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"SMILE" the Musical

Nancy Bowman
"SMILE" the Musical#26
Posted: 5/18/19 at 1:33am

"SMILE!" Music by Marvin Hamlisch with Book & Lyrics by Howard Ashman

Connelly Theater

220 East 4th Street, NY, NY 10009 (at Ave. A)

Show runs May 17-25 at 7pm (No show Mon, May 20). 

May 18/19 & May 25/26 – 1 or 2p

$35 ticket

917-830-KIDZ (5439)


Kidz Theater is composed of teen performers 13-18 working on their craft who come from Broadway, Hollywood, West End, LaGuardia, PPAS High School... (Ben Platt was a member of KT before "Dear Evan Hansen".

Smile, which features music by Marvin Hamlisch and book and lyrics by Howard Ashman, is "a satirical portrait that follows the intrigue and exploits onstage and behind-the-scenes as Santa Rosa, California plays host to the Young American Miss Pageant."

Songs from the Hamlisch-Ashman score include “Disneyland," "Smile," "In Our Hands," "Very Best Week of Your Lives" and "Dear Mom."

Smile is rarely performed. It opened Nov. 24, 1986, at Broadway’s Lunt-Fontanne Theatre and closed after 48 performances.  Marvin Hamlisch was so devastated, the show was never performed again until after his passing.

From the NYTimes review in 1986: 

The endearing passion to be found in ''Smile,'' has little to do with beauty pageants, nubile teen-age girls, corrupted American values or any other subject that the show keeps claiming to be about. What clearly drives Howard Ashman, the author of the book and lyrics, and Marvin Hamlisch, the composer, is their deep affection for the lighthearted musical comedies of their youth - during the form's last, pre-rock-and-roll gasp of the late 1950's and early 1960's. In ''Smile,''....there are many worse reasons to put on a show than sheer love of the musical's happier past.


"SMILE" the Musical#27
Posted: 5/18/19 at 10:41am
Actually, the Pittsburgh CLO put on a production of Smile with their high school students a year or two ago. I agree that the satire is a bit too on-the-nose and the book is weaker than the rest of the show, but I really did have fun watching it. It’s very feel-good, very memorable. Aside from a couple songs though, I wouldn’t call it very notable.
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Broadway Legend
Broadway Legend
"SMILE" the Musical#28
Posted: 5/18/19 at 4:19pm

I wonder if Smile is in consideration for Encores! at some point.

Broadway Star
Broadway Star
"SMILE" the Musical#29
Posted: 5/24/19 at 10:48am

I took the advice of the poster above and saw the production being done in the Lower East Side right now at the Connelly Theater and had a blast! Those performers were incredibly talented and the show feels incredibly resonant today. You wouldn't believe some of these lines were written decades ago and not last week. If you are curious in seeing  little slice of theater history in a way that we might not ever fully see again in NYC get yourselves to the Connelly Theater on E. 4th betweeh Ave. A and B. They have a show tonight at 7pm and two shows Saturday and a closing show Sunday at 1pm. I got my ticket at kidztheater.org/tickets. 


Truly enjoyable! Had a blast seeing photos from their past shows on their website as well!