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Suffs (musical) Source: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Suffs_(musical)

Suffs
MusicShaina Taub
LyricsShaina Taub
BookShaina Taub
BasisWomen's suffrage in the United States
Premiere2022: The Public Theater
Productions2022 The Public Theater

Suffs is a stage musical with a book, music, and lyrics by Shaina Taub, based on suffragists and their American women's suffrage movement. It premiered Off-Broadway at The Public Theater in April 2022.

Production history[edit]

The musical was initially going to open its world premiere production at The Public Theater on April 6, 2022, but the preview the night before as well as the opening night were cancelled due to a large number of positive COVID-19 cases among the cast.[1] It began previews on March 13 and was initially announced to run until April 24, but has been extended three times: first to May 1, then to May 15, and most recently to May 29.[2][3][4][5]

Cast and characters[edit]

Character Public Theater (2022)[6]
Harry T. Burn Jenna Bainbridge
Lucy Burns Ally Bonino
Dudley Field Malone Tsilala Brock
Carrie Catt Jenn Colella
Ruza Wenclawska Hannah Cruz
Doris Stevens Nadia Dandashi
Alva Belmont / Phoebe Burn Aisha de Haas
Robin Amina Faye
Mary Church Terrell Cassondra James
Ida B. Wells Nikki M. James
Mollie Hay Jaygee Macapugay
Woodrow Wilson Grace McLean
Nina Otero-Warren Susan Oliveras
Mrs. Wu Mia Pak
Phyllis Terrell J. Riley Jr.
Inez Milholland Phillipa Soo
Alice Paul Shaina Taub
Mrs. Herndon Ada Westfall

Reception[edit]

The Off-Broadway production of Suffs received mixed to positive reviews.[7] The production's cast, score, and direction received praise, but criticism was leveled at the musical's book, runtime, and overall structure. Juan A. Ramirez of Theatrely believed the musical's first act was too focused on narration and historical information, finding the second act vastly superior due to depicting vivid onstage conflict. He also felt the musical's criticism of the suffragists for excluding black women rang hollow due to it having no overall effect on the actual narrative.[8] Raven Snook of Time Out gave the musical four stars out of five but opined that, despite efforts by the production to highlight Ida B. Wells and Mary Church Terrell, their story still felt sidelined by the overall narrative.[9] In an overall positive review for Variety, Marilyn Stasio also found the second act superior but rushed, feeling the already nearly three-hour show could be longer to accommodate it.[10]

Suffs was compared prior to opening night and in multiple reviews with Hamilton, which like Suffs is a historical musical that debuted in the Newman Theater at the Public and attracted similarly sold-out audiences.[11] Maya Phillips, writing for The New York Times, noted that Suffs seemed to be trying to avoid potential criticisms similar to ones that had been leveled at Hamilton for its politics around women and slavery. Phillips opined this fear of leaving out information actually worked to the detriment of the story, voicing that the show felt "bloated with information".[12] Helen Shaw of Vulture also found the Hamilton comparison "unavoidable". Shaw praised the musical's portrayal of divisions within the suffragists movement, but she felt that Taub's music and Silverman's staging lacked the variation needed to carry the story. Nevertheless, Shaw saw potential in the musical's future development: "Just a few amendments to go, and, like a certain Constitution I could mention — it might be truly great."[13]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rabinowitz, Chloe (April 6, 2022). "SUFFS Opening Night Performance Canceled Due to Covid-19; Performances Expected to Resume Next Week". BroadwayWorld. Retrieved April 7, 2022.
  2. ^ Zamansky, Natan (2022-03-25). "Schedule of Upcoming Off-Broadway Shows". Playbill. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  3. ^ "Suffs: Public Theater". New York Theatre Guide. 2022. Retrieved 2022-03-25.
  4. ^ Putnam, Leah (25 March 2022). "Shaina Taub's Suffs Sets 2nd Off-Broadway Extension at The Public". Playbill. Retrieved 4 April 2022.
  5. ^ Putnam, Leah (8 April 2022). "Suffs to Play at The Public Through May in 3rd Extension". Playbill. Retrieved 10 April 2022.
  6. ^ Russo, Gillian (2021-11-16). "'Suffs' announces Off-Broadway cast including Jenn Colella, Phillipa Soo, Nikki M. James". New York Theatre Guide. Retrieved 2022-03-17.
  7. ^ "Suffs - Did They Like It?". Did They Like It. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  8. ^ Ramirez, Juan A. (6 April 2022). "SUFFS Suffers From Stasis — Review". Theatrely.
  9. ^ Snook, Raven (6 April 2022). "Shaina Taub's epic new musical brings feminist history to inspirational life". Time Out. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  10. ^ Stasio, Marilyn (6 April 2022). "'Suffs' Review: Epic New Musical Portrays the Blood, Sweat and Tears Behind the Fight for Women's Suffrage". Variety.
  11. ^ Tan, Gillian (4 April 2022). "With 'Suffs,' Public Theater Is Back in 'Hamilton'-Style Ticket Frenzy". Bloomberg. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  12. ^ Phillips, Maya (6 April 2022). "'Suffs' Review: Young, Scrappy and Hungry for the Right to Vote". The New York Times. Retrieved 8 April 2022.
  13. ^ Shaw, Helen (6 April 2022). "Suffs Casts a Complicated Vote for a Complicated History". Vulture. Retrieved 9 April 2022.

External links[edit]