Closed 1h 30m
Rags Parkland Sings The Songs Of The Future
Midtown W
86

Rags Parkland Sings The Songs Of The Future NYC Reviews and Tickets

86%
(56 Reviews)
Positive
96%
Mixed
4%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great singing, Absorbing, Clever, Entertaining, Relevant

About the Show

Ars Nova presents this world premiere sci-fi folk concert set 250 years in the future. 

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Member Reviews (56)

95
Great singing, Relevant, Intimate, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if Outstanding folk rock concert. Oppressed outcasts in the future struggle to express their humanity. Small space with great acoustics.

Don't see it if You don't enjoy folk rock, or science fiction that is relevant to today's politics. Buy a reserved seat or bring a cushion.

75
Great music, Enjoyable, Inconsistent, Concert, Great singing

See it if you like concerts of really exciting music performed really well.

Don't see it if you're looking for a real plot-driven show. There is some interesting world-building, but very little plot to really sink your teeth into.

Critic Reviews (10)

October 15th, 2018

"A show for men, women, and any sentient robots passing through...A little musical with big, sad, beautiful ideas. It packs so much story into so little space that physicists will quail...This fusion of folk and science fiction is niftily sui generis...Butler’s music, a plangent folk style that broadens into roots rock, makes just about every syllable count. The show’s construction is so deft and its narrative so tantalizing that breathers are almost unbearable."
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October 15th, 2018

"Butler is a master at fusing futuristic concepts like the civil rights of cyborgs with anthems that spark righteous anger and empathy...He has been developing this show for eight years, and that dedication has paid off with a glorious, deeply felt score that moves beyond folk to include R&B and classic rock...Rags may be crooning about the fights of tomorrow, but Butler is clearly planted on today's battleground."
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October 15th, 2018

“One of the most surprisingly delightful and imaginative musicals of 2018...’Rags Parkland’ does cultural appropriation the way it ought to be done, which is to remix, reimagine, and reposition pre-existing forms to create something wholly original...We realize the immense wonder of Butler's galaxy as the evening progresses...Butler and Fein tantalisingly tease out the world beyond the room...Powerful performances make these circumstances feel real."
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October 18th, 2018

“In this sci-fi folk musical, Rags and the band, The Future, bring music to life in a world where it has been criminalized and in a time when even applauding such things can be treasonous...The show is a concert...There is little backstory...As Rags sings, the audience is swept away on a journey...Butler has created a world that is rich and fully-formed, and chosen to present the story in the most immersive way possible...It is a testament to the power of song.”
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October 18th, 2018

“Butler’s quirky concept is pleasurably realized by the intense efforts of the ensemble and the accomplished technical team...Fein’s polished staging combines straightforward musical performance sequences with energetic flourishes...Sargeant is dynamic...with her powerful vocals and soulful presence...Like the best of sci-fi, ‘Rags Parkland Sings the Songs of the Future’ has thoughtful allusions to the present while being wonderfully entertaining.”
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October 21st, 2018

"Provocative and devastatingly smart...You will no doubt be blown away. And I mean that in the best possible way as I attempt within this review to reveal nothing except an idea of the electric magnificence that explodes from that cramped stage...It’s a deeply immersive weaving of rebel politics and simple passion for existence sung from a futuristic time. It’s drenched in old American folk music directed with style and emotional connectivity."
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October 22nd, 2018

"A streak of dark humor runs through the play, but its message is dead serious and perennially timely. There’s no story to spoil, but to describe the evening’s turns and divagations in too much detail is to steal a little of its flame...'Rags Parkland' traces, in a scant 90 minutes, nothing less than the birth of an artist. Heady stuff for a sci-fi folk concert, but 'Rags' is never ponderous or morose...Most importantly, the music rocks....The cast’s musicianship is uniformly stellar."
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October 21st, 2018

"The score includes clever references, melodic and chromatic, to such past masters as Guthrie, Dylan, Cocker, Crosby, Stills, Nash and, especially, Young, without undercutting the originality of Butler’s musical sound...Butler is a formidable presence, who connects immediately with the audience and doesn’t so much sing as act his solos with the emotional intricacy of a seasoned musical-theater performer...A captivating, toe-tapping fiction."
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October 16th, 2018

“This musical cleverly conjures a future world and the song lyrics reflect on those times...The conceit is original, thrilling, topical and timely...The lyrics are poetic and deep with truly memorable, occasionally haunting storytelling that demands focused listening. Packed with talented performers, the cast is committed to this show...As a result, this musical is simply out of this world terrific...Wholly unique and effortlessly satisfying, this new musical is a winner on any theatrical planet.”
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October 15th, 2018

“Provocative, thoroughly entertaining musical...What is played during the 90-minute musical is a kick-ass 13-song set list. Butler and the musician/actors contributors the score play a wonderful mix of rock, jazz, blues and torch songs...Butler’s Rags is a born troubadour. Sargeant’s Beaux is a powerful presence with a powerhouse voice...While Broadway plays it safe with jukebox musicals and movies-into-musicals ‘Rags Parkland Sings The Songs Of The Future’ sings for its life – and wins.”
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