the uplifting jazz celebration & somber recounting of its tragic OG.
"Endearingly messy...Offers a composite portrait of Bolden that is decidedly PG and largely good-humored. The show, directed by Bradley, keeps changing viewpoints in an enthusiastic if unruly manner...'Playing Hot' often trips on itself by wanting to take on too much, and some of it borders on cartoonish, as if the authors and director weren’t sure of what they want to say or how they want to say it...But the show also knows when to stop the merriment, and ends on a quiet note."
“Clearly the work of young, enthusiastic, but relatively inexperienced theater-makers. Johnson and Armento’s book is erratically structured and unintentionally borders on parody. Even the central character...comes across as two-dimensional...Despite these criticisms, I nonetheless still ended up having fun. Indeed, when 'Playing Hot' drops its pretensions of being a musical and commits to simply playing Bolden’s music, it thrillingly lives up to its title..”
“It’s almost like the show is a way to actively learn about this lesser-known piece of jazz history while also having a fun evening out...The dance breaks where cast members...encouraging audience members to let loose make for a lively show...The performers are all solid, particularly the musicians. The music is fabulous...Part play, part dance party, and part jazz concert, Pipeline Theater’s ‘Playing Hot’ is an invigorating theatrical experience.”