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Red Bank | 1h 30m | Already closed

Pamela's First Musical

From 11 critic and 36 member reviews
Members say: Entertaining, Great singing, Delightful, Clever, Funny

About the show

Two River presents this world premiere family-friendly musical about a young girl who heads to NYC to see her first Broadway musical. Featuring a book by Tony Award winners Wendy Wasserstein and Christopher Durang. More…

The musical tells the story of Pamela, an unhappy, imaginative young girl whose mother has died. Her father, though well-meaning, doesn't fully understand his creative, unusual daughter. When Pamela's eccentric and fabulous Aunt Louise sweeps her away on her birthday to see her very first Broadway musical, Pamela meets many of the colorful personalities of the New York Theater world. In meeting them and watching a clever musical-within-a-musical, Pamela discovers her tribe and the place where, as she sings, "all the pieces fit"-the world of musical theater.

1h 30m | Already closed | Two River Theater (NJ)


95
BroadwayWorld

“Musical theatre lovers and many more will be delighted by this dazzling, enthralling production...A show that will surely be enjoyed by a broad audience of theatergoers including families with youngsters...’Pamela's First Musical’ is spirited and heartfelt...The highly accomplished company electrifies the stage with their musical prowess and wonderful character portrayals...The musical score of the show is an ideal complement to the story along with the lively dance numbers.” Full Review

90
Out in Jersey

"This show is, in a word, wonderful...The score is rich with more-than-occasional wit...If you love musicals, especially the ins and outs of their creation, you should see this show. If you know girls and boys who are interested in the theatre or are highly imaginative, you should take them to this show...The show is corny, and charming, and utterly irresistible. Allow yourself to be perfectly delighted by this gem of a production." Full Review

90
The Quirky Mom Next Door

“Austin has a gorgeous singing voice and executed her role in such a fun way that I felt was perfect for kids...The journey that Pamela went on was adorable and the music was fun and inspiring, very pro-uniqueness and creativity. Every kid should be encouraged to embrace their individuality and imagination!...’There were a bunch of funny jokes, not necessarily all just for the kids...'Pamela’s First Musical’ is THE performance for kids to see for their first musical!” Full Review

85
Medium

"Director and choreographer Daniele delivers all the necessary camp and pizzazz, but also gives us beautiful moments of stillness...'Pamela’s First Musical' transported me back to when I was a similarly precocious child seeing my first Broadway musical, a feeling of nostalgia that is, to me, more than worth the price of admission. While the show is written for a theatre-savvy crowd, it can still be enjoyed thoroughly whether this is your first musical or your thousand-and-first." Full Review

85
Two River Times

"Billed as a valentine to Broadway. It’s that, and much more, including an unexpected moral to the story...It’s a great introduction to how the theater works to create a live musical performance, plus plenty of references and nuances to keep adults and musical theater lovers entertained...A big round of applause for the ensemble that played a cast of thousands." Full Review

85
Macaroni Kid

"The top-notch cast made the show a most enjoyable experience from start to finish...This musical theater production offers a humorous and heartwarming jaunt...The name given to the musical-within-a-musical and some of the scenes portrayed wonderfully by Andrea Burns and Howard McGillin within it were hilarious; my kids are still referencing them days later!...Overall, 'Pamela's First Musical' offers a real treat for the entire family." Full Review

80
Upper Wet Side

"The book of 'Pamela’s First Musical' is a breezy affair, packed with plenty of knowing in-jokes for Broadway buffs, and hitting all the bases for a kid-centric story...Call it a 'meta'-musical experience, although don’t strain to overthink things if you do. At its best, 'Pamela’s First Musical' is exactly what it aims to be — a family entertainment that’s genuinely 'fun for all ages,' and a great little intro to a magical world that’s just made to order for that special Pamela in one’s life." Full Review

75
Theatermania

“A delightful production...Daniele directs this production like a Broadway musical in miniature. All the pieces for something bigger are here: a great cast, memorable songs, and a fast-paced, exciting narrative. But for a show about the Great White Way, ‘Pamela's First Musical’ feels small...Yet...there's much to recommend. Its story will appeal to younger audience members, while its satirical jokes and insider references will amuse theater-loving grown-ups.” Full Review

