Critical Reaction

Critical Reaction

"Kaufman and the Gershwins have attempted the impossible and got away with it."
– Variety

"Artistically innovative and risky: an attempt to take musical comedy beyond its then-established function as escapist entertainment and into the realm of sociopolitical commentary. ...Kaufman's play was extraordinarily tart for its time, jabbing at such targets as warmongering capitalists, self-serving politicians, incompetent military leaders, and a gullible public easily manipulated by appeals to patriotic fervor. Moreover the Gershwins' score, inspired by The Mikado and other Gilbert and Sullivan works, used solo and choral singing to propel plot and define character."
– The Chicago Reader

"The music [is] a genuine delight."
– The San Francisco Gate

"Librettist George S. Kaufman's sterling wit shines through as always.... There is plenty of romantic and comical confusion to fill the evening."
– The Huffington Post

"Incisively wonderful lyrics... [its] snarky attitude about how it's commerce not politics or even morality that get us into war couldn't be more timely. ...Part Gilbert and Sullivan, part Sondheim but all Gershwin, this sophisticated score plays with the conventions of the day but makes them fresh and funny and full of substance."
– Theater Dogs

"Represented a significant advance in the evolution of the American musical. Unlike the farcical revues of the period that purposely avoided any semblance of plot, George and Ira Gershwin fully integrated their songs into a satiric, albeit mostly screwball, narrative written by the esteemed humorist George S. Kaufman."
– Stark Insider

"[Offers] songs ranging from playful Gilbert and Sullivan pastiches to heart-clutching ballads (most notably 'The Man I Love') woven into a goofy plot loaded with blatant anti-war, big-business satire."
– Backstage