By David Walters
At this point I’m sure you’ve already heard about and been titillated by the buzz of Shucked, the show about corn, that’s how they’re billing it anyway.
It’s not really about corn (unless you mean the jokes). It’s really about family, making mistakes, forgiving, and love. Corn is just the husk that carries the themes and transports the audience for a short time away from their lives and plants them in the middle of Cob County, a place that has been walled off from the outside world for generations by acres of corn. The corn is dying though, and the inhabitants don’t know why. They are seeking answers from inside but are coming up empty-handed. Maizy (the ever so sweet Caroline Innerbichler) believes (against all counsel) that an answer can only be found in the outside world, so leaving her betrothed, family, and friends (“We can’t let fear destroy what we love the most.”), she seeks to find an answer to the dying corn and meets up with (of course) a con man who sees riches to be had in the purple rocks (he learns from a bracelet that Maizy is wearing) of Cob County.
It’s an old-fashioned type of musical in a way, with love won, lost, and won again, a cast of supporting players that steal the spotlight (Alex Newell brings the barn down), an ensemble that is easy to fall in love with, a huge barn of a set that is welcomingly versatile, and choreography and costumes that provide their own delight. The audience is guided through the story by two warm and friendly Storytellers (Ashley D. Kelley and Grey Henson) as they present the fable to us (“We’re here to tell you a fable…” “A farm to fable…” “About a simple place time forgot…” “…Called ‘Cob County’”).
It’s filled with something for all as it will offend everyone just a little, and at the same time delight everyone a whole lot. The comedy is a laugh every other minute that doesn’t get tiring. I found myself leaning forward for the next one-liner as they are at times a bit subtle, and others, guffawingly overt, but everyone a gem.
I have to say at this point that I’m not a person that loves musicals. I enjoy the music, am bowled over by the talent (and wish to come back in my next life being able to sing), but it’s something that has never really clicked with me as a favorite way to tell a story. With that said, I think what I have to say about you spending your money and your time holds weight.
Go see Shucked, you’ll laugh, a lot, at the wonderful wit, you’ll join in the jubilation as the whole audience elatedly exclaims together as the corn visibly comes back to life, and you’ll maybe even shed a tear.
As I said above, it’s a story about life and love (I adored the surprise reveal about parentage at the end) that we can all share in and carry with us as we leave the theater and back to our lives. That is something of great value.
Now at the NEDERLANDER THEATRE 208 W. 41ST ST., NEW YORK, NY
Shucked, book by Tony Award® winner ROBERT HORN, and score by BRANDY CLARK and SHANE MCANALLY, the Nashville songwriting team who collectively have earned three Grammy Awards® and 18 Grammy nominations.
Cast: John Behlmann, Kevin Cahoon, Andrew Durand, Grey Henson, Caroline Innerbichler, Ashley D. Kelley, Alex Newell, Jimmy Brewer, Audrey Cardwell, Dwayne Clark, Rheaume Crenshaw, Jaygee Macapugay, Scott Stangland, Yasmeen Sulieman, and Quinn VanAntwerp
Running time is two hours with one intermission.
A limited number of $40 tickets will be available for each performance. Lottery entries for each performance will be accepted from 8AM until 2PM the day prior to the performance. Enter Now
A limited number of in-person rush tickets will be available on the day of each performance for $35 per ticket when the Nederlander Theatre box office opens (Monday through Saturday at 10 AM and Sundays at 12 PM). Maximum of two tickets per person, subject to availability.
As always, this is just one person’s opinion in a world filled with them.