70
NJ.com

“Nearly everything a parent could want in a child's first theater experience...The show boasts a creative team with a miles-long list of accomplishments...But...This roster of theatrical titans seems to have preferred...a dramatized children's story told with a stripped-down simplicity...The cast is not given much room to shine in the simplicity of the characters, but high points nonetheless emerge...This show offers great fun for the young and musical-curious...Don't expect much beyond that." Full Review

65
Scene on Stage

“While ‘Pamela’s First Musical’ boasts credentials equal to those precursors...The show, if not the production, suffers in comparison; that storied foursome are not at the top of their game...It is entertaining, but not, one suspects, to the extent it must have been to those creators...It’s essentially an extended inside joke..It remains a collegiate enterprise, albeit an accomplished one...A striking production...with eye-catching sets." Full Review

30
Broad Street Review

“Bland and unmemorable at best and shockingly tone-deaf at worst. Those who harbor warm feelings toward Wasserstein or Coleman should stay far away, lest their memories be spoiled...Although Daniele manages to stage an entire musical-inside-a-musical, she never captures the sense of a little girl falling in love with the art form...More pointedly, neither play nor production gives a strong sense of what Pamela longs to escape from...Essentially a piece of fluff.” Full Review


96
Funny, Clever, Must see, Great writing, Entertaining

See it if you love Broadway, you have a child you loves Broadway, you want a fun night out

Don't see it if you don't like Broadway, Les Mis is your favorite show

Also WOW!! I'm absolutely in love with this show! A great score and book pl... Read more Read less

94
Delightful, Refreshing, Entertaining, Smile inducing, Valentine to the theatre

See it if you love wit, grand music, wise lyrics, a phenomenal cast, a tale for kids of all ages, plus Wassersteinian and Durangian verbal magic.

Don't see it if you are a stick in the mud with an inability to let a grand musical help you forget your sorrows and allow u to fly away to a land of glee.

90
Delightful, Enchanting, Refreshing, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to see a pleasant, entertaining show that you can take your granddaughter to.

Don't see it if You want a serious play that you will think about afterwards

85
Funny, Clever, Delightful, Refreshing, Entertaining

See it if If you want a family friendly, delightful story with lots of inside Broadway jokes and if you enjoy Broadway musicals.

Don't see it if you don't like Broadway musicals and are looking for a profound, serious drama.

Also Cy Coleman's music was great and along with the lyrics, both added to ... Read more Read less

84
Clever, Delightful, Enchanting, Great writing, Great singing

See it if you enjoy classic musicals with a cheeky edge to them, sort of like Hairspray mixed with Drowsy Chaperone and Annie.

Don't see it if you prefer serious and dramatic musicals or can't stand children in leading roles.

Also It's rare to find an all-new musical that is engaging and charming and... Read more Read less

82
Delightful, Quirky, Refreshing, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you like theater insider jokes (the leading lady is Mary Ethel Bernadette) and want to see a star in the making in Sarah MicKinley Austin

Don't see it if you are looking for something with deep meaning or don't like underdeveloped characters

80
Delightful, Cute, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if You want to see a show with an incredibly talented cast & creative team with great pedigree. Family-friendly but fun for all theater lovers

Don't see it if You don't enjoy a show-within-a-show. Pamela goes to see her first musical, which is a whackadoodle mash up of theater tropes & jokes

Also Best scene was the recreation of Sardi's. Lots of theatre insider joke... Read more Read less

80
Funny, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if you want to see a solid, children's musical with great pedigree before it makes it way to Broadway.

