John & Jen OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • Opening Night:
    February 10, 2015
    Closing:
    April 4, 2015

    Theater: 37 Arts Theatre / 450 West 37th Street, New York, NY, 10018

    Synopsis: 

    Set against the background of a changing America between 1950 and 1990, John & Jen is an intimate musical about brothers and sisters and mothers and sons. It tells the story of Jen and her relationships with the two Johns of her life: her younger brother, and his namesake, her son. An early work from celebrated composer Andrew Lippa (The Wild Party, The Addams Family), John & Jen is a chamber musical about connections, commitments and the healing of the human heart.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF John & Jen

    John & Jen,’ a Revival Starring Kate Baldwin and Conor Ryan

    Ben Brantley

    March 1, 2015: Growing up isn’t easy. Just take a look at Richard Linklater’s Boyhood if you need reminding. But imagine how difficult it must be to do so — and I mean the hard part, from early childhood to the end of adolescence — in less than two hours, and in song, and in front of a live audience. That’s the task that’s been assigned to Kate Baldwin and Conor Ryan, the appealing stars (and entire cast) of the Keen Company’s 20th-anniversary revival of John & Jen, Andrew Lippa and Tom Greenwald’s blunt button pusher of a musical about changing times and a fraying family. Yet these agile performers find a beguiling grace in the ungainly process of fast-forward maturation. Mercifully, they also manage, whenever possible, to avoid getting stuck in the syrupy sticky patches with which the show lines their path. As the title characters in this Jonathan Silverstein production, which opened on Thursday night on Theater Row, Ms. Baldwin and Mr. Ryan must advance from being cute, loving siblings in the 1950s to political antagonists in the tumultuous ’60s, building a legacy of guilt along the way.

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