Kimberly Akimbo Reviews
The New York Times- Highly Recommended
"...But what has become even richer since “Kimberly Akimbo” premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company last year is her profound and uncritical immersion in youthfulness. Leaving the ironies to us, she refuses to condescend to the character. There is nothing in quotation marks about her teenage mannerisms, or embarrassing about seeing her, at 63, wear the spot-on embroidered jumpers and colorful hair clips Sarah Laux has costumed her in."
Hollywood Reporter- Highly Recommended
"...Meet your new favorite musical. When Kimberly Akimbo premiered at the Atlantic Theater Company last December, it was a breath of fresh air, an intimate show about teenage misfits and the unreliable adults in their world that balanced hilarious comedy with aching poignancy and quirks unfailingly grounded in emotional truth. Transferring intact to Broadway, this small-scale charmer has not only retained but enriched its distinctive qualities, sweeping in as a burst of invigorating originality in a sea of repurposed movies, jukebox compilations and revivals."
"...David Lindsay-Abaire, adapting his own play from 2000, and Jeanine Tesori, providing the music, seem to revel in the difficulty of what they’re doing here, letting the action spool out as broad as a cartoon, and then snapping it back into digital-camera sharpness. The show’s sound ranges from imitation Jersey rock to show-tune grandeur to folkie twee — a ukulele pops up in the finale, somehow not cloying. Tesori can write crowd-pleasing earworms (the teens chanting “Our disease!” in their bio presentation will stick with you), and Lindsay-Abaire delights in bits of lexical showiness (that song deploys the word “fasciolosis”). But they also know when to write something more halting and introspective, as with Kimberly’s soliloquies or her mother and father’s recordings into a video camera for their next child. Those twist in the wind and, just when they catch a tune, wander elsewhere. Like Sondheim, Tesori and Lindsay-Abaire can craft the sound of people thinking."
New York Theater- Highly Recommended
"...“Kimberly Akimbo” arrives on Broadway with its terrific cast and quirkiness intact. What’s best about this musical remains – above all, the slowly unfolding oddball relationship between two high school misfits, and the wonderful performances by the actors who portray them."
Variety- Highly Recommended
"...The prospect of dying by age 16 hardly seems like obvious fodder for musical comedy. But “Kimberly Akimbo,” transferring to Broadway after an acclaimed run at the Atlantic Theater Company, is the sort of refreshingly unexpected musical that makes an exhilarating case for the vibrancy and potential of the form. It asks big questions about family and mortality. It’s unabashedly heartfelt and irresistibly funny. Like life, it’s inherently sad and a little absurd, and like its subject, “Kimberly Akimbo” is exceedingly rare and almost impossible not to love."
New York Post- Recommended
"...The cute new musical “Kimberly Akimbo,” which opened Thursday night on Broadway, piles on weirdness with a dump truck."
Entertainment Weekly- Recommended
"...Set in 1999, Kimberly Akimbo expertly captures the timeless awkwardness of high school. We meet a co-ed friend group mired in a minefield of unrequited crushes: Boy likes boy who likes girl who likes girl who likes the first boy. Ain't that just the way? The bright spot is they know they only have to make it through a few more years of lockers and gym classes before they can move on to bigger and better things. They can't wait to start the rest of their lives, but it's hard for Kimberly to imagine a bright future: Given the low life expectancy associated with her disease, turning 16 is basically a death sentence."
"...“Kimberly Akimbo” is a feel-good show that acknowledges feelings of heartbreak, nausea, and discord. It brings to mind “Fun Home,” which also has music by Tesori, is based on unlikely source material, and explores an unconventional family and a pained adolescence. It honors the Sondheim dictum of “content dictates form,” creating a work that is well-integrated, fresh, quirky, and heartfelt, but not flashy or over-the-top. The bittersweet ending (driving off into the sunset on a road trip, even as the end is near) is particularly effective and affecting."
