The Burnt Part Boys OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

  • NY TIMES

  • NY POST

  • DAILY NEWS

  • TM

  • BACKSTAGE

Opening Night:
May 25, 2010
Closing:
June 13, 2010

Theater: Playwrights Horizons / 416 West 42nd Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

Playwrights Horizons and the Vineyard Theatre co-produce the new musical The Burnt Part Boys, by Mariana Elder, Chris Miller, and Nathan Tysen. Direction and musical staging is by Joe Calarco. Rural West Virginia, 1962. Fourteen year-old Pete's fighting to claim his past. His older brother Jake's hoping to forge a future. With its soaring, elegiac score and eclectic band of youngsters teetering on the brink of adulthood, this inspirational new musical from an acclaimed new team finds both the streaks of light and the heart of darkness within us all.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF The Burnt Part Boys

    Mining Families Must Pick Up Life’s Pieces in a Disaster’s Tuneful Aftermath

    Charles Isherwood

    May 26, 2010: Titles are not everything, but they are not nothing, either. “A Streetcar Named Desire” would be a great play even if Tennessee Williams had stuck with the original handle, but “The Poker Night” doesn’t really sing, does it? Neither does “The Burnt Part Boys,” the clunky downer of a name affixed to the new musical that opened on Tuesday night at Playwrights Horizons in a co-production with the Vineyard Theater. This small flaw is not, unfortunately, the only one made by the creators of this warm-spirited and family-friendly but dramatically static new show about the surviving sons of a coal miner killed in a West Virginia mining accident.

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  • NY POST REVIEW OF The Burnt Part Boys

    Son's coal-fired journey a heavy trip

    Elisabeth Vincentelli

    May 27, 2010: The characters of "The Burnt Part Boys" walk a long and winding road. This being theater, you may think this is a metaphor -- but no, there's an actual trek involved. And it goes on and on and on.

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  • NEW YORK DAILY NEWS REVIEW OF The Burnt Part Boys

    The Burnt Part Boys

    Joe Dziemianowicz

    May 26, 2010: Set in coal country in 1962, "The Burnt Part Boys" is a warm-hearted, coming-of-age musical about a mining family that boasts a stirring bluegrass score. The action follows a handful of West Virginia teenagers left fatherless by a mountain mining collapse and fire 10 years earlier.

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  • THEATERMANIA REVIEW OF The Burnt Part Boys

    The Burnt Part Boys

    Andy Propst

    May 26, 2010: The potential for the new musical The Burnt Part Boys, now being presented at Playwrights Horizons (in a co-production with the Vineyard Theatre), to sear into theatergoers' hearts is staggering. So it's sad to report that the tuner is merely a quaintly wan echo of familiar and more successful coming-of-age stories.

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  • BACKSTAGE REVIEW OF The Burnt Part Boys

    The Burnt Part Boys

    David Sheward

    May 25, 2010: The elements are all there for a moving little musical, but "The Burnt Part Boys," jointly presented by Playwrights Horizons and Vineyard Theatre at the former's Off-Broadway home, is buried in a cave-in of sentiment. Set in 1962 in rural West Virginia, it tells the story of 14-year-old Pete Twitchell, whose father and 11 other miners were killed in an accident 10 years earlier. When he learns that the mountain that collapsed on his dad—called "the burnt part" by the townspeople—is to be reopened for business, Pete sets out on a desperate quest to prevent defilement of his father's grave by blowing up the entrance with dynamite stolen from his older brother, a newly promoted foreman for the mining company his father worked for. Accompanied by his nerdy best friend Dustin and the tomboyish Frances, Pete makes a "Stand by Me" journey into manhood and is visited by the fantasy figures of Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie, and Sam Houston from his favorite movie, "The Alamo."

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  • CURTAIN UP REVIEW OF The Burnt Part Boys

    The Burnt Part Boys

    Elyse Sommer

    May 26, 2010: After serving as the seedbed for a major Broadway musical hit, The Twenty-Fifth Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Reviews), Barrington Stage's ever adventurous artistic director Julianne Boyd has collaborated with the Bee's composer and lyricist William Finn for another adventure: a musical theater laboratory for nurturing the young artists we need to keep the musical theater vibrant. To launch the first BSC Musical Theatre Lab, Finn and Boyd have mounted The Burnt Part Boys with a book by Mariana Elder, music by Chris Miller and lyrics by Nathan Tysen, all Finn's former NYU graduate students.

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