As discussed in this article, ‘Scottsboro Boys,’ via Kander and Ebb, Review – NYTimes.com, the subject matter of Kander and Ebb’s last play is not one you would associate with a musical. Tap dancing and catchy music, by the creators of Chicago and Cabaret, does sound like it would be in poor taste when telling the story of a horrific racial incident which ruins many innocent lives. That said, the show was well regarded in New York (nominated for 12 tony awards) as you can see by the reviews below.
From the Young Vic “After decades in the theater, they’ve produced one more classic that easily ranks alongside their greatest works, Chicago and Cabaret. It’s that good. From Kander & Ebb, the legendary creators of Chicago and Cabaret…
Kander and Ebb’s exhilarating, dazzling and provocative musical receives its UK premiere, once again directed by Susan Stroman, 5-time Tony Award-winning director and choreographer of The Producers. 1931. Nine black teenagers board a train in Scottsboro, Alabama, in search of a new life. By the end of their journey, their lives – and those of every American – would be changed forever.
Accused of an unspeakable crime, their trial would divide a nation. But behind the screaming headlines was the devastating story of nine young men, desperate to prove to the world that they mattered. Nominated for a remarkable 12 Tony Awards including Best Musical, The Scottsboro Boys is bold, wildly inventive and a daring modern classic of musical theatre.”
Reviews of the original Broadway production, directed by Susan Stroman:
“A thrillingly inventive and entertaining night at the theatre. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll be moved… Kander and Ebb have given American musical theatre an undisputable, stone-cold classic”
New York Post
“The best new musical of the year. Stunning! Grade A”
“Adventurous & dynamic. Directed and choreographed with dazzling verve by Susan Stroman, who offers some of her most vibrant work since The Producers“
New York Times
“Smashing and shocking! Kander & Ebb’s valedictory musical. The story is wrenching and the songs rank with their most gorgeous”
“Provocative, chilling and refreshing. This one is right up there with Cabaret and Chicago. Susan Stroman deliverys her most creative and effective work in years”
“Dazzling, chilling and arresting. This bold musical keeps you tapping your feet while it socks you with an emotional punch to the gut”
“Pioneering. Susan Stroman’s staging is mesmerizing”
Los Angeles Times