So at the end of September I saw the musical Fiorello! the second time in two months. I think that makes me qualified to write a review (although my father has seen it five times and has listened to the music from it since he was a child, he might be better…)
Fiorello! follows around Fiorello La Guardia; you all probably know him as the namesake of that chaotic New York Airport. Premiering in 1959, this musical follows his life from 1915 to the early 30s. During this time, he starts as a small-time lawyer, helping the little people. As you can imagine (since he has an airport named after him), his career and fame grows. I won’t ruin the rest of the plot about him. This play also follows around his dedicated staff, Marie, Morris, and Neil. The characters all grow together, but so many things stay the same.
Let’s start with the not so good. The ending is abrupt and awkward. It needed to end, but not so awkwardly. To go with that, the musical is absurdly long. The first time I saw it (done by high schoolers) it was two and a half hours, and the second time it was three hours and twenty minutes (done by NYU). So if you don’t like sitting through long shows, this one is not for you.
Now the good. The music is excellent. Please listen to most of the music below…
My favorites are “Till Tommorow”, “Politics and Poker”, and “When Did I Fall in Love?” That last one is below.
This musical won three Tony awards and a Pulitzer (the only musical to have ever done so). In short, this is the best musical that you’ve never heard of before.