Chicago Tribune- Recommended
"...The 16-year-old title character in the fascinating new Broadway musical “Kimberly Akimbo” is precisely one of those teenagers, forced as she is to deal with juvenile parents, a crazy aunt and, oh, a body aging four times as fast as those of normal kids."
Time Out New York- Highly Recommended
"...Sixteen is not sweet for the heroine of the bruisingly joyful new musical Kimberly Akimbo. Adapted by David Lindsay-Abaire from his own 2001 play, with music by Jeanine Tesori (Caroline, or Change), the show has a central conceit that verges on magical realism: Kimberly Levaco suffers from an unnamed, “incredibly rare” genetic disorder that makes her age at a superfast rate. Played by the 63-year-old Victoria Clark, she is physically and psychically out of place among her high school peers, who have more conventional adolescent problems like unrequited crushes. “Getting older is my affliction,” the usually mild-mannered Kimberly sings in a rare burst of confrontation. “Getting older is your cure.”"
Deadline- Highly Recommended
"...Kimberly Akimbo, one of the unlikeliest, most exhilarating and unfailingly moving musicals to hit New York in years, opens on Broadway tonight having lost none of its immense charm since its Off Broadway debut lsat year swept just about every critics award there was to be swept."
TheaterMania- Highly Recommended
"...If there were to be a class on how to turn a very good musical into an excellent one, I would hope the instructors are David Lindsay-Abaire, Jeanine Tesori, and Jessica Stone. Their hilarious and heartbreaking Kimberly Akimbo received widespread acclaim for its off-Broadway run last fall at the Atlantic Theatre Company and was rewarded with a shelfful of trophies. I would not have blamed them in the slightest for taking their audience-tested, awards-approved production and transplanting it wholesale onto the stage at the Booth Theatre. But they dug in for Broadway, reinvestigating every moment and making tiny surgical changes to help the material achieve its fullest comic and tragic potential. Kimberly Akimbo was lovely before; it's magnificent now."
"...I had no idea that Kimberly Akimbo the musical was originally a 2001 play of the same name. I only knew the musical opened in 2021 Off-Broadway and was a huge success-and has now transferred to Broadway. As I was watching the show, I was mesmerized by David Lindsay-Abaire's book and how compelling the storyline was, and thinking to myself of how the score was getting in the way of the script. When a book is so strong, the score becomes superfluous. I realize now that, in modern-day musicals, the score doesn't propel the storyline forward as in yesteryear's musicals, but the score now describes the characters and who and what they are. It's the characters words with the music twisted around them that forms the score. This often makes most 21st century scores unmemorable."
Daily Beast- Highly Recommended
"...In a lovely song sung as she, Seth, and Buddy are in the car, her dad feels fiercely protective of her. But Kim wants out, and what she will do, the power she will claim for herself, the destiny she elects to reach for, forms the cheering, closing part of the musical right up to a final sequence that you may find yourself both laughing and sniffling along to. “It makes you laugh, it makes you cry” may be a cultural cliché, but it is also—in the best possible way—achieved by the winning warmth and sharp grit and wit of Kimberly Akimbo."
Broadway News- Recommended
"...Each piece of the “Kimberly Akimbo” puzzle is right where it belongs, including ensemblists Olivia Elease Hardy, Nina White, Fernell Hogan and Michael Iskander, who make up the teen quartet. Their presence reveals the vast emotional topography at play in Lindsay-Abaire’s script. Every day of school for them is a step closer to the real world. Every day of school for Kim is a defeat of the odds: The average life expectancy of people with her disease is, devastatingly, 16."
"...Thus Kimberly Akimbo, among so many other beautiful things, is a show about what we’re given, and whether we accept them as gifts or curses—sentences. Scramble enough anagrams, this musical teaches us, and a sentence can become something new and unexpected."
New York Stage Review- Highly Recommended
"...This show is, in a word, a honey. How refreshing to get an unabashedly good-hearted musical that again and again affirms two simple truths: that we’re all more alike than we are different, and that we flourish, rather than wither, in the presence of our differences."