WE THREE LIZAS
About Face Theatre @ Steppenwolf Garage
book and lyrics by Scott Bradley
music and additional lyrics by Alan Schmuckler
Newcity Stage Alan Schmuckler’s score[...], a buoyant gift wrapped in a melodic, dramatically well-conceived bow, is a real find.
Showbiz Chicago The original score...is very smart and melodic. Alan Schmuckler’s music (and additional lyrics) coupled with Mr. Bradley’s use of the narrative is a perfect collaboration using jazz, standards and gritty showtune ballads. It is by far one of the most creative scores written for any new work this season. We Three Lizas also boasts a fantastic band that never overshadows the performers, which is led by Mr. Schmuckler on piano.
Centerstage Brilliantly talented musical composer/lyricist Alan Schmuckler [writes an] infectious, toe tapping pop-rock score.
Chicago Stage Review A generous helping of wonderfully original songs, by composer Alan Schmuckler...
THE EMPEROR'S NEW CLOTHES
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
music & lyrics by Alan Schmuckler
book by David Holstein
directed by Rachel Rockwell
Chicago Tribune Alan Schmuckler…will, mark my words, be a major Broadway composer.
And if seeing for yourself is preferable to marking my words, you need only trot over to Navy Pier, where you will be treated to a veritable cascade of musical numbers that manage to be fresh, catchy and complex…I was knocked out by Schmuckler's double-figure song-list.
Given the strength of the score — and the easygoing charm of Rachel Rockwell's zesty, fast-paced and laudably truthful production — it quickly becomes clear that this commissioned “The Emperor's New Clothes” is far and away the most successful of Chicago Shakespeare Theater's annual summer projects to draw in the thousands of families who visit Navy Pier.
Chicago Sun-Times A wonderfully zesty hybrid of Andersen's fairy tale — one that also deals with eternal issues (parents vs. children, the rich vs. the poor), and inserts of-the-moment commentary about everything from globalization and Internet business to concern about carbon footprints...
Sophisticated enough for any adult, the show also contains just enough goofy vaudeville to entertain 10-year-old boys.
Schmuckler…has a clear gift for sharp, colloquial lyrics and punchy melodies, and I hope there will be an adult Broadway musical in his future.
CBS Channel 2 News – On Stage with Chris Jones The songs are tuneful, toe-tapping ditties packed with amusing and intelligent lyrics, and this fresh, irreverent, colorful updating of the classic fairytale about the hubristic emperor—who here gets a sassy teenage daughter — is a blast for teens, tweens and adults. It’s the best thing on Navy Pier this summer — heck, this show is one of the best things in Chicago. The Emperor’s New Clothes gets four stars.
Chicago Critic Through a sassy, smart and light-hearted score and witty fun lyrics by Alan Schmuckler, this unique take on Andersen’s tale is a warm expertly directed fun 75 minute Broadway musical. The colorful characters are aided by sophisticated songs that effectively tell the tale. Alan Schmuckler’s talent as a composer begs him to write a full Broadway musical. This show showcases his talent.
HOW CAN YOU RUN WITH A SHELL ON YOUR BACK?
Chicago Shakespeare Theater
book, music & lyrics by Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler
directed by Peter Flynn
Chicago Sun-Times Michael Mahler and Alan Schmuckler have created a hugely engaging score with 10 terrific songs bursting with clever lyrics and wacky wordplay. They've pegged it to a fabulously smart, funny book that feeds on all the familiar schoolroom tensions. The little folk follow the onstage action with rapt attention. It's a 70-minute treat that will easily charm the pants off audiences 6 to 60.
Chicago Parent Filled with high energy dancing, engaging songs, corny jokes and slap-stick humor, the overall mood is creatively thrilling. At the end of the tales, we find ourselves in the same predicament as the students, spellbound and not quite ready to leave the detention hall.
A pleasing little Broadway-style riff on Aesop's Fables…the songs are bouncy, cheery, witty, catchy, melodic affairs. It's a promising, likable introduction to the genre for the theater-loving elementary and middle-school crowd.
TimeOut Chicago This zippy kids’ show breathes fresh life into ancient anthropomorphic tales. Mahler and Schmuckler’s lyrics are especially strong, deftly including a few laugh-out-loud touches for older kids and parents. Not since the old Rocky and Bullwinkle show trotted out its “Aesop and Son” shorts has the old maxim-izer had as fine a showcase for his stories.
Daily Herald How Can You Run with a Shell on Your Back? enchants adults as thoroughly as it does children. This tuner has legs thanks to its bouncy score, amusing book and lyrics and a familiar cast of characters. Shell amounts to one illuminating, engaging hour. Would that all new musicals detained us in such delightful fashion.
TheatreMania An imaginative musical with perfect energy, it is a one hour delightful experience for young…and old…Not only is it entertaining, it is educational. You owe it to yourself and your family to see this one!
Chicago Public Radio (Steve Edwards) Now, here’s a little confession for you: I’m not into musicals, much less kids musicals, so I was understandably elated and shocked to discover a charming and infectious new musical for kids…It’s sort of the Breakfast Club meets Aesop’s Fables of Broadway.