Ride the Cyclone Reviews
Washington Post- Highly Recommended
"...The Amazing Karnak, a mechanical fortune teller, brooks little competition as the main draw of "Ride the Cyclone," the ingeniously dark and funny musical now at Arena Stage. But if you had to discount the sinister and snarky Karnak - the show's presiding genius - the most arresting figure would be the spooky Jane Doe."
DCist- Highly Recommended
"...An evening with the recently deceased may not sound like a fun night out on the town, but Ride the Cyclone, the quirky cult musical now enjoying a regional premiere at Arena Stage, offers fun in spades."
MetroWeekly- Highly Recommended
"...Jacob Richmond and Brooke Maxwellís supernatural musical Ride the Cyclone, pitting its cast of choir kids against each other in a post-mortem performance pageant, breezily follows the format of a Drag Race or American Idol-style reality TV competition. But it most calls to mind its theatrical godparent Cats, the ultimate pageant of unsatisfied souls singing for their afterlife.'
BroadwayWorld- Highly Recommended
"...Ride the Cyclone is quirky and unconventional - think Defending Your Life meets A Chorus Line, performed by the cast of Glee, with a nod and a wink to the mysterious Zoltar arcade game in Big, and an homage to the zombie genre. It's 90 minutes of raucous laughter, clever songs, and poignant moments, playing at Arena Stage's Kreeger Theatre through February 9th."
Talkin Broadway- Highly Recommended
"...Ride the Cyclone is not just the title of the musical now at Arena Stage in Washington. It also refers to the way audience members may feel after participating in this fascinating, immersive 100-minute theatrical experience, which examines life, death, and what may or may not come after them."
Washington City Paper- Highly Recommended
"...Ride the Cyclone has developed a bit of a cult following, and watching Arena Stage's production it's easy to see why. It's utterly original, hilarious, thought-provoking, and more than a little off the rails. As the final number reiterates, "it's just a ride.""
DC Theater Arts- Highly Recommended
"...Ultimately, Ride the Cyclone delivers on its promise: campy, tongue-in-cheek fun that cuts just a little even as it goes over the top. No other subgenre reliably delivers numbers like Ricky's bizarre "Space Age Bachelor Man," performed with gusto by Snyder and styled to fit certain feline fantasies (you'll understand when you see it). For all the occasional creaks in its conceit, Ride the Cyclone at Arena Stage is still a trip."
Washington Blade- Highly Recommended
"...What better way to bond than landing in the afterlife together? In "Ride the Cyclone," a quirky musical now at Arena Stage, six high school choir members perish in a freak roller coaster crash. After croaking, the sextet passes into a sort of limbo where they each have the chance to argue - in song - why they deserve to live again. While vying for the top spot, they learn a lot about each other."
MD Theatre Guide- Highly Recommended
"...St. Cassian High School Chamber Choir were dealt an unlucky hand-they came in second place when they were the only team in competition; they hail from the boring small town of Uranium, Saskatchewan; and their lives fall far short of what they hoped. And now, they're all dead. A rollercoaster derailment sends these teenager to a murky purgatory where an all-knowing fortune-teller machine, the Amazing Karnak, offers them a chance to send one, but just one, back to life. Wacky and wonderful, "Ride The Cyclone" transforms a darkly absurd premise into a side-splitting, hilarious original musical. Developed over the past 15 years and coproduced by McCarter Theatre, this unmissable Arena Stage production is packed with earworm songs and vivid cast of characters."
Theatrely- Somewhat Recommended
"...Unfortunately, Rasmussenís excellent work canít make up for Ride the Cycloneís pacing issues. Much of the musicalís charm is its eclecticism, but itís the same feature making the show disjointed. Richmond and Maxwell go for wild tonal swings that at best become camp and at worst are cringey. I could feel the Arena Stage audience alternately thrilled and frustrated."