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  America's Best Outcast Toy - An Oddball Holiday Reality Musical at Pride Arts Center - The Broadway

America's Best Outcast Toy - An Oddball Holiday Reality Musical

Pride Arts Center - The Broadway
4139 N. Broadway Chicago

We all know the story of the outcast toys and how they were rescued from their island by a certain famous reindeer (may he rest in peace). But what became of the outcast toys when they came back to America? They became huge celebrities, of course! Now, years later, they return to the island to compete in a series of challenges where they must sing, model, design fashion, outwit/outplay/outlast and bake cakes, and of course, dance for their lives, all to prove that they are AMERICA'S BEST. And the audience actually determines the results with their vote, meaning every night can be a whole new show!

Thru - Jan 12, 2020

Price: $30-$40

Show Type: Musical

Running Time: 1hr, 30mins

  America's Best Outcast Toy - An Oddball Holiday Reality Musical Reviews
  • Highly Recommended
  • Recommended
  • Somewhat Recommended
  • Not Recommended

Chicago Tribune - Somewhat Recommended

"...This overplayed new seasonal attraction (needless subtitle: "An OddBall Holiday Reality Musical") at Pride Films and Plays, which had its world premiere on Monday night, has a number of vexing flaws. Aside from a lack of funny lines, top of the list is the lack of any kind of normative character or situational anchor, something or someone who could land us in some kind of truthful circumstance that would then allow the actors to build interesting and potential humorous relationships."
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Chris Jones

Chicago Reader - Highly Recommended

"...Director Donterrio Johnson's triple-threat nine-member cast do the material right. Haylie Kinsler is quite winning as a brash "Jackie" in the box, as is Danny Ackman as the hapless stuffed elephant. And Patrick Regner does plenty of comic turns as the show version of Hermie, the elf-turned-dentist, who in this version turns unctuous TV host. But the show really belongs to Riley Smith, who proves to be quite the chameleon, appearing at various times as a misfit toy, a glamour queen, and a Simon Cowell knockoff, and playing each with an intensity and believability many actors have trouble mustering for one role."
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Jack Helbig

Stage and Cinema - Recommended

"...Your enjoyment of this warm-hearted and well-intentioned trifle will hinge on how much novelty you can find in a concept that practically writes itself. The creators' sympathies for life's underdogs is never in doubt, just the sharpness of their focus on the familiar. The most original elements - the dozen musical numbers, coached by Cody Michael Bradley - shake and bake the seemingly unavoidable cliches, and the performances sell these songs."
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Lawrence Bommer

Chicago Theatre Review - Recommended

"...In spite of all the festivity and fun, including some inside LGBTQ humor and a sincere message about how we’re all really misfits, the show could use some tightening. Not all of the comedy is funny and could use some help. The losing characters each have an exit monologue that does little to enhance the play. The true strength of this show is its clever concept and its addictive music, particularly the big production numbers that feature Johnson’s choreography. With a little work and some judicious cutting, this happy little musical could easily become a welcome yearly holiday event in Chicago."
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Colin Douglas

Chicagoland Musical Theatre - Highly Recommended

"...Overall, America’s Best Outcast Toy is a holiday treat for anyone who loves reality television shows, knows the misfit toys and is willing to celebrate the misfit toy in each of us."
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Eric Karas

Chicago On Stage - Somewhat Recommended

"...America's Best Outcast Toy is a silly, fun addition to the very crowded Chicago Christmas play field, but it isn't one of the best. If you need a show about toys, I'd suggest The Steadfast Tin Soldier at Lookingglass or either of the two versions of The Nutcracker that are currently playing. And then, of course, there is the other new musical about toys, The Land of Forgotten Toys, which I will review next week. If you are a toy in Chicago, the 2019 Year of Chicago Theatre is coming to an end with you in mind. Now go play."
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Karen Topham

Spotlight On Lake - Highly Recommended

"...O'Connor's score seems to get stronger as the show progresses and the final song is a powerful anthem to self-acceptance and unconditional love. The musical briskly moves along under Donterrio Johnson's direction and he is responsible for the choreography as well. Matt Salvo is the solo keyboard accompanist under Cody Michael Bradley's music direction."
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Jeffrey Leibham

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