Tuck Everlasting BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Sara Krulwich
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • DEADLINE

  • HR

  • EW

Opening Night:
April 26, 2016
Closing:
May 29, 2016

Theater: Broadhurst Theatre / 235 West 44th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

A young girl dreaming of adventure meets a family with a fascinating secret. Their chance encounter will change them all forever. Take an exhilarating journey you’ll never forget in this new musical about everlasting love, never-ending life, and discovering what it means to truly feel alive.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF Tuck Everlasting

    ‘Tuck Everlasting,’ a Lyrical Meditation on Life, Death and Immortality

    Charles Isherwood

    April 26, 2016: Family-friendly musicals on Broadway generally come in just one flavor: flashy. Enter “Tuck Everlasting,” a warm-spirited and piercingly touching musical that has nothing flashy or splashy about it. The nearest this small-scale production comes to the kind of spectacle we associate with kiddie bait is a toad hopping across the stage. Based on the popular children’s book by Natalie Babbitt, the musical, which opened on Tuesday at the Broadhurst Theater, has been deftly adapted by Claudia Shear (“Dirty Blonde”) and Tim Federle and features a winning, varied score by Chris Miller (music) and Nathan Tysen (lyrics). A little surprisingly, the show is directed and choreographed by Casey Nicholaw, who specializes in the kind of musicals “Tuck Everlasting” very much is not: the razzle-dazzly “Aladdin”; the exuberantly vulgar “The Book of Mormon”; and last season’s anything-for-a-laugh Elizabethan spoof, “Something Rotten!” (Remarkably, he now has four musicals running on Broadway.) Mr. Nicholaw does let loose in a couple of rousing numbers led by the show’s mysterious villain, a carnival worker, with high-kicking dancers swirling and strutting across the stage; you can almost feel his delight in getting to flex the muscles he’s most often used. But he also evinces a natural feel for the tender emotional core of the material and even its layers of mildly dark philosophical inquiry. Yes, I did just use the phrase “philosophical inquiry” in reference to a Broadway musical aimed at the family crowd. “Tuck Everlasting” rings a variation on the fountain of youth myth, ultimately asking what life would mean if it never ended, and whether a never-ending life would be worth living.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF Tuck Everlasting

    'Tuck Everlasting' Theater review

    David Cote

    April 26, 2016: At the dramatic crux of "Tuck Everlasting," a 102-year-old man trapped in a 17-year-old body asks an 11-year-old girl to wait six years until she’s legal, at which point she will drink from a magical spring and spend the rest of eternity as his never-aging teen lover. If you can ride out the ick factor of that premise and stay engaged, well, you’re not alone. Natalie Babbitt’s best-selling 1975 young-adult novel has been filmed twice, and now it returns as an earnest, somewhat attenuated musical. But if Andrew Keenan-Bolger and child actor Sarah Charles Lewis pull off their parts and still retain wide-eyed likability, that’s a testament to something enduring. "Tuck Everlasting" revolves around Winnie Foster (Lewis), a restless girl living in sleepy Treegap, New Hampshire, circa 1893 (we know because Winnie helpfully sings the year in a lyric). In the woods near Winnie’s home, there is a spring that makes you live forever if you drink from it. The secret beneficiaries of this fountain of youth are members of the Tuck family: father Angus (Michael Park), mother Mae (Carolee Carmello) and brothers Jesse and Miles (Keenan-Bolger and Robert Lenzi, respectively). They drank from it in 1808, and now, decades later, the clan reunites for a second round. Winnie stumbles upon Jesse midsip, and they soon become friends, until the rest of the Tucks fear for their safety from this outsider. Also prowling around is the Man in the Yellow Suit (Terrence Mann), a weird and mincing carnival barker in search of the mystical waters. (There are faint echoes of Ray Bradbury’s "Something Wicked This Way Comes" in the basic story.) Winnie’s widowed mother reports her daughter missing, which sends Constable Joe (Fred Applegate) and meek deputy Hugo (Michael Wartella) on her trail.

