Broadway’s brand new musical has now officially opened – but what have critics had to say about it?

(c)Matthew Murphy and Evan Zimmerman

The Guardian: *** “The overall tone for this two-hour show, directed by Jack O’Brien, careens from sweet to saucy, clever to puerile. It is consciously, with chummy self-awareness, trying to entertain – an exaggerated, though good-natured, send-up of tropes about the rural midwest (the costume design by Tilly Grimes emphasizes denim patches, scenic design by Scott Pask effectively cocoons the whole production within the world’s least rain-proof barn) that winks so hard it might pull a muscle.”

Variety: “Minus stars and featuring a new Broadway composing team and an original book, this old-pro production is a throwback to the joys of lightweight musical comedy: where fresh talent is discovered, songs are catchy, jokes are plentiful and characters are appealing, fun and sweetly simple.”

The New York Times: “O’Brien’s staging is deliberately old-fashioned, filled with simple effects and modest outlays meant to match the content but that somehow undershoot the mark. Tilly Grimes’s costumes, though apt enough, look as if they were thrifted. Sarah O’Gleby’s choreography reaches its zenith right at the start, and not even with humans: A mini-kickline of plastic corncob Rockettes slays.”

Time Out: **** “While the lyrics sometimes lack the rigor of the best Broadway songwriting—the word “Tampa” is forced into shotgun rhymes with “camera,” “plasma” and “extravaganza”—the songs mostly hit the spot, and the show knows how to sell them. Director Jack O’Brien and choreographer Sarah O’Gleby set the show’s winking tone in an opening number that nods to Michael Bennett and Tommy Tune, and roll out the barrels later on for the Seven Brides for Seven Brothers–style showstopper “The Best Man Wins.” “

Deadline: “Shucked is chock full, and then chocked some more, with intentional groaners and laugh-despite-yourself bits of Dad Joke wordplay and homespun life lessons, many coming from Beau’s dimwitted brother Peanut (Monarch‘s Kevin Cahoon).”

New York Post: “All you think about at “Shucked” is what a terrific time you’re having. Nothing corny about that.”

Entertainment Weekly: “It’s too soon to tell if Shucked has staying power as a Broadway musical, but its refreshing embrace of diversity and unapologetically corny sincerity can definitely put a smile on your face.”

The Wrap: “Jack O’Brien directs with a sure-hand, but even his vast stage expertise (three Tonys to his credit) can’t paste over a major gap between the book by Horn and the score by Brandy Clark and Shane McAnally. The two Grammy Award-winning songwriters have written some lovely country-western tunes, the best of them being “I’ll Be Okay,” sung with a twang in his heart by Durand. There’s a nice role-reversal here, since it’s the kind of tune that’s generally sung by the female lead who has been mistreated by some male sexist pig. What’s not communicated here or anywhere else in the many “Shucked” songs is Horn’s delight in jerking around the English language. Did he and the two songwriters ever meet to hear what the other was doing?” “Shucked’s standouts, as in so many musical comedies, are its supporting roles. McAnally and Clark have written a few lovely if unmemorable earnest songs for Maizy and Beau, but the music and book writing rev up when they turn to the characters around them. Alex Newell, playing Maizy’s corn-whiskey-distiller cousin Lulu, gets a barn- and hair-raising solo that’s designed to give Newell a chance to stop the show with their belting, which they do.”

To find out more about the musical visit:


%d bloggers like this: