• Capsule Reviews


April 23, 2024

by Ben Togut

A spirited cast breathes new life into the battle for women’s voting rights in Suffs, now playing at the Music Box. The show transforms a critical period of American history into an exciting night at the theater, dramatizing the campaign for gender equality in voting rights and championing the fearless women behind it.

One of the production’s greatest assets is its ensemble, which embodies the feistiness of the suffragists and exhibits a moving sense of comradery on stage. Jenn Colella turns in a willful performance as Carrie Chapman Catt, an activist who refuses to stray from her non-confrontational strategy. She is a joy to watch as she campaigns for female suffrage in the opener “Let Mother Vote” and criticizes the aggressive  tactics of younger suffragists in “This Girl.” Broadway veteran Emily Skinner is delightfully snarky as socialite Alva Belmont. She showcases her range  by doubling as rural housewife Phoebe Burn in Act II, delivering a poignant rendition of “A Letter From Harry’s Mother.”

Another one of Suffs’s delights is its score by Shaina Taub, which balances a story of protest struggle with moments of genuine humor, such as in the song “G.A.B.”  Director Leigh Silverman’s staging elegantly complements the world Taub has created. At the end of the second act, Taub’s Alice Paul takes center stage while her castmates are silhouetted behind her, visually highlighting that it took a legion of women joining together for their voices to be heard.

At once a history lesson and a call to action, Suffs is an inspiring and timely piece of theatre.