Already closed | 1h 30m | Midtown W

Playing Hot

From 41 member  reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing, Refreshing

About the show

Pipeline Theatre Company presents the world premiere of this jazz concert-party-play hybrid, which takes you inside a brassy New Orleans dance hall, where the untold story of the birth of jazz is brought to life. More…

Retracing the rise and fall of Buddy Bolden, the radical trumpeter who pioneered America's Art Form, "Playing Hot" is neither play nor musical, neither biography nor period piece -- but a singular theatrical event in the style of jazz. With the help of a live brass band, Buddy's legend and infectious sound echo through time, riffing on history and pop culture much like his music riffed on the notes on the page. 

1h 30m | Already closed | Theater 511 (Midtown W)

Member Reviews (41)


Entertaining, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing, Refreshing

Disappointing, Cliched, Banal

See it if You're satisfied to endure amateurish theatrics for a dose of expertly done trad jazz...overseen by former Miles Davis man Marcus Miller.

Don't see it if You can't stand (needlessly) for almost the entire show, and cringe at a lead actor who blows great horn but can't really act.

During previews
Good music, Overrated, Slow

See it if You'd enjoy the fun "big band" songs that start the show & are played for a bit periodically. The "tour guide" scenes are fun.

Don't see it if You'd feel claustrophobic forced to remain in a tiny "pen" in the center of the theater while 4 stages are used around you.

Also Space is way too small for people to dance and move; you're practicall... Read more Read less

During previews
Nice music, Confusing, Ambitious

See it if You are interested by the beginnings of jazz and a show that mixes acting, jazz music and lecture.

Don't see it if You’re looking for a big, polished production. You don’t like cramped spaces, standing for the performance and audience interaction.

Also The idea of using live jazz music and an interactive theater experienc... Read more Read less

During previews
Thought-provoking, Confusing, Slow, Ambitious

See it if If you are a real jazz enthusiast

Don't see it if You expect to learn about much Bolden, the show is a mismatch of everything barely relatable to jazz

May 2nd, 2019
"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 ca...
read more
May 3rd, 2019
“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 ...
read more
May 6th, 2019
“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 musicia...
read more

Related content