Reviews: What Critics Are Saying About Broadway's The Heart of Rock and Roll | Playbill

The Verdict Reviews: What Critics Are Saying About Broadway's The Heart of Rock and Roll

The musical follows Bobby, a Chicagoan whose failed band leads to him returning to corporate America.

Corey Cott and McKenzie Kurtz in The Heart of Rock and Roll Matthew Murphy

The Heart of Rock and Roll, a new musical inspired by the music of Huey Lewis and The News, officially opened on Broadway at the James Earl Jones Theatre April 22, and the reviews are rocking and rolling in! The production began previews March 29.

The Heart of Rock and Roll has a book by Jonathan A. Abrams and a score of Huey Lewis hits, including “The Heart of Rock and Roll,” “Hip to be Square,” “Power of Love,” “Do You Believe in Love?,” “If This Is It,” “Doing It All for My Baby,” “Stuck with You,” "I Want a New Drug,” “It’s Alright,” and “Heart and Soul.”

The musical follows Bobby, a Chicagoan whose failed band leads to him returning to corporate America. While working, he meets his boss, Cassandra, who has also traded in her personal life for a professional one. Together, the two realize their dreams when Bobby gets another shot at stardom and Cassandra is up for the CEO job.

Read the reviews below.

CitiTour (Brian Scott Lipton)

Chicago Tribune (Chris Jones)

Digital Journal (Markos Papadatos)

New York Stage Review (David Finkle)

The New York Sun (Elysa Gardner) *

The New York Post (Johnny Oleksinski)

New York Theatre Guide (Gillian Russo)

New York Theater (Jonathan Mandell)

The New York Times (Elisabeth Vincentelli) *

Theatrely (Joey Sims)

Theatermania (Kenji Fujishima)

Vulture (Jackson McHenry)

Winningham Writes (Madie Winningham)

The Wrap (Robert Hofler)

*This review may require creating a free account or a paid subscription.

Playbill will continue to update this list as reviews come in.

The cast is led by Corey Cott (Newsies) and McKenzie Kurtz (Wicked) starring as Bobby and Cassandra, respectively, with Josh Breckenridge (Come From Away) as Wyatt, F. Michael Haynie (Wicked) as Glenn, Zoe Jensen (Six) as Paige, Tamika Lawrence (Caroline or Change) as Roz, Raymond J. Lee (Sweeney Todd) as JJ, John-Michael Lyles (A Strange Loop) as Eli, Orville Mendoza (Swept Away) as Fjord, Billy Harrigan Tighe (Pippin) as Tucker, and John Dossett (Wicked) as Stone.

The ensemble features Mike Baerga, Tommy Bracco, TyNia René Brandon, Olivia Cece, Taylor Marie Daniel, Autumn Gazzardi, Lindsay Joan, Ross Lekites, Robin Masella, Michael Olaribigbe, Kevin Pariseau, and Robert Pendilla. Joe Moeller, Jennifer Noble, Fredric Rodriguez Odgaard, and Leah Read round out the company as swings.

With a story by Tyler Mitchell and Abrams, the production is directed by Gordon Greenberg, who has been attached for the entirety of the musical's public development. Music supervision, arrangements, and orchestrations are by Brian Usifer with choreography by Lorin Latarro.

The production also features music direction by Will Van Dyke, scenic design by Derek McLane, costume design by Jen Caprio, lighting design by Japhy Weideman, sound design by John Shivers, casting by Tara Rubin Casting's Peter Van Dam, and hair, wig, and makeup design by Nikiya Mathis. Justin Scribner serves as production stage manager.

Tyler Mitchell, Hunter Arnold, and Kayla Greenspan lead the producing team, alongside co-producers Chuck Schwab, Curt Cronin, John Joseph, Brad Freeman, Whitney Kiely Moehle, Nederlander Presentations, Stephens Brothers Productions, Gary & Marcia Nelson, Michael Wilsey Family, Mickey Gooch, Jr., HLX Invest Co, Dagley Pottruck Productions, Primary Wave Music, Ken Siebel, Badlamp Productions, and Will Meldman.


Photos: The Heart of Rock and Roll on Broadway

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