Fun on a Friday: does this remind you of anything?

For today’s blog, I thought we’d stay on the DeLoreon we took a ride on yesterday and take a glance at the New York Times review of Merlin in 1983 from the legendary Butcher of Broadway, Frank Rich.

See if this review sounds familiar, even though it was written so long ago . . .

”Merlin,” it must be noted, has not yet officially opened. In contrast to most Broadway musicals, which tend to preview for a month or less in New York before an official premiere, this one is now in its eighth week of previews. Three ”opening” dates have been announced for the show – the third of which was last night – and then canceled. The fourth, most recently announced opening date is Feb. 13, and should changes made in ”Merlin” by then justify a substantial reappraisal, it will be provided here.

This report is based on Thursday night’s preview. While the producers of ”Merlin” may consider the musical not yet ready to be seen by critics, they have allowed in more than 60,000 paying customers since Dec. 10 at the full, $40-top ticket scale. Open or not, ”Merlin” is already, after ”Cats,” the second-longest running musical of the season.

It was as if Mr. Rich had Mr. Merlin’s crystal ball.

Special thanks to PP reader and fellow People Of Godspell-er, Adam, for passing this along.


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  • Scott Stolzenberg says:

    It did have a great opening number, “It’s About Magic.”

  • Rich Mc says:

    Given the 8+ weeks of previews given for MERLIN, it would be informative to understand the # weeks Producers choose to assign to any play, along with the associated thinking & variables.

  • Anna Malmquist says:

    If a show is considered good enough for the public, if the average pedestrian is able to judge the quality of a show, even “in progress”, why would a critic, with even more a sense of what’s going on (hopefully), not be able to write an interesting piece on the subject? And why not a second, even more interesting, when the show is considered sufficiently fine tuned by the production? Are we not considering critics too much of enemies instead of support of the creative process ?

  • So what happened? Did MERLIN ever open? And if so, can you print the review?

  • kim says:

    I love how the top ticket price was $40. Dear God!!!!! 🙂

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