Review Roundup: Critics Weigh In On Paper Mill's MY VERY OWN BRITISH INVASION
Paper Mill Playhouse's world premiere of My Very Own British Invasion with book by Tony award-winner Rick Elice is now on stafe. My Very Own British Invasion will continue through Sunday, March 3, 2019, at Paper Mill Playhouse.
Directed and choreographed by Jerry Mitchell (Kinky Boots, Paper Mill's Half Time), and with music direction by Lon Hoyt (On Your Feet!), the principal cast will feature newcomer Jonny Amies as Peter, Bryan Fenkart (Waitress) as John, Erika Olson(Beautiful: The Carole King Musical) as Pamela, Kyle Taylor Parker (Kinky Boots) as Gino, Conor Ryan (Desperate Measures) as Trip, John Sanders (Groundhog Day) as Fallon, and Daniel Stewart Sherman (Kinky Boots) as The Hammer. They will be joined by Travis Artz, Gemma Baird, John Campione, Emma Degerstedt, Trista Dollison, Jay Donnell,Graham Scott Fleming, Douglas Goodhart, Cory Jeacoma, Sage Melcher, Jen Perry, and Daniel Yearwood.
This world-premiere musical tells a fable of young love, set against the backdrop of the exploding 1960s music scene - when England launched the little dustup that became known as the British Invasion. Based on the experiences of Peter Noone of Herman's Hermits, who was just a teenager willing to sacrifice international stardom for the sake of girl he loves, the show features more than two dozen chart-topping hits from all the best British bands of the era.
The production team includes scenic design by David Rockwell, costume design by Gregg Barnes, lighting design by Kenneth Posner, sound design byAndrew Keister, projection design by Andrew Lazarow, and hair and wig design by Josh Marquette. The production stage manager is Tripp Phillips.
Let's see what the critics have to say! Check back for more reviews!
Elisabeth Vincentelli, The New York Times: Mr. Elice, who has penned two of the smarter jukebox musicals in "Jersey Boys" and "The Cher Show," seems to have misplaced his customary craftsmanship. Even his jokes land flat, most painfully those associated with Fallon (John Sanders), the talent manager whose fondness for cutesy acronyms (Trip and Pamela are said to be LAME - "Lustful And Mercilessly Entertaining") serves as a lone character trait. Mr. Mitchell's direction and choreography are similarly stuck at half-speed.
Deb Miller, DC Metro Theatre Arts: Fans of the British beat of the '60s will relish hearing their favorite pop classics recreated live on stage in My Very Own British Invasion at Paper Mill Playhouse. And if that's not enough, or if you can't make it to NJ before the end of the four-week run, those who number among his devoted following of "Noonatics" can catch the real Peter Noone himself singing the songs he made famous on his 2019 concert tour through the UK, US, and Canada with Herman's Hermits.
Patrick Maley, NJ.com: At one point, Trip holds forth about the essential sexiness of rock and roll, and certainly he is correct: the forces behind the British Invasion or any other movement in rock history are fundamentally visceral. Celebrating those forces with a flatly written and slickly produced musical seems wrongheaded from the start, a bad idea that "My Very Own British Invasion" only worsens on stage.
Marina Kennedy, BroadwayWorld: My Very Own British Invasion accomplishes everything that a musical should. The story, the music, the dancing, and the staging all come together to captivate and entertain. See it while it is being performed at Paper Mill Playhouse. Our compliments to Producing Artistic Director, Mark S. Hoebee and Managing Director, Michael Stotts for continuing to bring metropolitan audiences the very best in new theatre.
Bobby McGuire, The Broadway Blog: If the past two decades on Broadway have taught us anything, it's that not all jukebox bio musicals are created equal. For every Jersey Boys, there is a Lennon. For every Beautiful, there is a Ring of Fire. Unfortunately, for all the chart-topping hits included in My Very Own British Invasion, the evening ends up feeling like Henry VIII's marriage to the widow next door. It's been done seven times before - and better. Despite the pedigree of talent involved, My Very Own British Invasion fails to capture the flag.
Karen Nowosad, Let's Go To The Theatre: The music has a score that is chock full of songs from the era of the British Invasion. Lon Hoyt provides Music Supervision and Arrangements. Orchestrations are by Francisco Centeno, Clint De Ganon, John Putman, and Lon Hoyt. Together, they play 25 songs from the 60's. The music corresponds well to action taking place on stage.