Suffs: The Ambitious Tale of Women’s Suffrage Hits Broadway

Suffs musical

The Broadway musical “Suffs” tackles the tumultuous history of the women’s suffrage movement with gusto, though not without its challenges and critiques.

Led by Shaina Taub, who also stars as Alice Paul, “Suffs” chronicles the relentless fight for women’s voting rights, from the relentless protests to the poignant personal sacrifices made by suffragists like Alice Paul and her comrades. Taub’s journey into this historical narrative began with Stevens’ memoir, “Jailed for Freedom,” propelling her to weave together a narrative fraught with challenges and triumphs.

Initially slated for an Off-Broadway debut in 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic forced delays, yet “Suffs” emerged stronger, debuting at the Public Theater in 2022 before its Broadway bow. While its ambitious scope has drawn mixed reviews, Taub’s retooling has honed a production that remains both educational and entertaining.

Drawing comparisons to “Hamilton,” “Suffs” employs a rapid-fire soundtrack and unconventional casting to deliver its message, yet it falls short of sparking a similar national conversation. While the musical brims with historical fidelity and dramatic tension between characters like Alice Paul and Carrie Chapman Catt (played by Jenn Colella), it occasionally falters in fully developing its diverse cast of suffragists.

Despite its flaws, “Suffs” shines in capturing the essence of a pivotal moment in history, even as it skirts some nuanced aspects of the suffrage movement. As it concludes on a reflective note, the musical prompts audiences to consider the ongoing quest for gender equality, resonating beyond its final curtain call.

For those eager to witness a blend of history and entertainment, “Suffs” offers a compelling glimpse into the enduring struggle for women’s rights, echoing through the corridors of Broadway and beyond.