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  • DEADLINE REVIEW OF Tuck Everlasting

    ‘Tuck Everlasting – The Musical’ Won’t Grow Up; Won’t Crow, Either

    Jeremy Gerard

    April 26, 2016: Immortality, like Krazy Glue, styrofoam and the two-party system, sounds like a fine idea — until you find your fingers stuck together under a mountain of landfill with Donald Trump running for President. The premise of Natalie Babbitt’s 1975 YA novel was that in an earlier century, a rural New Hampshire family of Tucks drank from a spring whose waters set them in time forever: Ma and Pa Tuck in mid-parenthood; Miles and Jesse Tuck as older and younger brother, respectively. When teenage Jesse (who by now is in fact 104) encounters pre-teen local lass Winnie Foster in the woods one day, friendship blooms, and possibly love. Jesse and his family reluctantly share their secret. Winnie has a coming-of-age experience denied her would-be beau. Emotional landfill piles up all around. And what about the creepy guy in the yellow suit, skulking around with larceny in his narrowed eyes? Between the time "Tuck Everlasting" was published and 2002, when Disney turned a sentimental story into simple syrup, Harry Potter happened, changing, probably forever, adult ideas of what children wanted to read. Sure, Roald Dahl did a pretty fine job of that well before J.K. Rowling, but not on the global HP scale, in which children by the millions lined up for the latest installment of a story that challenged them to become immersed in long, twisty narratives combining fantasies of good and evil with the everyday tribulations of being a kid. All of which is my circuitous way of avoiding the mostly depressing task of writing about the latest Tuck family visit, in the form of a Broadway musical so treacly you may leave the Broadhurst Theatre wanting to kick a puppy.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF Tuck Everlasting

    The title of this glorified children's theater production may not prove prophetic.

    Frank Scheck

    April 26, 2016: A new musical adapted from Natalie Babbitt's 1975 fantasy novel (which became a 2002 Disney film) is the latest show to arrive on Broadway under the assumption that the appetite for theatrical fare geared to children and their well-heeled parents is limitless. The story of an 11-year-old girl encountering a family in the woods who seem perfectly normal except that they're immortal,"Tuck Everlasting" is a sweet concoction that feels in over its head amidst the flashier delights of "Wicked" and "Matilda," among many others. Although the show, which premiered last year at Atlanta's Alliance Theatre, boasts solid production values and professionalism thanks to director-choreographer Casey Nicholaw and a cast filled with Broadway veterans, it's likely destined for an all too finite life on the Great White Way. The young heroine of the story set in 1893 is 11-year-old Winnie (Sarah Charles Lewis), who lives with her overprotective widowed mother (Valerie Wright) and tart-tongued grandmother (Pippa Pearthree). One day a carnival barker, the Man in the Yellow Suit (Terrence Mann), appears to announce the arrival of a traveling fair. When Winnie's mother forbids her to go, the rebellious girl runs off into the woods, where she nearly takes a drink from a spring but is stopped by a teenage boy. He's 17-year-old Jesse Tuck (Andrew Keenan-Bolger), who lives in the woods along with his parents Mae (Carolee Carmello) and Angus (Michael Park) and his 21-year-old brother Miles (Robert Lenzi).

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  • ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY REVIEW OF Tuck Everlasting

    'Tuck Everlasting' Stage review

    Melissa Rose Bernardo

    April 26, 2016: There’s one salient takeaway from Tuck Everlasting, the lackluster new Broadway musical based on Natalie Babbitt’s beloved 1975 children’s novel, and it has to do with wardrobe: You can’t trust a man dressed in yellow. Of course, as soon as we see the Man in the Yellow Suit ("Les Miserables’" original Javert, Terrence Mann) — imagine Jim Carrey’s "The Mask" costume, sans green face, with a late-19th-century twist — we know he’s the villain. He might as well be twirling a mustache and shooting up a saloon. But just to emphasize his nefarious nature, and, let’s be honest, to get a few much-needed laughs, songwriters Chris Miller and Nathan Tysen (2010’s Off-Broadway mining musical "The Burnt Part Boys") have devoted an entire vaudeville-esque number to the devious golden hue, delivered by comic-relief characters Constable Joe (Fred Applegate) and aspiring deputy Hugo (Michael Wartella). “A man who is fondest/of suits that are jaundiced/puts the yolk on him and the joke on you,” deadpans Joe. You’ll groan… but you’ll chuckle. "Tuck Everlasting" is a beautifully drawn, evocative tale about an eternal-life-giving spring, the trapped-in-time family who drank from it, and a curious young girl who stumbles upon both. Little wonder it’s been made into movies twice. Who doesn’t love a plucky preteen protagonist? Plus: magic water. Yet on stage, this fantasy-driven story remains stubbornly earthbound.

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