The Verdict: Critics Review William Finn-James Lapine Musical Little Miss Sunshine at Second Stage

By Playbill Staff
15 Nov 2013

Hannah Rose Nordberg and Will Swenson
Hannah Rose Nordberg and Will Swenson
Photo by Joan Marcus

Second Stage Theatre's production of Little Miss Sunshine, the new musical comedy by Tony Award winners William Finn and James Lapine that is based on the 2006 road-trip comedy film of the same name, officially opened Off-Broadway Nov. 14 following previews that began Oct. 15.

Little Miss Sunshine — which underwent a major overhaul since its world premiere at California's La Jolla Playhouse in February 2011, retaining only three songs from the original version — kicked off 2ST's 35th season. 

Hannah Rose Nordberg (Creative Kids Youth Theater Project in Los Angeles) stars as the show's title character, Olive Hoover, who aspires to the coveted title of Little Miss Sunshine. She is joined by Tony Award nominee Will Swenson (Priscilla: Queen of the Desert, Murder Ballad, Hair) as Richard Hoover and Tony nominee Stephanie J. Block (Second Stage's By the Way, Meet Vera Stark; Wicked; 9 to 5; Anything Goes; The Pirate Queen; The Boy from Oz) as Sheryl Hoover.

The production also features Rory O'Malley (The Book of Mormon) as Frank Hoover, the recently dumped, heartbroken Proust scholar and uncle to Olive Hoover; David Rasche (2ST's Warrior Class) as Grandpa Hoover, Olive's most fervent supporter and biggest fan; Logan Rowland (The Addams Family) as the teenage Dwayne Hoover, who has sworn off speaking for the foreseeable future; Josh Lamon (Hair, Elf) and Jennifer Sanchez (West Side Story) as Buddy and Miss California, respectively, the co-hosts of the Little Miss Sunshine pageant; and Wesley Taylor ("Smash," Rock of Ages) as Joshua Rose, the ex-lover of Frank Hoover, who unexpectedly crosses paths with the Hoover family as they journey to the pageant.



The critics have filed their reviews, and Playbill.com has collected them for our readers. Playbill.com will continue to update our list as the reviews come in.

AM New York

Bloomberg

Entertainment Weekly

The Hollywood Reporter

NBC New York

Newsday

New York Magazine

New York Daily News

New York Post

The New York Times

Time Out New York

The Wall Street Journal

USA Today

Second Stage’s Tony Kiser Theatre is located at 305 West 43rd Street (just west of Eighth Avenue). For more information and tickets, call (212) 246-4422 or visit 2ST.com.

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Stephanie J. Block, Rory O'Malley, Hannah Rose Nordberg, David Rasche and Will Swenson
Photo by Joan Marcus