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The Broadway Review: ‘Suffs’ is a sleek account of feminist history that’s liberating — but not just — for all

Shaina Taub makes a strong Broadway debut as the writer, composer and lyricist of this new American musical.

(L-R) Kim Blanck, Hannah Cruz, Nikki M. James, Nadia Dandashi, Shaina Taub and Ally Bonino in “Suffs” on Broadway, 2024 (Credit: Joan Marcus)

Good morning, and welcome to Broadway News’ Broadway Review by Brittani Samuel — our overview of reactions, recommendations and information tied to last night’s Broadway opening of “Suffs.”


(L-R) Nadia Dandashi, Shaina Taub, Kim Blanck, Ally Bonino and Hannah Cruz in “Suffs” on Broadway, 2024 (Credit: Joan Marcus)

I am fortunate enough to see a bounty of musical theater, yet it’s highly rare that I exit a venue thinking: that needed to be a musical. But “Suffs” defends its form. It’s genuinely tuneful and effective at organizing strong characters around a complex series of events. Creator Shaina Taub blends real people, happenings and places with sourced and imagined dialogue to stretch an often truncated American movement: (white) women’s suffrage. Her book is neatly crafted, aptly democratic and never preachy with all of its archival work. It gives voice to many different heroines. Though Alice Paul (played by Taub) is the obvious captain, she does not outshine her troupe of fellow fighters — Lucy Burns (Ally Bonino), Ruza Wenclawska (Kim Blanck), Carrie Chapman Catt (Jenn Colella) and others. Both Taub’s anthemic score and script enjoy making use of a historical turn of phrase: “The young are at the gates,” “Lift as we climb.” Hannah Cruz, as Inez Milholland in one screamful song, literally roars at us to “get out and vote.” (She’s right; if you haven’t yet, register here).

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