“Another standout on opening night was Simon Diesenhaus as Tobias Ragg, who works for Mrs. Lovett, but is leery of Todd. He tries to protect Mrs. Lovett in the charming “Not While I’m Around”…Diescenhaus’ heartbreaking performance as Tobias was one of the highlights of the evening.”-Yvonne French
“In comes the sexy and sassy Lorraine Sheldon, played by Caroline C. Kiebach. Kiebach lights up the stage and delivered my favorite performance of the evening. She is charming, witty with an over-the-top personality. Her arrival causes a change of events that even affects Whiteside, and nothing affects Whiteside. A phone call turns into a major tantrum and is hysterical. It’s a real ‘Scene Stealer.’-Letricia Loftin
Kaycie Goral Singing “Fly, Fly, Away” in Catch Me If You Can’ at Walt Whitman High School
“Not to be outdown by strength from the men, several ladies add especially to the performance. Bringing an untraditionally effusive Brenda Strong, Kaycie Goral’s success culminates in a riveting performance of “Fly, Fly Away.” This piece, very effectively staged with the “Fly Away” trio evoking Supremes-like choreography and silky voices behind Goral’s powerful belt, is a high point of the second act.”-Jason Landrone
“The vacuous fiancée, Pauline Clench, is played by Megan Graves, who has excellent comedic timing and makes really funny faces. Watch for her precise delivery when she is lying upside-down on a chair.”-Yvonne French
Vaughan Irving as The Colonel and Emily Kester as the Lieutenant During the Song “Twilight Barking’ in 101 Dalmations at Imagination Stage
“While the humans phone Scotland Yard, Pongo and Missis pull together a helpful team in the song “Twilight Barking,” including great performances by Vaughn Irving as The Colonel and Emily Kester as Lieutenant, and set out on an adventure to find their precious puppies.” –Julia Exline.
“Todd and Lovett hatch a plan to use his victims to stuff her meat pies, and the most delightful song of the evening is their duet “A Little Priest,” in which they use puns to describe the attributes of various pies based on the vocation of their main ingredient. [Alex] Stone and [Rachel] Lawhead are having the time of their lives and it really shows in their singing and dancing.”-Yvonne French
Yana Madrid as The Witch Singing ‘The Last Midnght’ inInto the Woods at Woodrow Wilson High School.
“Time and space make it impossible to heap due praises on every deserving cast and crew member. Yana Madrid is in a class of her own as the Witch. Her singing and speaking voice, cackle, acting and movement make for the most believable witch I have ever encountered on stage. Complete with face mask, her costume, with spindly fingers, a leaf-covered coat, and well-worn hat and boots, also deserves special recognition. As the curse is broken, she is unveiled as a bombshell in a killer red dress. Her performance of ‘The Last Midnight” was astounding.”-Bev Fleisher.
“Marc Pavan, as Chip Tolentino (speller #47), brought his mighty voice and stage presence straight from Act Two @ Levine to the Magruder stage. His swan song: “Chip’s Lament,” as the candy concession man who laments his ‘unfair’ elimination from the bee, was one of the strongest of the night.”-Bev Fleisher
Special Serial Scene Stealers
Jason Tamborini, Toby Mulford, and Jon Jon Johnson as Waiters Stuck Together in One Man, Two Guvnorsat 1st Stage
“[Jason] Tamborini, [Toby] Mulford, and [Jon Jon] Johnson are especially good as waiters who move in unison and make funny noises as they careen in and out in a stylized fashion that is a real ‘scene stealer.’ The three stick to each other like glue and rotate their torsos as they turn corners harrumphing to announce their presence and willingness to serve. It was so funny that my husband and I were imitating their antics at Thanksgiving dinner.”
Ben Topa as The Baker and Sophie Thurschwell as The Baker’s Wife Singing “It Takes Two” at Into the Woods at Woodrow Wilson High School
“Another favorite is Ben Topa as the Baker. His singing and acting are multidimensional and he effectively shifts his voice and demeanor to match changing emotions. His wife, Sophie Thurschwell, matches him note for note. Their duet, “It Takes Two” is inspiring.”
Gregory Voinier Singing “Donne mie, la fate a tanti.”in Cosi Fan Tutte at University of Maryland’s Maryland Opera Studio
“One of the highlights of the night was [Gregory] Voinier’s second act aria “Donne mie, la fate a tanti.” In this humorous rant against the cruelty and infidelity of women, Voinier had the audience in the palm of his hand as he humorously scolded them. His voice was agile and clear, yet rich.”-Jessica Vaughan
“Taking on her third role as Doctor Pinch, Erin Wagner has an exaggerated scene at that end of the show that is just laugh-out-loud good and definitely a scene stealer. Known as the schoolteacher, conjurer, and would-be exorcist, she caught my attention with her larger-than-life body language and grandiose gestures. Adding to the scene is her costuming wearing a big black cape, gray hair and waving her bible. It was a good way to wrap up the show.“-Danielle Angeline
Rachel Zampelli (Millie), Michael John Casey (Frank) and Maggie Donnelly (Earl) Singing ‘Waiting at the Window” in The Gift of Nothingat The Kennedy Center.
“Rachel Zampelli (Millie), Michael John Casey (Frank), and Maggie Donnelly (Earl) beautifully harmonize in “Waiting at the Window, simultaneously conveying each character’s feelings of joy, love, fear, worry, disappointment and loneliness.”-Gina Jun