Dinah Was - quotes

"Yvette Freeman re-creates the role that garnered her an Obie Award [in] a portrayal worthy of a blues legend…sizzling with raw sexuality… Musical director Lanny Hartley and an excellent live jazz combo ably back up Freeman, who could belt out a phone book and keep audiences rapt" - F. Kathleen Foley, Los Angeles Times

"PICK OF THE WEEK! The was of the title may be short for Washington, and it may be in the past tense, but when Yvette Freeman cuts loose as the pop diva, she's most decidedly present: Dinah Is! Freeman is a powerhouse in her own right… Freeman punctuates the story with 13 finely rendered signature songs, Paul Avedisian and Peter Van Norden provide able support as her white supporters and nemeses, Darryl Alan Reed scores high marks as two of Dinah's lovers and Sybyl Walker transforms a handful of small roles into a star turn. Director Caryn Desai serves up script and songs with a sleek, sure hand on Tom Buderwitz's fine set, and Lanny Hartley's musical direction is terrific" - Neal Weaver, LA Weekly

" 'Dinah Was' is another big winner for ICT… What a powerhouse performance, and what a sensational ensemble fleshes out the drama of Dinah's story. The audience sits mesmerized as four superb actors race through nine different supporting parts under the sensitive direction of caryn desai. Backing them up is a fabulous, five-piece rhythm-and-blues band that is conducted onstage by Lanny Hartley at the piano." - Shirle Gottlieb, Press Telegram

"CRITICS PICK! Director Caryn Desai has reached the heights with this polished and sharp production… With tremendous swagger, vulnerability, and in-your-face lust for life, Freeman fills Dinah's shoes and her signature white fur coat… But the actor deserves special kudos for her singing, capturing Washington's smoky, punchy, clipped phrasing, belting out a sexy duet of 'You Got What It Takes' with paramour and musician Boss (Darryl Alan Reed) or utterly breaking our hearts, after hers has had the same fate, with the Act One closer, 'I Wanna Be Loved.' " - Brad Schreiber, Back Stage West

"An enormously entertaining and uplifting show that pays due tribute to a great American artist… The production is blessed by the luminous lead portrayal of Yvette Freeman [who] sings Washington's hits to smashing effect.… beautifully produced, with kudos due for caryn desai's typically accomplished direction; Tom Buderwitz's tasteful set design; Jeremy Pivnick's evocative lighting; Garry Lennon's lush costumes; and the sublime efforts of musical director Lanny Hartley and his four onstage musicians." - Les Spindle, Frontiers