Broadway review by Adam Feldman “Keep it light, keep it tight, keep it fun, and then we’re done!” That’s the pithy advice that the indignant 16th-century housewife Anne Hathaway (Betsy Wolfe) imparts to her neglectful husband, William Shakespeare (Stark Sands), as a way to improve his play Romeo and Juliet, which she considers too much of a downer. It is also the guiding ethos of the new Broadway jukebox musical & Juliet, a quasi-Elizabethan romp through the chart-toppers of Swedish songwriter-producer Max Martin. A diverting synthetic crossbreed of Moulin Rouge!, Something Rotten!, Mamma Mia! and Head Over Heels, this show delivers just what you’d expect. It is what it is: It gives you the hooks and it gets the ovations. Martin is the preeminent pop hitmaker of the past 25 years, so & Juliet has a lot to draw from. The show’s 30 songs include multiple bops originally recorded by the Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears and Katy Perry, as well as tunes that Martin wrote—or, in all but two cases, co-wrote—for Pink, NSYNC, Kesha, Robyn, Kelly Clarkson, Jessie J, Céline Dion, Ariana Grande, Justin Timberlake, Ellie Goulding, Demi Lovato, Adam Lambert, the Weeknd and even Bon Jovi. (Notably absent are any of his collaborations with Taylor Swift.) “Roar,” “Domino,” “Since U Been Gone”: the hit list goes on and on. As a compilation disc performed live, it’s a feast for Millennials; its alternate title might well be Now That’s What I Call a Musical! & Julietl | Photograph: Matthew Murp
At any given moment there's a dizzying array of musicals, plays and experimental works for theater lovers in New York City to choose from. But the sheer volume of choices can make it hard to decide what to see. Let us give you a hand with that! Here is an alphabetical short list of our critics' picks: all the shows that Time Out New York's critics have seen, reviewed and liked, plus a few that we feel confident recommending in advance. For a wider view of what's playing in NYC, check out our complete list of current Broadway shows and our extensive Off Broadway and Off-Off Broadway listings.
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