Reviews

A deeply satisfying new musical, with much on its mind about history, humanity, man and God and the American Dream, is beckoning to theatergoers with a taste for rich characters in a tale that touches the heart, glows with humor and soothes the ear…. The pleasure of the show's music... is that it is always at the service of its strong characters.... Among the songs, "The Stars," which opens the evening, well merits its three reprises.
-- Lawrence Van Gelder, The New York Times


[The Immigrant] features a score of great artfulness…. Verging on the operatic in terms of both its feverish emotions and beguiling score, this is a work that makes the familiar at once fresh and poignant…. "The Immigrant"... is a chamber musical for just four characters and four musicians.... But it has a universal reach. And its haunting score -- so seamlessly woven into the script it sounds like an extension of speech -- wholly avoids cliches, using echoes of Hebraic prayers and Baptist hymns to supply a perfect elegiac mix of sounds from both the old world and new.
-- Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times


…[S]ome songs.... are beautiful enough to make an audience catch its breath…. [T]he best of all the songs is "The Stars."... The melody echoes a Jewish folk song. It falls on the ear like a hymn, yet it suits the theatrical moment -- strong, handsome, and bright as diamonds.
-- M.S. Mason, The Christian Science Monitor


The Immigrant, a sweeping adaptation of Mark Harelik's acclaimed 1985 play.... is a buoyant, heartbreaking achievement.... The light, complicated score... blends easily into the action and accentuates the most powerful moments.
-- John Moore, Denver Post


The score effectively magnifies the story's emotions. Alper handsomely orchestrates his score... Sarah Knapp's lyrics are organic, succinct.... Altogether, The Immigrant ably and affectionately delivers the goods.
-- Michael Sommers, Newark Star-Ledger


[G]reat music.... stretching the boundaries without ever losing the focus of its book or characters.... It was easily the best thing we saw in New York this year.
-- Bill Lloyd, Producer Stage & Screen, BBC Radio 3


In making The Immigrant sing, composer Steven M. Alper and lyricist Sarah Knapp.... make it clear that the complexities of Stephen Sondheim and composer-lyricists of his ilk have influenced them. Appropriately, they mix the sounds of music from Haskell and Leah's culture with what [Milton] and Ima might have heard on the radio in the quiet of a Texas night.... "[The] Stars" is a beautiful anthem of hope and faith.
-- Christine Dolen, Miami Herald


[T]here is a hell of a lot of fresh air blowing through the theatre.... Sarah Knapp... has shaped and structured her songs with truly astonishing maturity. Composer Steven M. Alper matches this sophistication with  melodies, arrangements and orchestration (for a band configured to evoke a Klesmer sensibility,  even when playing in the Western sandbox) that add musical wit and heart to the verbal. Ms. Knapp... stays afloat on freshness of imagery, originality of idea and clarity of storytelling.... Mr. Alper… clearly has the instinct for mainstream  vocabulary - the melodies riding  the accompaniments are  direct, with high profiles  and hooky title lines, and likewise uncongested harmonies implied. Alper is too sure a hand to be inaccessible - this is a lovely score.
[A] turning point and  breakthrough for what the small musical can do.
-- David Spencer, AisleSay


[D]elightful, charming, uplifting and emotionally moving.... Brovo! Brovo! To Sarah Knapp (lyrics), Steven Alper (music).
-- Masha Leon, The Jewish Forward


The Immigrant is stunning and moving. Don't go expecting a typical musical comedy; instead be prepared to be gripped emotionally and touched unbelievably.
-- Chris Curcio, KBAQ Phoenix


Everything a musical should be!     -- The Wall Street Journal/Zagat



 
“EVERYTHING A MUSICAL SHOULD BE!”
- The Wall Street Journal/Zagat


“TOUCHES THE HEART AND GLOWS WITH HUMOR. A deeply satisfying new musical with much on its mind about history, humanity, man and God and the American Dream.”
 - The New York Times


“A WARM, CAPTIVATING STORY WITH GIFTED ACTORS.”
 - The New York Sun


“FAMILY FARE THAT EXTOLS TOLERANCE AND COMMUNITY.  An earnest pocket musical, smoothly directed, with a pleasing Klezmer and Copeland score.”
- TimeOut New York


“A SWEET SHOW THAT MOVES YOU TO TEARS.”
 - Theatermania.com


“FUNNY YET POIGNANT! THANK YOU FOR AN ENJOYABLE EVENING OF THEATRE - I WILL BE RECOMMENDING THIS SHOW TO ALL.”
 - Sherri Kalinowitz, Shearith Israel Synagogue, NYC


“ A BREAKTHROUGH FOR WHAT THE SMALL MUSICAL CAN DO!  Sarah Knapp has shaped and structured her lyrics with truly astonishing maturity.  Composer Steven M. Alper’s lovely score matches her sophistication.”
 - AisleSay.com


“A TUNEFUL SCORE, EXCEPTIONALLY GOOD PERFORMANCES AND GENUINE FEELING.”
- The Jewish Standard