What Do Critics Think of the Black Crook Revival? | Playbill

The Verdict What Do Critics Think of the Black Crook Revival?
A rare revival of the “first musical” is being staged at the Abrons Arts Center.
<i>The Black Crook</i>
The Black Crook - 1866

In celebration of The Black Crook’s 150th anniversary, the Abrons Arts Center is staging a small-scale revival of the landmark musical. The show originally opened at Niblo’s Garden on Broadway September 12, 1866, and is considered by theatre historians to be the first American book musical.


The self-described ”Original, Grand, Romantic Magical and Spectacular Drama” has music by Thomas Baker, book by Charles M. Barras and lyrics by Theodore Kennick. The revival is directed by Joshua William Gelb, with a cast made up of Randy Blair, Alaina Ferris, Lizzie Hagstedt, Steven Rattazzi, Jessie Shelton, Christopher Tocco, Kate Weber and Merlin Whitehawk. Arrangements and additional compositions are by Alaina Ferris and Justin Levine, with choreography by Katie Rose McLaughlin.

Performances began September 17 at Abrons’ Underground Theater and continue through October 7.

Read reviews below:

The New York Times
Time Out New York

Playbill will continue to update with reviews as they come in.

The Black Crook features sets by Carolyn Mraz, costume design by Normandy Sherwood, lighting design by Bradley King, sound design by Matt Stine and dramaturgy and additional text by Dan O’Neill.

For tickets and more information visit AbronsArtsCenter.org. The Abrons Arts Center is located at 466 Grand Street in Manhattan, about a mile from the corner of Broadway and Prince Street, site of the long-gone 3,000-seat Niblo's Garden, where The Black Crook premiered.

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