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Review Roundup: TITANIC Sets Sail at Encores!

Titanic will run through June 23 at New York City Center.

By: Jun. 12, 2024
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Titanic has sailed into New York City Center, closing the Encores! season this month. Check out what the critics are saying!

The star-studded cast of Encores! Titanic includes Ashley Blanchet (Kate Mullins), Adam Chanler-Berat (First Officer Murdoch), Chuck Cooper (Captain E.J. Smith), Eddie Cooper (Henry Etches), Lilli Cooper (Kate Murphey), Andrew Durand (Jim Farrell), Drew Gehling (Edgar Beane), Alex Joseph Grayson (Harold Bride), Ramin Karimloo (Frederick Barrett), Emilie Kouatchou (Caroline Neville), Judy Kuhn (Ida Straus), Jose Llana (Thomas Andrews), Bonnie Milligan (Alice Beane), Ari Notartomaso (Bellboy), Nathan Salstone (Fredrick Fleet), A.J. Shively (Charles Clarke), Brandon Uranowtiz (J. Bruce Ismay), Samantha Williams (Kate McGowan), and Chip Zien (Isador Straus). With Colin AndersonDaniel BeemanBrandon ContrerasAli EwoldtLeslie Donna FlesnerEvan HarringtonLeah HorowitzAmy JustmanMichael MaliakelTimothy McDevittGrace MorganKent OvershownLindsay RobertsMatthew Scott, and Daniel Torres.

Titanic features music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and book by Peter Stone. Titanic is based on the true story of the RMS Titanic, the "unsinkable" ship that tragically sank on its maiden voyage in 1912. The show follows the passengers and crew aboard the ship. The production originally opened on Broadway on April 23, 1997 and ran for 804 performances. It won five Tony Awards, including Best Musical.

 

Review Roundup: TITANIC Sets Sail at Encores!  Image Jesse Green, The New York Times: That tension between adventure and safety is what makes “Titanic” more than just a collection of tragic sketches. Perhaps a little baldly — Yeston’s lyrics are not as sophisticated as his music — he has Andrews (Jose Llana) say, in the show’s first words, that the liner he designed is part of mankind’s eternal attempt to “fabricate great works at once magnificent and impossible.” It’s a statement of hubris, of course: The show, after all, is about the human urge to dominate nature — and other humans — by whatever means necessary. Yet in art we can’t help relishing that hubris, if works like “Titanic” are the result.

Review Roundup: TITANIC Sets Sail at Encores!  Image Elysa Gardner, New York Stage Review: At first blush, Titanic might seem less ripe for either homage or re-exploration. Neither a cherished classic like Woods nor a spunky cult favorite like Mattress, this musical account of the great disaster of 1912—with music and lyrics by Maury Yeston and a book by Peter Stone—enjoyed a respectable run on Broadway back in the late 1990s, when the kind of pseudo-operatic pomp that had made The Phantom of the Opera and Les Misérables hits in the previous decade was still being mistaken for depth by many theatergoers. Titanic is certainly not unmarked by the self-seriousness and bombast its subject matter would seem to invite. But for those who missed its stint in Times Square, and haven’t spent much time with its score since (I’m guilty on both counts, I’ll admit), this new staging—which teams a sprawling, starry cast with a 30-piece orchestra—will prove nothing short of a revelation.

Review Roundup: TITANIC Sets Sail at Encores!  Image Steven Suskin, New York Stage Review: “In ev’ry age mankind attempts to fabricate great works at once magnificent, and impossible,” goes the opening lyric of the prologue. Which, in itself, serves as something of an epitaph for not only the RMS Titanic, but for the Yeston-Stone musical extravaganza. The opportunity to hear this score in full throttle is not to be overlooked.

Review Roundup: TITANIC Sets Sail at Encores!  Image Jackson McHenry, Vulture: I wish I could say that Titanic, shorn of all its special effects, is a musical with great bones just waiting to be rediscovered, but that turns out not to be the case. The result is more of a pageant — occasionally stirring, but more often than not idling in stasis. The lack of propulsion may begin with Stone’s book, which takes a dutifully thorough, emotionally uncompelling approach to the tragedy.

Review Roundup: TITANIC Sets Sail at Encores!  Image Harry Haun, Observer: By all means, get those tickets. Here’s hoping you’re not the guy rushing on stage, bags in hand, as the Titanic has left Southampton, railing that he will be “the laughingstock of Poughkeepsie. If that isn’t the story of my entire goddamn life!”

Review Roundup: TITANIC Sets Sail at Encores!  Image Johnny Oleksinki, The New York Post: And now for the elephant — or, well, the ship — in the room: Should this “Titanic” have a future life like Encores’ “Into the Woods” and “Parade” did? Seemingly every production in this series creates Broadway buzz now, whether it’s deserved or not. But “Titanic,” directed by Anne Kauffman, is not the sort of staging that would make sense in a sit-down a few blocks away. This concert is constructed, as it should be, to grandly showcase the blissful score. I’d love to see “Titanic” back on Broadway. But this one should live out the rest of its days on 55th Street.

Review Roundup: TITANIC Sets Sail at Encores!  Image
Average Rating: 78.3%


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