Anti-Wal-Mart Show Discounted By Critics

Sure, it’s a clich

, but the closest New York City residents are going to get to the Wal-Mart experience is… a musical! Yes, with singing and dancing! After a year of retooling to transfer it from its semi-professional beginnings in Wisconsin to its latest incarnation Off-Broadway, “Walmartopia” opened this week to mostly poor reviews.

The husband and wife team behind the “musical on a mission” have cited the books “Nickel and Dimed” and “Selling Women Short” as sources, but it might just be better to read the books, based on reactions to the show, which include descriptions like “ham-handed satire” and “bland and witless.”

As far as effective agitprop goes, it looks like South Park still holds the award for most entertaining spin on the pleasures and dangers of the super-mega-corporation. Or, as one review puts it, “Bad art never helped anyone’s cause.”

“Selling Women Short” at Amazon
“Nickel and Dimed” at Amazon

“Attention, Shoppers: Anguish in Aisle 4” [New York Times]
“Creators Of ‘Walmartopia’ Discuss Show’s Success” [ (video)]
“Walmartopia” []

(Photo: Carol Rosegg)


Edit Your Comment

  1. homerjay says:

    soooo… no Tony nod?

  2. Chicago7 says:

    Walmart paid off the reviews! How much you wanna bet?

    Hahahaha! They are truly evil.

  3. beyond says:

    Really, how exciting can a musical about Walmart be?

  4. nhoj1962 says:

    You seem to cloak yourself in nobility by pointing out the theatrical piece skewering one of your favorite punching bags is a “piece ‘o crap”, then supply links to buy the books it was based on and the website of the production you just basically told us was “a piece ‘o crap”.

    I love that you advocate for us readers, but don’t do it gratuitously. This is not the kind of post I expect by Consumerist.

  5. YokoOno says:

    Oh, Chicago7, how fecking stupid can you get? Truly evil? Boring. Get a new line, Wal-Mart haters. No one cares.

  6. Chicago7 says:


    Give it a rest, Mr. Serious. It’s a joke.

  7. Chicago7 says:

    But YOU might be a shill for Wal-Mart. A little TOO defensive, I think.

  8. boandmichele says:

    @YokoOno: sorry but chicago7 is right. they truly are evil.

    and the smart people care. the other people who don’t care, are the ones who shop at walmart in the first place.

  9. King of the Wild Frontier says:

    @nhoj1962: Nice try, but no cookie. Just because a bad musical is based off of a book doesn’t mean that the book is bad. Nickel and Dimed made’s Best of 2001.

  10. kimsama says:

    @King of the Wild Frontier: Not sure if nhoj was dissing the books (or just the post), but I agree with you that Nickel and Dimed was damned interesting reading.

  11. Cowboys_fan says:

    As much as I hate wal-mart, I just cannot see such a musical being interesting at all. It may be a good work of art potentially, but definately not entertainment. I would be astonished if I saw it and enjoyed it.

  12. rmz says:

    Chiming in here to say that Nickel and Dimed is a pretty good book.

  13. Youthier says:

    @beyond: I think that “Employee of the Month” proved that this is a crap genre.

  14. Stan LS says:

    Didn’t that book get savaged by the amazon reviewers?

  15. YokoOno says:

    I used to work at their corporate office, and I’ve stated that many times.

    However, I don’t work there anymore, and I’ve never thought for a second they were perfect or anywhere near it. But if you are going to go on and on and on about them being “evil,” look at K-Mart and Target, too. They do all of the same things, just on a smaller scale. So get over yourself, kids.

  16. YokoOno says:

    “they truly are evil. and the smart people care.”

    Oh, please. I strongly suggest you get a grip. I have multiple degrees, including one from an ivy league university, so that’s your theory out the window.

    The difference between you and me is that I don’t just blindly follow what everyone else says and take it as gospel.

    I assume you don’t shop at K-Mart or Target, either, then?

  17. Donkey404 says:

    I’m working on a direct transport system from Shanghai to Bentonville.
    It will either be a floating conveyor belt or an undersea vacuum tube
    system, like the ones that your bank’s drive up window uses. I figure
    it will save billions in freight, and in a few years I will be as rich
    as the Walton family themselves. I’m accepting qualified investors now.