Kimberly Akimbo Broadway Reviews


Rate Kimberly Akimbo

Critics' Reviews


Kimberly Akimbo Skates Uptown, Anagrams Intact

From: Vulture | By: Jackson McHenry | Date: 11/10/2022

In the Broadway run, that sun shines brighter and clearer- the show-choir costumes are shinier, Danny Mefford's choreography has more room for ice-skating action, and set designer David Zinn has even deployed a revolve, though, delightfully, it's used only to turn a dinner table. You miss the closeness to the actors, since director Jessica Stone has done such lovely work in getting the cast to capture the micro-grimaces of high-school awkwardness, but the essential delicacy of the show is intact.


‘Kimberly Akimbo’ is the only reason to go back to high school

From: Broadway News | By: Brittani Samuel | Date: 11/10/2022

The musical, adapted by Lindsay-Abaire from his 2001 play, premiered to acclaim off-Broadway in 2021 at Atlantic Theater Company. On Broadway, Clark resurrects her quasi-progeric character with such delicate honesty, you believe there may just be a teenage psyche in her older-than-teenage body. A Tony Award winner, Clark is an exceptional actor with a firm grasp on Lindsay-Abaire's throughline. Her singing is equally divine, but rarely on full display here. Her soprano itches to soar, yet it's subdued into a chest voice/head voice/chest voice dance when wrapped around the youthful, electronic score from Tesori (who penned the music and co-wrote the lyrics with book writer Abaire). And yet, that's okay. Whatever we lose in the stereotypically show-stoppy belt of an 11-o'clock number is more than made up for with the emotional depths of songs like "Before I Go" or the heartwarming "Hello, Sister." Director Jessica Stone clearly allowed for sheer play in rehearsal in order for each actor to find the perfect voice lilts, exaggerations or face scrunches to rip both sad and happy tears out of a crowd.


KIMBERLY AKIMBO, Broadway’s Miracle Child — Review

From: Theatrely | By: Juan A. Ramirez | Date: 11/10/2022

Now at the Booth Theatre after what felt like a lifetime of anticipation, it arrives on Broadway not only unscathed, but even better, proving itself one of the greatest musicals of our time, and something close to a miracle.


'Kimberly Akimbo' review — Victoria Clark and a talented ensemble shine in letter-perfect musical

From: New York Theatre Guide | By: Joe Dziemianowicz | Date: 11/10/2022

She's back! Following an Off-Broadway run that wrapped in January, Kimberly Akimbo is now in residence at the Booth Theatre with the original cast and every bit of its wondrous quirkiness intact. In fact, the show is more polished and endearing than before. Anyone (including myself) who fears this charmer might get swallowed up in a Broadway house can rest easy. The show, created by David Lindsay-Abaire (book and lyrics) and Jeanine Tesori (music), has found the ideal home.


Review | Great adventure with ‘Kimberly Akimbo’

From: AMNY | By: Matt Windman | Date: 11/10/2022

"Kimberly Akimbo" is a feel-good show that acknowledges feelings of heartbreak, nausea, and discord. It brings to mind "Fun Home," which also has music by Tesori, is based on unlikely source material, and explores an unconventional family and a pained adolescence. It honors the Sondheim dictum of "content dictates form," creating a work that is well-integrated, fresh, quirky, and heartfelt, but not flashy or over-the-top. The bittersweet ending (driving off into the sunset on a road trip, even as the end is near) is particularly effective and affecting.


Kimberly Akimbo

From: Time Out New York | By: Adam Feldman | Date: 11/10/2022

Clever, touching and idiosyncratic, Kimberly Akimbo was the best new musical of 2021, when it premiered Off Broadway at the Atlantic. The dark absurdist comedy of Lindsay-Abaire's original play-reminiscent of Christopher Durang, John Guare and the playwright's own Fuddy Meers-remains, but it is tempered by the addition of Tesori's winding, agile melodies and a geek chorus of four students (Olivia Elease Hardy, Fernell Hogan, Nina White and Michael Iskander) twined in a daisy chain of frustrated romance. In the hands of these gifted writers, material that might have been rendered as merely zany has human and forgiving dimensions, and the score finds sneaky ways to break your heart even as it maintains a general air of cheer. (Kimberly's establishing number, known in showtune lingo as her "I Want" song, is literally a letter to the Make-a-Wish Foundation.)



