Elizabeth Swados’ Tony Award-nominated 1978 musical Runaways is getting a rare New York revival as part of the Encores! Off-Center series at New York City Center. The staging, directed by Sam Pinkleton and running through July 9, features a cast of 25 young adults “of all ethnicities, body types, gender identification, and ability levels.”
The critics are filing their reviews. Playbill.com is collecting them for our readers and will continue to update this list as the reviews come in.
Runaways explores the experiences of runaway children. Swados, who passed away January 5, spent several months observing and interviewing child runaways in the creation of the piece. The score weaves reggae, hip-hop, soul music and spoken-word poetry.
The Encores! cast features Lazarus star Sophia Anne Caruso, along with Frenie Acoba, Sumaya Bouhbal, Kenneth Cabral, Maxwell Cabral, Taylor Caldwell, Xavier Casimir, Joshua DeJesus, Adleesa Edwards, Aidan Gemme, Reyna Guerra, Matthew Gumley, Christina Jimenez, Kylie McNeill, Cele Pahucki, Sam Poon, Siena Rafter, Claudia Ramirez, Ren, MJ Rodriguez, Deandre Sevon, Jeremy Shinder, Ripley Sobo, Chris Sumpter and Maxwell Vice.
“We decided to cast the production largely from an open call to high school students across the five boroughs, a gesture that Liz loved. Since we can’t do Runaways with her, we’ll now do it for her,” commented artistic director Jeanine Tesori in an earlier statement.
The production features choreography by Ani Taj and music direction by Chris Fenwick.
Tickets to all Encores! Off-Center shows start at $25 and can be purchased online at NYCityCenter.org, by calling CityTix at (212) 581-1212, or in person at the City Center Box Office. New York City Center is located at 131 West 55th Street, Manhattan.