BWW Reviews: SHOW BOAT A Magnificent Time at Music Circus
“But nothing beats Philip Boykin‘s smooth bass baritone voice drifting over the musical’s famous anthem, “Ol’ Man River.” Applause thundered after the Tony Award nominee’s opening night performance…”
Read more about BWW Reviews: SHOW BOAT A Magnificent Time at Music Circus by sacramento.broadwayworld.com
Sacramento’s Music Circus honors classic depths of ‘Show Boat’By Marcus Crowder
“Phillip Boykin’s fabulously rich, pure bass baritone envelops the classic “Ol’ Man River,” underscoring the song’s poetic philosophy.”
THEATER REVIEW | ‘THE GERSHWINS’ PORGY AND BESS’; A New Storm’s Brewing Down on Catfish Row | BY BEN BRANTLEY
Published: January 13, 2012
For devastating theatrical impact, it’s hard to imagine any hurricane matching the tempest that is the extraordinary Audra McDonald’s Bess at the moment she is reunited with her former lover, Crown, played by Phillip Boykin. But as soon as Mr. Boykin’s Crown calls out to Ms. McDonald’s Bess, you know she’s a goner. Mr. Boykin is a big man with a big rumbling baritone, and Bess (and the audience) hasn’t heard a male voice of that power — that is, one that matches her lusty soprano — since he disappeared in the first act. And though part of their angry, erotically charged encounter is spoken, the boundaries between speech and song blur here.
Mr. Boykin inhabit a world of exalted, dangerous passions that is separate from the rest of the denizens of Catfish Row.
BY LINDA WINER
Phillip Boykin sings and acts powerfully as a man-monster of a Crown
VULTURE | BY Scott Brown
Crown, is an especially deft mini-opera of evasion, resistance, temptation, and final, furious acceptance: McDonald’s dramatic gifts meet and often exceed her storied vocal range. As Crown, the excellent Philip Boykin an opera-trained performer with a hydrofracking basso seems to thrive on the character’s lavish Scarpian villainy: he was hissed, delightedly, by the crowd, at his curtain call, and loved every minute of it.
Phillip Boykin, making his Broadway debut as the murderous Crown, has a convincingly brute presence and a mountainous voice.
USA TODAY | BY Elysa Gardner
Phillip Boykin brings a more glowering heft to Porgy’s romantic rival Crown
The No. 1 Reason To See Porgy and Bess: Audra McDonald and Phillip Boykin’s brawl during ”What You Want With Bess?” At the top of Act II, Bess’s fearsome pimp Crown, incredibly played by Phillip Boykin, returns from hiding from the police to remind Bess that he will soon be taking her away from the cozy life she’s made for herself in his absence. Bess, who has found tender love with Porgy and a sense of community with her neighbors in Catfish Row, has no intention of returning to her murky past. She sings “What You Want With Bess?,” an appeal to Crown, highlighting the notion that he can find a better, younger woman to satisfy him. McDonald’s delivery signifies the first time in a long time that Bess has stood up for herself. Of course, the concept of being denied only makes Crown desire Bess more, and despite her newfound inner strength, she is no match for his massive arms. As McDonald wails through the song, she and Boykin engage in a gruesome physical struggle. The gripping, pulling, and punching between McDonald and Boykin is raw and horrifically real. Yet the violence is not what makes the scene great; it’s McDonald’s unaffected singing throughout the brutality that creates this hypnotic juxtaposition. Credit also goes to Boykin, who is firmly committed to the viciousness of his character. However, McDonald’s unwavering operatic voice throughout this mayhem is astonishing.
VARIETY.com | BY STEVEN SUSKIN
Phillip Boykin is a commanding Crown
the superlative Phillip Boykin as Crown, is outstanding.
NY1 | BY David Cote
Crown, a violent gambler powerfully incarnated by Phillip Boykin.
Phillip Boykin will churn your guts as the evil, powerful Crown.
Theater Scene.Net | BY Victor Gluck
Rather than playing Crown as a charming charismatic playboy, Boykin is so convincing at making Crown brutal and dangerous that it turns Bess into a trapped woman who cannot escape from her fear, attraction or need for him.
Audra McDonald, Norm Lewis, David Alan Grier and Phillip Boykin to pull out all the stops is thrilling theater and should not be neglected.
WMNR Fine Arts Radio | BY Joanne Moryl
Crown, scarily played by bass-baritone Phillip Boykin, who has one of the most powerful voices heard in some time,
The burly Phillip Boykin looks dangerous as the brutish Crown and sings with muscular force
NEW YORK OBSERVER | BY Rex Reed
Phillip Boykin is a hardy, potent and terrifying Crown with a voice of booming iron and the malevolent force to enslave anyone within range. When he appears from the swamp after the picnic to rape Bess and drag her back from decency into a life of shame, the scene on Kiawah Island sizzles with the energy of a sexual tango that leaves not only Bess, but the entire audience, limp
METROWEEKLY | BY Doug Rule
Crown (a frighteningly great Phillip Boykin) turns into a killing, raping monster
THE THEATER SOURCE.COM | BY Carey Purcell
Crown, played by Phillip Boykin, is a frighteningly fierce presence onstage with a rich singing voice to match.