Review Roundup: Hunter Foster, Megan Reinking & More in THE GRISWOLDS' BROADWAY VACATION

The reviews are in for the musical that has its eyes set on Broadway.

By: Sep. 26, 2022
Review Roundup: Hunter Foster, Megan Reinking & More in THE GRISWOLDS' BROADWAY VACATION
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The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation celebrated opening night at Seattle's 5th Avenue Theatre on September 22, 2022, and is now on stage through October 2, 2022. The production stars Hunter Foster as Clark Griswold and Megan Reinking as Ellen Griswold.

The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation features a book, music, and lyrics by David Rossmer and Steve Rosen (The Other Josh Cohen), and is directed and choreographed by Donna Feore (Seattle Rep's Bruce, Stratford Festival's Chicago). The Griswolds' Broadway Vacation is produced in association with Ken Davenport, Sandi Moran, TBD Theatricals, Jonathan and Rae Corr, Adam Riemer, and Scott Abrams.

They've been to Wally World, they've been to Vegas, and now the Griswolds are going to... Broadway! Yes, the characters you know and love from the hit Warner Bros. Vacation movies are back-and they're taking their biggest vacation yet. So, get in your family truckster and join Clark, Ellen, Audrey, and Rusty on their big New York City adventure-where of course, everything goes exactly according to plan.

Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased over the phone at 206-625-1900, online at, or in person at the Box Office at 1308 5th Avenue in Downtown Seattle.

Let's see what the critics have to say!

Jerald Pierce, Seattle Times: Part of me wonders how this show would play as a one-act, preserving its first-act momentum. It's a two-hour show with a 15-minute intermission, and an hour-and-45-minute show with no intermission isn't unreasonable. But that break, added on top of a slow start to Act 2 that allows Ellen, the emotional core of the show, to be put on the back burner, feels like it costs "Broadway Vacation" its cathartic climax. The music is there, with multiple songs still running through my head. The direction and choreography are there. Honestly, I've never laughed this much at any of the previous "Vacation" series properties. And surprisingly, the end of the show threatened to make me cry as well. I can't help but wonder what it would be like if it had succeeded.

Doug Bursch, The Moderate Voice: The creative team has put together an engaging comedy that really takes off in the second act. Instead of growing tiresome or boringly derivative, David Rossmer and Steve Rosen (Book, Music and Lyrics) create a show that takes time laying the groundwork for comedic and heartfelt relational payoffs. They also leave some of their best songs for the last hour, including giving brief but ridiculous humorous homage to Lin-Manuel Miranda's Hamilton musical stylings. My favorite song was the father/daughter duet "You Can Tell Me Anything (But You Don't Have to Tell Me Everything)." It is the perfect mix of beautiful music, beautiful voices and really strong story telling through song.

Matt Baume, The Stranger: When the show got truly absurd, I leaned forward in my seat. When Clark and Ellen mused about the nature of marriage, with hetero-upsetero dialogue that could have been transplanted from any episode of King of Queens or Modern Family, I had time to sit back and let my gaze wander over the production design. (It's very nice.) But maybe this isn't a show that wants me to lean forward. I get the sense that it's instead meant for the people it's about: straights from the suburbs who drove into Manhattan for a squeaky-clean time like it's Branson, Missouri. The producers intend to bring the show to Broadway in 2023, and without spoiling too much, I can't imagine any audience except one comprised entirely of tourists appreciating the final note, which is, essentially, "Fuck New York, let's go back to Skokie."

Jay Irwin, BroadwayWorld: The show by David Rossmer and Steve Rosen has several things going for it and a few huge things against it. Good news first. It's more fun than a trip to Wally World. The book is just plain funny with its many references to New York and its denizens, and the ridiculous antics the Griswolds' get up to. Most notably the bevy of Times Square character knock offs, whose number was one of the few good ones in the show, and the recurring gag of Rusty constantly turning potential disaster into success due to the fact that he's just a nice kid. And I must mention the hysterical fake Times Square signs from scenic designer Jason Sherwood. I'm sorry, but what was the name of that massage parlor? (Chef's kiss.) All that plus so many more great gags and some killer choreography from director and choreographer Donna Feore makes this show a lot of fun.

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