Here’s a selection of what critics have said about us, including some nice words about
- Striking 12, our secular holiday musical
- A Midsummer Night’s Dream, for which we were the on-stage band
- Sleeping Beauty Wakes, our 2nd collaboration with playwright Rachel Sheinkin, and
- some quotes about GrooveLily in general.
• about “Striking 12″ •
The most important ingredient for a successful musical, it has long been acknowledged, is a first-rate score, and this one is terrific.
Striking 12 may be the best new American musical that nobody has heard of.
Watch your back, Sweeney Todd. The band GrooveLily has come to town, proving that you don’t need to do a big-budget Broadway show to tell a captivating story and showcase the formidable gifts of multitalented performers.
Bay Area Theatre Critics’ Circle award for Best Touring Company: GrooveLily & “Striking 12″
Sometimes the brightest gifts come in the strangest packages. One of this year’s more captivating new holiday shows is less the product of a theater company than of a jazzy rock trio called GrooveLily, and not so much a musical as a story threaded through a concert.
Part rock concert, part musical,”Striking 12″ uses convention for kindling and leaves us all basking in the glow of the hippest holiday show in recent memory. “Striking 12″ is too hot to miss.
“Striking 12,” created and performed by the New York-based band GrooveLily, is thoroughly entertaining and musically rich.
Valerie Vigoda is truly amazing, an awesome vision of embodied musicality, moving as one with her violin, making it sing and singing with it in a voice both smoky and angelic. Anyone in town who plays violin ought to see her—she’s the future.
In the quest for an ideal holiday entertainment for adults, “Striking 12″ strikes gold.
This holiday-themed show by the pop trio GrooveLily is an inventive presentation that is part theater piece, part concert, and wholly entertaining.
Brendan Milburn is a brilliant keyboardist, vocalist and co-author. Their curmudgeonly percussionist, Gene Lewin, who plays all the straight men and foils in the chamber jazz rock operetta, is an absolute delight.
[Midsummer Night's Dream] is built around the jazz-rock band GrooveLily, and their luscious stylings recall a smooth but hard-driving blend of Roxy Music and Herbie Hancock, quite suitably ornate and theatrical.
Much of the familiar dialogue, conveniently written in rhyming couplets, is scored and sung with contemporary GrooveLily melodies so well suited to the words that it’s hard to believe they were written centuries apart.
Their music, sensual, glib, romantic and raucous, delights throughout with its varied and eclectic musical vocabulary traversing rock, blues, Broadway, folk and jazz, even a passing nod to Kurt Weill, but mostly defined by its originality and independence.
A thing of beauty … the sign-language musical, pioneered by Deaf West and championed by Center Theatre Group, has roared into exciting new life … magical and poignant … “Beauty’s” music just plain rocks.
A beguiling tour de force that looks at love, sleep and time by setting the familiar fairy tale in an innovative performing context … The result is a brilliant entertainment in three dimensions … keyboardist Milburn and violinist Vigoda singing the lovers are superb … Every element, from costume design to sound and lighting, has that rare combination of thorough professionalism and deeply devoted love of art and craft that distinguishes the merely excellent from the unforgettable.
A work of art, talent, and humor in which the combination of deaf and speaking actors feels completely organic … a delightful score … the lyrics are crafty, and the songs charmingly melodic … the pair also deftly play their own instruments on stage. (Vigoda is especially sexy on the electric violin.)
Sleeper hit … a winning combination of catchy music, deft storytelling … inventive and highly entertaining … the songs … are almost all hummable winners.
Scintillatingly directed and choreographed by Jeff Calhoun, who also did the Deaf West award-winning production of Big River, this co-production of The Center Theatre Group and Deaf West Theatre is everything a dream ought to be … the score … is charming, eerie in “Uninvited,” enchanting in “Dream With Me.” Vigoda, who sings and plays the violin simultaneously and co-composed the score, comes across as a real star of this production.
GrooveLily has an intelligent poppiness perfect for grown-up tastes.
… Vigoda is the group’s enormously talented front-woman, with superb chops on electric violin, a sweet and powerful singing voice and a warm, inviting stage presence.
But New York’s GrooveLily pushes its quaint instrumentation and snappy lyrics toward the febrile joys of the power trio proper, just with more urbane panache and a lot less dirty bongwater.
Valerie Vigoda unleashes a diva-worthy torrent of passion …
Valerie Vigoda, Brendan Milburn and Gene Lewin are GrooveLily. Together they weave their songs of fierce hope in an uncooperative world into moody tapestries. Vigoda’s violins are the primary solo voice, Milburn’s keys the atmosphere and occasional solo, Lewin’s drum the pulse and punctuation. GrooveLily’s music addresses both brain and body with clever lyrics and music you can move to. Heady fun.
Spritely and sweet-natured, richly tuneful, lyrically playful and comforting. That’s the like-no-other, adult-rock trio GrooveLily in a nutshell, on the charming indie release “Are We There Yet?”
New York’s GrooveLily cut loose in a set of urban bluegrass, spiritually uplifting ballads and various poperatic arias that showed off singer and violinist Valerie Vigoda’s angelic voice.
Look, up on the stage. It’s a jazz band. It’s a power pop trio. It’s a performance art ensemble. No, it’s GrooveLily, which is all those things and a whole lot more.