No Tears in Soulless Cry-Baby

Latest Waters musical lacks heart
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 25, 2008 9:16 AM CDT
James Snyder, Alli Mauzey, Christopher J. Hanke and Elizabeth Stanley are shown in a scene from "Cry Baby" at the Marquis Theatre in New York.    (AP Photo/Kornberg PR, Joan Marcus)
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(Newser) Cry-Baby, the latest broadway musical based on a John Waters movie, is tasteless—and not in the good way, writes Ben Brantley in the New York Times. It’s not offensive, it just has no flavor. Its 1950s bad-boy-meets-good-girl premise is tired, and James Snyder can’t match Johnny Depp’s portrayal of the Elvis-esque title character. “The performers all seem like good kids impersonating bad kids for kicks.”

While some, like Chris Jones in the Chicago Tribune, allow that the show has “some decent laughs, a sense of fun, and a few redeeming scenes,” nearly everyone agrees the show is soulless. Peter Marks in the Washington Post says it’s “limping pallidly in the shadow of Grease,” and writes of the smug score, “somewhere, a Gershwin is crying.”