April Theatre Recap

Trying to see everything interesting in a packed Broadway season is tough. Trying to keep your notes updated so you can make recommendations for your friends? Even harder. I have definitely been slacking in publishing my theatre thoughts, so I decided to share a quick recap of every show I saw this month!

Stereophonic (John Golden Theatre)

Ever curious about what actually happened in the recording studio of your favorite bands? Especially a 70s rock band? Well, you’re now in luck. Stereophonic explores the dynamics of a group on their rise to fame over the course of a year in the recording studio while a fictionalized group records their second album, and their first dominates the charts. The show explores the relationships of the bandmates, the performers self-evolution, and even dabbles in the human condition in the ambitious strive for perfection. As you’re watching the show, you truly get to feel like you’re a fly on the wall. The characters are compelling (and quotable) enough on their own, but the star of the show is absolutely the now Tony Award-nominated original music (which sounds nothing like anything you’ve heard on a Broadway stage before).

Lempicka (Longacre Theatre)

Lempicka is what I would consider “high art” as a musical. It’s about artist Tamara de Lempicka and her life and art between the world wars, including her infamous love affair. This show is incredible queer representation and does a lovely job at mirroring the energy to her legacy: heavy classical elements but with a strong modern approach and twist. The music is very pop-y and fun and all of the main characters are given the opportunity to shine vocally, especially Amber Iman as Rafaela. The show does have some faults, mostly the pacing in the “in-between” scenes, but succeeds the most in developing likable, nuanced characters. This was actually my second time seeing Lempicka and it’s definitely on the high end of my season rankings.

Suffs (Music Box Theatre)

If you ever wanted Hamilton vibes in a classic-musical-theatre-sounding musical about the women’s suffrage movement, this is for you! Suffs is a musical embodiment of girlhood and female rage, all wrapped up and performed with stunning vocal arrangements by an all-woman and non-binary cast. The writer, composer, and lyricist of the show, Shania Taub, makes her 4-way Broadway debut by also starring as Alice Paul. While I could go on for days about how incredible the vocal arrangements are and how songs like “Great American Bitch” deliver such fun experience, what sets Suffs apart is how relevant it is. Despite being set a hundred years in the past, many of the issues are framed in a way that sets up an easy comparison for the news cycles and concerns of women and other minority groups today. It can seem like heavy topics to cover in a “fun” musical, but Suffs succeeds and even manages to end the show on an optimistic note with an anthem for the causes of today and a hundred years from today.

Mother Play (Helen Hayes Theatre)

In all honesty, I bought the $30 under 30 tickets to Mother Play because I’m a huge Big Bang Theory fan and wanted to see Jim Parsons (no shame in feeding into celebrity casting though. That’s why the producers do it!). It definitely dealt with heavier subject matter and had some longer scenes that I wish were a bit shorter, but overall it was a worthwhile experience. If you are a Jim Parsons fan, his character in the show does have some very Sheldon-esque lines and mannerisms. Even if you aren’t, there are some funky little comedic bits that are really quite funny, but if you’re trying to stray from darker modern stories, the second half of the show may be a bit much for you.

The Heart of Rock and Roll (James Earl Jones Theatre)

I love 80s rock and a good rom-com, so there was no way I was missing The Heart of Rock and Roll, a new jukebox musical featuring the discography of Huey Lewis and the News. It was campy, it was colorful, it was wacky, and it was just fun! I love silly shows (like this one) that don’t take themselves too seriously and focus on delivering a good time. I just wish we could have seen a bit more from some of the secondary characters that were intriguing but a little underused. 

Hell’s Kitchen (Sam S. Shubert Theatre)

Hell’s Kitchen was one of my most anticipated shows of the season after the rave reviews from the production at The Public, so I was shocked when I won lottery seats. While I enjoyed the show and thought it was good, it didn’t completely live up to my expectations. I will admit that the view from my seat was pretty obstructed so I probably did miss a few things, but I felt like the plot wasn’t very engaging and it was hard to buy into the characters’ arcs when their struggles became repetitive. I will say, however, that the show had some of the most impressive vocal performances I’ve seen. If you liked the overall vibe of MJ: The Musical and would love to Alicia Keys’s music performed on Broadway by insanely talented performers, this is a great show to see. If you’re looking for the most dynamic book this season, I do feel there are some stronger choices.

The Life and Slimes of Marc Summers (New World Stages)

I was a Disney kid growing up and never watched Double Dare. I probably wouldn’t have seen this show on my own, but one of my good friends had an extra comp ticket. I was promised interactive storytelling and a fun time, so I tagged along and didn’t regret it! The runtime clocks in at just about 75 minutes (from true start, not scheduled curtain) and is a complete burst of energy from start to finish. The show invites audience members on the stage for different physical activities and segments modeled after the original Double Dare show and weaves the fun in with Marc Summers’ personal struggles with OCD and a variety of other health conditions. I didn’t fully know who Marc Summers was before the show, but his life story was truly fascinating you could really see his passion fill the theatre as he was speaking, and especially as he was hosting the interactive segments. While the ending felt a little rushed, I had a really great time and it made for such a fun night out.

The Notebook (Schoenfeld Theatre)

Based on the Nicholas Sparks novel and the movie of the same title, The Notebook successfully joins its older siblings in delivering an experience that is equally heart-wrenching and life-affirming. The score and the acting combined make it an incredibly moving performance. I have to admit I had never read the original book, but audience members around me did and we all sobbed just the same. Bring the tissues, prepare for some incredible earworms, and stay tuned for a lengthier review here in a few weeks.


This season on Broadway has been jam-packed but delivered some incredible moments, songs, performances, and debuts. I, of course, have more shows lined up for May and am already starting to rank my picks for next season, so I’ll be back with more theatre reviews soon!

Have a terrific day!

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