There's a brand-new show on the Broad way and it is giving you a quintessential classic New York take!
New York, New York, written by David Thompson with Sharon Washington (co-writer) and music by John Kander and Fred Ebb (with additional lyrics also by the legendary Lin Manuel Miranda!) takes us back to the complex and challenging times of the late 1940s when World War II had just ended but the civil rights movement had yet to begin. While set in this unprecedented time, New York, New York reminds us that New York has, well, always been New York; A city where dreams are made of and where the most two unlikely people may fall in love. "Music, Money, and Love" is all our main character, Jimmy Doyle (played by the effortless Colton Ryan) is after but for some reason, these three things are the most challenging for him to obtain. Is it because he's Irish?! It isn't until the talented and breathtaking Francine Evans (played by the fierce, and I mean FIERCE Anna Uzele) comes along that he thinks he may have found one of those things..
The songs in this musical could be considered new classics! While of course, some of them already are (the song “New York, New York” obviously) it is music fitting for the times but also feels so fresh and current to today's Broadway stages.
Speaking of stages, the set designed by Beewulf Boritt was very well done. Mimicking many vignettes and streets of our city (minus the rats! :D ) Donna Zakowska also did well-executing costumes for this period while keeping them fresh and interesting for today’s eye! (I lowkey wanted one of those raincoats I peeped in a later scene :D).
The entire cast was great. I of course already mentioned Colton and Anna but I, too want to give a shout-out to John Clay and Angel Sigala for slaying in their respective parts. This is John Clay’s second time on a Broadway stage (previously in Choir Boy) and Angel’s Broadway debut! I thoroughly enjoyed both their performances and Angel as Mateo is a STAR!
The cast also does well in mirroring New York’s “melting pot”. Fulfilling many of our multicultural boxes including Japanese, Irish, Black, and Hispanic representation! And everyone sang down! There was even an opera moment! (Was that you Allison Blackwell?!) Shout out also to the legendary Alvin Hough Jr. for his music direction!
All in all, our REAL reaction is that we enjoyed this musical! Of course, over here at Realemn we would have loved to see a Jay-Z/Alicia Keys Empire State of Mind version of this but of course, we appreciate the classic take on our beloved city.
We were reminded by this new musical, that even in our struggles and booked and busyness in these NYC streets, for love and our dreams "You don't give up on New York." And that is so REAL! Go check it out, y'all!