Reviews

“An exciting and ambitious project, driven by Teng’s eclectic score, Shaffer’s inspired rewrites of the Buddha story, and their punchy, provocative lyrics… An absolute delight.”

—Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle

“Intelligent and skillfully crafted…A hugely ambitious and refreshingly original musical that demands the attention of any serious theatergoer…Driven by Teng’s propulsive score, Shaffer’s musical has the audience emotionally involved and on the edge of their seats…Teng is a fresh and exciting new theatrical talent with a distinctive voice of her own… Highly recommended.”

—George Heymont, The HuffingtonPost

“A satisfying and remarkably entertaining new musical that takes on spiritual life with wit and emotional resonance… Funny and touching in all the right places…[The Fourth Messenger] seems sure to catch fire if the outside world gets a chance to hear it.”

—Sam Hurwitt, KQED/NPR

“The Fourth Messenger is a triumph…Beautiful, ambitious and with the kind of depth we’ve come not to expect from musicals…Compelling from beginning to end… Shaffer’s book brims with intelligence and wit and Teng’s music feels rich in original ways, full of melody and intricacy… It’s time for The Fourth Messenger to…share its own nirvana with a much wider audience.”

—Chad Jones’ Theater Dogs

“An exceptional new musical… unique and captivating… Shaffer’s masterful and compelling story, both timeless and contemporary, puts a fascinating spin on the idea of a Buddha-like sage negotiating the sort of headline scenarios that make up today’s world…The Fourth Messenger strikes a balance of passion, intensity, light humor, profundity and quiet, almost serene, resolution…”

—Stacy Trevenon, Stage and Cinema

“Profound and profane, combative and compassionate, The Fourth Messenger has everything and more for a musical worth seeing… Teng’s complex harmonies and inspired melodies …stick with you long after the curtain goes down… “

—Setzu Uzume, Art Animal

“With a lively book and lyrics by Tanya Shaffer and a collection of stirring songs by Vienna Teng, Messenger delves into the world of self-proclaimed gurus, whose virtuous charisma may, or may not, be justified by their private lives.

—Charles Brousse, Pacific Sun