Musicals are supposed to raise your spirits and warm your heart, right? Not necessarily. And certainly not in the case of “The Scottsboro Boys,” the fearlessly inventive show about one of the most notorious episodes of racial injustice in America. It disturbs audiences as much as it entertains them.
Charles McNulty – LA Times
Case in point: In one of the most horrific cases of legal injustice in our history, The Scottsboro Boys currently playing at the Old Globe Theatre, accomplishes what it sets out to do and that is, reliving an American tragedy by turning a stage production into a foot stomping, invigorating musical.
Gwen Pierce – The Chocolate Voice
It’s rare that a show’s success can be calculated partly in cringes. But the discomfort that the Old Globe musical “The Scottsboro Boys” inspires is less a test of audience fortitude than a testament to the work’s artistic impact.
James Hebert – San Diego Union-Tribune
Leave it to Kander and Ebb to create The Scottsboro Boys, a monstrously humane musical in the guise of a minstrel show. After all, it’s what they are most famous for: taking headline news – the darker, the better – and turning it upside down inside out it with an unexpectedly entertaining structure.
Don Grigware – Grigware Blogspot
It is an important story and theater that deserves a large audience. Because lest we think the injustice of the Scottsboro trials and the minstrel era are relics of the past, vestiges remain in unlikely places.
Lynne Friedmann – Culture Vulture
Still, when music director/conductor Eric Ebbenga and the production’s nine-piece orchestra start playing and the cast start singing … and dancing to Stroman’s thrilling choreography, The Scottsboro Boys is as exciting as musical theater can get.
Steven Stanley – StageSceneLA
The songs are among the best Kander and Ebb wrote and they are given superlative performances by this ensemble cast.
Brian – OutWestArts
It’s a story that deserves to be told and perhaps with a little more savvy added to its script, a more in-depth exploration of its full cast of characters, and a lot more glitz and glamour, it will have a long-standing run on the regional circuit and finally do justice to the legacy of the nine Boys who most deserve it.
Donna Matsuda – The San Diego Drama King
But a highly-polished, extremely diverting, and great production of a very good musical is still a far cry better than the majority of crass, uninventive, forgettable and ridiculous new musicals of the last 25 years. I would much rather have The Scottsboro Boys as is than no Boys at all.
Tony Frankel – Stage and Cinema
It’s a joy to experience the riches of this sophisticated and uncommonly challenging tuner, which was apparently too unorthodox—and too disturbing—to click with mainstream Broadway audiences expecting less lacerating musical fare.
Les Spindle – Frontiers
The Old Globe’s production is one of the true highlights this season in San Diego and if you are anywhere within driving distance it’s a “must see musical.”
Ellen Dostal – Musicals in LA
Essentially, the play asks its audience to pay to feel uncomfortable. However, the major flaw of the production is that it does not make the audience feel uncomfortable enough.
Dan Johnson – Cinesnatch
THE SCOTTSBORO BOYS
Old Globe Theatre
Balboa Park, San Diego
7 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 8 p.m. Thursdays and Fridays, 2 and 8 p.m. Saturdays, 2 and 7 p.m. Sundays
Ends June 10, 2012
Tickets: Start at $39; (619) 234-5623
Running time: 1 hour, 50 minutes
About the Author: We don’t “review” shows here at the Lemon, rather we "review" reviews by gathering them from a variety of local review sites around the internet, judging them to be positive or negative, then forming an aggregate score that we call a LEMONMETER RATING, showing how well that show has been reviewed in total. For more detail on how the LemonMeter works visit here.