From: New York Stage Review | By: Sandy MacDonald | Date: 11/10/2022

Will success spoil Kimberly Akimbo? That concern inevitably accompanied the announcement of the show's well-deserved transfer to Broadway. Those of us who saw the intimate Atlantic Theatre production a year ago became instant loyalists, reluctant to see this exquisite, peculiar work pumped up for the masses. Good news: Everything is bigger and brighter, and lands even better. It's still a tender, hilarious character study, but playwright David Lindsay-Abaire (the book is based on his 2001 play), composer Jeanine Tesori (Fun Home and more), and director Jessica Stone have tinkered with it cleverly to broaden its appeal.



From: New York Stage Review | By: Bob Verini | Date: 11/10/2022

This show is, in a word, a honey. How refreshing to get an unabashedly good-hearted musical that again and again affirms two simple truths: that we're all more alike than we are different, and that we flourish, rather than wither, in the presence of our differences.


‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Review: An Oddball Musical That’s Impossible Not to Love

From: Variety | By: Naveen Kumar | Date: 11/10/2022

The prospect of dying by age 16 hardly seems like obvious fodder for musical comedy. But "Kimberly Akimbo," transferring to Broadway after an acclaimed run at the Atlantic Theater Company, is the sort of refreshingly unexpected musical that makes an exhilarating case for the vibrancy and potential of the form. It asks big questions about family and mortality. It's unabashedly heartfelt and irresistibly funny. Like life, it's inherently sad and a little absurd, and like its subject, "Kimberly Akimbo" is exceedingly rare and almost impossible not to love.

Meet your new favorite musical. When Kimberly Akimbo premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company last December, it was a breath of fresh air, an intimate show about teenage misfits and the unreliable adults in their world that balanced hilarious comedy with aching poignancy and quirks unfailingly grounded in emotional truth. Transferring intact to Broadway, this small-scale charmer has not only retained but enriched its distinctive qualities, sweeping in as a burst of invigorating originality in a sea of repurposed movies, jukebox compilations and revivals.

Opening tonight at the Booth Theatre with its original Off Broadway cast intact, the miraculous Victoria Clark leading the very fine ensemble, Kimberly Akimbo remains a stunner, a sly, quirky, eccentric work of stage art transformed into a crowd pleaser by playwright David Lindsay-Abaire's captivating book and lyrics, Jeanine Tesori's delightful music that, like Kimberly Akimbo itself, works its way into your heart with a jauntiness that both hides and ultimately amplifies its serious ambitions. Add to all that a winning group of singing actors, from young newcomers to stage veterans, that work together with an ease and chemistry that's apparent from the start and only grows in power toward an emotional and thoroughly satisfying end.

Something different has happened to David Lindsay-Abaire's play "Kimberly Akimbo" on its way to becoming a new musical, which opened Thursday at Broadway's Booth Theatre after its debut last winter at the Atlantic Theater Company. It's still funny and quirky and very off-center, but the story of a rapidly aging 16-year-old girl and her deadbeat family has been grounded. No, not grounded in a high school sort of way. Jeanine Tesori's music grounds the story in a way that gives the source material resonance, makes it more substantial and far more emotionally engaging.


Kimberly Akimbo

From: Talkin' Broadway | By: Howard Miller | Date: 11/10/2022

Having gushed until I am pretty much gushed out, let me save this last bit for director Jessica Stone, who has led the outstanding cast through a very special journey that has taken the show to Broadway from its previous run at the Atlantic Theater Company's Off-Broadway Linda Gross Theater. It deserves a long stay at its new home. Kimberly Akimbo works a special kind of magic, one that takes an underlying sad tale and spins it around to find all the laughter, love and joy that anyone possibly could wish for.


New musical Kimberly Akimbo probes what it means to be an adult

From: The New York Daily News | By: Chris Jones | Date: 11/10/2022

It's a great truth that acting is not so much about people but people in motion. And that's what is so enthralling about the luminous work of both Clark and Cooley. As is the case with Tesori's roiling score, their work here is kinetic. They throw out their hearts on to a cruel wind and hope for at least a little gust in their sails, before the tempest that awaits us all.


‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Review: A Courageous Coming of Age

From: The Wall Street Journal | By: Charles Isherwood | Date: 11/10/2022

Tony-winner Victoria Clark stars as a teenage girl with a genetic disorder that causes her to age rapidly in a wondrous new musical by David Lindsay-Abaire and Jeanine Tesori.


Review: ‘Kimberly Akimbo,’ Both Great and Small, Seizes the Day

From: The New York Times | By: Jesse Green | Date: 11/10/2022

The value of her life cannot be measured by how long it lasts, any more than the show's can by how long it runs. Which is not to say she or it is a downer. Far from it: Though an underground river of sorrow gives "Kimberly Akimbo" its keenness, the surface is shiny comedy. That was already the case in the play by David Lindsay-Abaire on which it is based, a play that begins, as the musical does, with a visual joke: a grown-looking woman, outside a skating rink, dressed like a teenager and nibbling a candy necklace. That's upbeat Kimberly, as usual trying to make the best of life's bad situation. And now, with the addition of songs (music by Jeanine Tesori; lyrics by Lindsay-Abaire) that turn the carpe diem dial to maximum, the director Jessica Stone has turned up the hilarity dial as well, to keep all that emotion in balance.


‘Kimberly Akimbo’ Is the Standout New Musical on Broadway Right Now

From: The Daily Beast | By: Tim Teeman | Date: 11/10/2022

It was strange, leaving for a breath of fresh air at intermission during Kimberly Akimbo (Booth Theatre, booking to April 23, 2023), to realize that my face had been creased in a constant smile since curtain-up. Sometimes, many times, that smile had broken out into a laugh, because this Broadway musical based on David Lindsay-Abaire's play of the same name is extremely funny. And even when this musical, transferred from a successful off-Broadway run at the Atlantic Theater, isn't funny-because the book and lyrics by Lindsay-Abaire come with piercing, meaningful jabs too-there is something about Kimberly Akimbo's execution that feels springy and light at its heart. Under Jessica Stone's assured direction, and clever, layered music by Jeanine Tesori, it's a delight, the standout new Broadway musical of the season so far.


Kimberly Akimbo Broadway Review

From: New York Theater | By: Jonathan Mandell | Date: 11/10/2022

Yet, the musical might have benefited from paring the various subplots. The problem for me is not primarily the odd pairing of zany comedy with trauma and tragedy (and criminality.) But add up all these moments and they threaten to overwhelm or at least distract from the heart of "Kimberly Akimbo" - Kimberly and Seth.


‘Kimberly Akimbo’ review: A weirdly wacky, but sweet Broadway musical

From: The New York Post | By: Johnny Oleksinski | Date: 11/10/2022

Yes, composer Jeanine Tesori and book-writer David Lindsay-Abaire's musical at the Booth Theatre is a smidge too wacky for its own good. Lindsay-Abaire's many eccentric flourishes, at times, can come across as showing off. I often missed the grounded power of the writer's excellent play, "Good People." Nonetheless, this odd duck is undeniably likable. "Kimberly" the musical and the character have a strong underdog appeal and a warmth that keeps the audience firmly on its side. While never rapturous, "Akimbo" is always enjoyable and ultimately touching.


Kimberly Akimbo review: New musical is a cute balance of youthful energy and serious stakes

From: Entertainment Weekly | By: Christian Holub | Date: 11/10/2022

Thankfully, neither the musical nor the character let themselves by dominated by morbid thoughts. Kimberly is cheered by another high school friend, Seth (Justin Cooley), who is also familiar with loss and early-onset-maturity following the death of his mother. Seth is obsessed with anagrams (it's he who reconfigures Kimberly's last name into "Akimbo") and is also happily honest, a relief to Kimberly when so many other people in her life prefer to gingerly side-step the elephant in the room. Then there's the music by Jeannine Tesori, which adds a playful buoyancy to the proceedings. Having previously composed the Tony-nominated Fun Home musical with Lisa Kron, Tesori knows how to lighten up a story about loss without ignoring the stakes. Kimberly Akimbo leaves you floating high on good vibes and ready to make the most of life.



Recommended For You