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)

MEMBERS SAY:

Entertaining, Ambitious, Clever, Absorbing, Refreshing
77
Avg Score

During previews
88
Quirky, Great staging, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like jazz music and are looking for a fun somewhat interactive show that tells one of the stories about the beginning of jazz music

Don't see it if You want a traditional theater experience

Also Pipeline does great theater. They do shows that would not “fit” in a t... Read more Read less

During previews
69
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
87
Refreshing, Great singing, Great acting, Entertaining, Delightful

See it if Young, enthusiastic , talented performers with lively old school New Orleans music. Enjoys historical fiction

Don't see it if Not interested in out of the box entertainment . Only enjoys serious pedantic dramas

Also Try to get one of the few seats

During previews
81
Entertaining, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if you like acting and a mixture of music

Don't see it if you dont want to be entertained

During previews
69
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

During previews
85
Quirky, Great singing, Entertaining, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You love live, traditional, NoLa jazz, it's origins, & a non-traditional theater presentation. You enjoy music, dancing, and participation.

Don't see it if You dislike, live jazz, not having a regular, theater seat ( many stand for this show), and "get into the action" theatrical offerings.

During previews
85
Great music, Funny, Entertaining, Clever

See it if You like immersive shows, jazz, black culture, and some irreverent fun. It was cool to learn about the little known creator of jazz.

Don't see it if You want a traditional play. Are bothered by performers playing multiple characters. Some chairs were available, but it's mostly standing.

Also I had a lot of fun. The cast was energetic and while it was a play, th... Read more Read less

During previews
80
Entertaining, Clever

See it if You want an experience and enjoy Jazz

Don't see it if You are expecting typical theater, this is immersive and less structured

Also The music speaks for itself, it's a fun time

During previews
80
Unique, Great music, Fun, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if You like jazz and want to learn more about its roots, you enjoy dancing

Don't see it if You don’t like standing in a small space for more than an hour, prefer emphasis on the more traditional play elements (story, acting)

Also The festivities start in a nearby park and then make their way to the ... Read more Read less

During previews
78
Refreshing, Clever

See it if If you want to see fun piece about under appreciated father of the Jazz movement scattered with intermittent live music!

Don't see it if Story is somewhat shallow and could be developed further. FYI- you basically stand the whole time if that would bother you.

During previews
88
Great music, Great acting, Great singing, Entertaining, Clever

See it if This was a very entertaining show with good jazz music and a cool way of telling the story of a jazz great! Lots of audience interaction!

Don't see it if The audience is mostly standing but there were a few chairs for people that needed them. Wear comfortable shoes (my only regret)!

During previews
85
Intimate, Quirky, Great staging, Delightful, Refreshing

See it if You like music and history. Be ready to be on your feet, be active and to dance!

Don't see it if You want to sit back and be entertained.

During previews
91
Quirky, Refreshing, Delightful, Clever, Absorbing

See it if You are looking for a fun show that is as much about the experience of watching it as it is about the story. The audience can get involved

Don't see it if You are looking for a traditional show or if you do not like jazz

During previews
77
Energetic, Great music, Confusing, Ambitious, Clever

See it if you appreciate cultural comments on history, anachronisms, you like jazz/jazz history

Don't see it if you don't want to stand for ~1.5 hours, you don't like performers being very close to you, you don't like loud, live music

During previews
78
Absorbing, Great singing, Entertaining

See it if If you are a New Orleans fan, interested in the history of jazz and enjoy the opportunity for audience participation.

Don't see it if If you don’t enjoy standing throughout the show and don’t like immersive theatre.

Also The show was fun, but was extremely frustrating at the beginning. I ar... Read more Read less

During previews
100
Must see, Funny, Great writing, Entertaining, Absorbing

See it if you want off-Broadway fare that's different than anything else. Fun, not pretentious, SO inventive and playful - like jazz!

Don't see it if you only like linear, self-serious Theater. Or if you don't like experiments in form.


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...
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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 ...
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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...
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