, Joe Calarco, Writer/Director, SSDC

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Sarah, Plain & Tall
book by Julia Jordan, music by Laurence O'Keefe, lyrics by Nell Benjamin

Lucille Lortel Theatre, NYC

Original New York Cast Album available through ShowBiz Records at:


Photos from Sarah, Plain & Tall

Cast: Becca Ayers, Kenneth Boys, Herndon Lackey,
Kate Wetherhead, Debra Wiseman, John Lloyd Young

 click thumbnail for full-sized photo

From the New York Times.  l-r: Becca Ayers, Herndon Lackey

Cast of Sarah, Plain & Tall
l-r: Kate Wetherhead, John Lloyd Young l-r: John Lloyd Young, Becca Ayers
l-r: Debra Wiseman, Kenneth Boys l-r: Kenneth Boys, Herndon Lackey
l-r: Kenneth Boys, Debra Wiseman l-r: Becca Ayers, John Lloyd Young
l-r: Becca Ayers, Kate Wetherhead l-r: Kate Wetherhead, Herndon Lackey, Becca Ayers, John Lloyd Young

NYC Revival -- Lucille Lortel Theatre

"'Sarah' is not merely excellent children's theater. It is excellent theater, period. The creatives place these elements in a world that supports the plot while evoking something bigger. Calarco invites us to see past the script's realism with his symbolic mise en scene, such images have a sophisticated theatrical power. And Calarco knows to tease our imaginations by only letting them linger for a moment."
— Variety

"Director Joe Calarco approaches the musical — with a book by Julia Jordan, lyrics by Nell Benjamin and music by Laurence O'Keefe — with a steady hand that puts a premium on earnest, heartfelt performances, and he gets them."
— Journal News

"Under the skillful direction of Joe Calarco, themes such as love, rejection, homesickness, and insecurity are tackled head-on without pandering to the young audience. In a theatre filled with children of all ages, there was barely a peep throughout. Why? Because, this is a show worth writing home about."
— NY

"Smartly directed by Joe Calarco with lovely sets and costumes by Michael Fagin and Anne Kennedy, this newly constituted version of Sarah is the best yet."
— Next Magazine

"Sarah, Plain and Tall, receiving a fine revival at the Lortel courtesy of Theatreworks/USA, is so well-written, tuneful and sensitively interpreted that I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend it to anyone just looking to see a good musical. Like Sarah herself, there isn't much outward flash in Sarah, Plain and Tall, but what's inside is golden."

"Theatreworks/NYC has hit this subtle nail right on the head with its latest musical adaptation. Joe Calarco’s staging is clever. Anyway you see it—and make sure you do—Sarah is a delightful sight to behold."
— Time Out NY

NYC Premiere -- Lucille Lortel Theatre

"Highly satisfying. Splendidly acted and sung. A virtual unalloyed delight."
Lawrence Van Gelder, The New York Times


"A wonderful adaptation… superb performances… Joe Calarco’s direction is full of invention."
— Howard Kissel, NY Daily News


"Charming. This small musical comes together with seeming effortlessness, thanks to a crack team of artists led by director Joe Calarco. The cast is Broadway caliber. Marvelous entertainment."
— Roma Torre, NY 1


"Joe Calarco’s direction advances the story with brisk efficiency moving the action with wit and imagination."
— Marilyn Stasio, Variety


"The most enchanting musical of the season."
— Peter Filichia, News 12 New Jersey


"A tender, melodic, touching show… puts most of its competition to shame."
— Adam Feldman,


"Extraordinarily impressive….sensitively directed by Joe Calarco… puts many adult musicals to shame... an unusually thoughtful, cohesive, and accomplished musical."
— Robert Feldberg, North


Shakespeare's R&J     Sarah, Plain & Tall    Boy    My Fair Lady    Elegies     in the absence of spring     Of Mice and Men     Side Show
The Last Five Years     A Midsummer Night's Dream     Nijinsky's Last Dance
   The Summer of the Swans   Urinetown   The Mistress Cycle
Twice Charmed    Assassins    The Burnt Part Boys

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