Don't see it if you don't want to see a show that still needs some additions and refinement before it takes its next step

Also A talented adult cast is led by an extraordinary eleven years old Sara... Read more Read less

80
Clever, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if you love theatre, love great singing love seeing new work

Don't see it if you are put off by the hour train ride from NYP to Red Bank. The theater is a block from the station with lots of restaurants nearby

79
Refreshing, Disappointing, Dated, Entertaining, Great singing

See it if You want to see a valentine to Broadway with a delightful young lead and a group of veteran musical performers

Don't see it if You want real comedy and depth of character , this is okay but wants to be great

Also I wanted it to be so much funnier , it just felt like it was trying to... Read more Read less

76
Clever, amusing, good cast,cliched, disappointing

See it if You love Wendy Wasserstein & Chris Durang at their silliest, want to see a light family musical, enjoy amusing references other shows

Don't see it if You're looking for a great new musical, sophistication and involving work

Also Wendy Wasserstein had two modes: astute social critic and silliness. U... Read more Read less

75
Enchanting, Disappointing, Entertaining, Great singing, Great staging

See it if wish for a family friendly love for the theater show with inside theater references. done by a fun and good cast

Don't see it if music is still not quite there. could only really see this being done regionally or by high-school and colleges

74
Quirky, Fun, Fluffy, Odd staging, Too much at points

See it if you want a fun night. Also great for any child's first musical. Solid acting overall.

Don't see it if you are looking for something serious and thought-provoking. It is what it is.

Also Okay, I first have to say that I had a great time seeing this! Also it... Read more Read less

74
Great acting, Slow, Dated, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if You wish to take a young musical lover to see a show that is fluffy, entertaining but not deep. The child actor is phenomenal & Ms Carmello.

Don't see it if If looking for great musical . Music and story are dated, could use a production streamline with more depth. Fantastic Cast though !

73
Funny, Ambitious, Refreshing, Great singing, Well cast

See it if You want to see a talent cast have a great time.

Don't see it if You want a complex or original story.

70
Clever, Entertaining, Fluffy

See it if you like kids' shows or want to see the latest by Coleman, Zippel and a great cast of Broadway pros

Don't see it if you can't stand kids' shows or a trip to New Jersey

Also The show was a lot of fun with lots of theatrical in-jokes for the gro... Read more Read less

70
Clever, Delightful, Quirky, Slow, Entertaining

See it if If you like plain little off broadway musicals

Don't see it if If you expect a broadway musical

69
Ambitious, Disappointing, Dated, Witty lyrics, Unmelodic

See it if you are a big fan of the children's book, David Zippel's lyrics, Carolee Carmello, Howard McGillin, Andrea Burns, and David Garrison.

Don't see it if you are expecting the usual high standard of the late Cy Coleman's music, an interesting book, you don't want 2C a dated Auntie Mame clone.

64
Quirky, Disappointing, Excruciating, Slow

See it if You have nothing better to do and want to hear some great singing. Do not expect a memorable show. The cast makes this show tolerable

Don't see it if You have anything better to do

60
Quirky, Disappointing, Cliched, Insipid

See it if you want to see some great Broadway performers in a very comfortable theater. The music by Cy Coleman is nice.

Don't see it if if you want a coherent musical with a plot and concept that work together and makes sense. The musical needs a total overhaul.

51
Banal, Insipid, Overrated, Slow, Dated

See it if You want to see genuine Broadway talent performing material that is beneath them.

Don't see it if Annoyed by musicals without even a minimal dramatic through line.

45
Disappointing, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if You have a child who has never seen a Broadway show

Don't see it if You don't care about the story but you want to hear great singing

93
Clever, Delightful, Refreshing, Hilarious, Entertaining

See it if You love to be a kid again! you love musical theater! You enjoy being entertained for 90 solid minutes!

Don't see it if You only enjoy serious plots. You don’t like to laugh. You don’t like to leave a theater happier than when you walked in!

86
Ambitious, Delightful, Enchanting, Entertaining

See it if If you love broadway, This show is a love letter to the Broadway musical,

Don't see it if If you don't know Broadway musicals

85
Enchanting, Entertaining, Great singing, Fluffy

See it if you love classic musicals or shows-about-shows, you're interested in a career creating theater

Don't see it if you're looking for more complicated stories or characters


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Cast & Creatives (26)