The House Theatre of Chicago | UNITED FLIGHT 232

"This is a celebration of the valor and dedication of the United flight staff, the strength and heroism of the survivors and a tribute to those poor souls who lost their lives in this disaster . . . "

-Colin Douglas, Chicago Theatre Review Read Reviews

Route 66 Theatre Company | THE DOWNPOUR

"...Weiss has cast the piece very well: Barrie and Neff are credible as sisters but they simultaneously read as binary opposites, which serves the play. Both of these fine actresses are on fire here - you don't normally get such an intense emotional current bubbling under what's otherwise a commercial thriller . . . "

-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune Full article

Steppenwolf Theatre Company | OKAY, BYE

"In Conkel's "Okay, Bye," directed by Margot Bordelon, two seemingly very different women in their early thirties meet at an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting ... Jenny (the wonderful Brenda Barrie, who can move seamlessly from darkly neurotic to acerbically comic) and Meg (the intriguing, hugely watchable Lara Phillips, another Chicago actress now based in New York) . . . "

-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times Full article

Chicago Shakespeare Company | JULIUS CAESAR

"British director Jonathan Munby holds little back in his contemporary take on William Shakespeare's classic tragedy Julius Caesar. Cast predominately with veteran Shakespeare actors . . . Brenda Barrie (as Brutus' wife Portia) commands attention each and every second she is on stage and made me greatly wish that William gave his female roles more than one or two scenes followed by an off-stage suicide . . . "

-Noel Schecter, Splash Magazines Full article

The House Theatre of Chicago | THE NUTCRACKER

"The House Theatre's "The Nutcracker," which is better than ever this year under Tommy Rapley's direction, has a lot to offer ... moving, family-friendly, richly imaginative and distinctive. This year, it is also notably more truthful. House Theater recently became an Actors' Equity-affiliated company, which has allowed them to cast the actress Brenda Barrie in the role of Clara's mother. Barrie greatly ups the emotional stakes of this role, offering a moving picture of a woman bereaved, while still finding time to double as one of the rats . . . "

-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune Full article

The House Theatre of Chicago | THE CROWNLESS KING

"Nathan Allen has directed this massive undertaking (the centerpiece of a trilogy that began with "The Iron Stag King") with immense panache and unstoppable energy ... In an exceptional turn, Brenda Barrie is exquisite as the passionate, unyielding Lady Olympia. And her ferocious scene with John Henry Roberts, in which she oversees torture to exact the truth, suggests the dramatic potential in this epic . . . "

-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times Full article

Chicago Shakespeare Company | ELIZABETH REX

"'Rex' rocks . . . Chicago Shakespeare Theater's daring production combines flawless technical elements and brilliant performances to create an unforgettable evening for all. Known for her imaginative renditions of the Bard, Barbara Gaines adds another dazzling production to her sterling resume. With a sure hand, Gaines guides the audience into the mind and heart of an unforgettable monarch and is backed by a spectacular array of Chicago's finest theatrical artists . . . "

-Donna Robertson, Examiner Full article

Steppenwolf Theatre Company | MIDDLETOWN

"In the extraordinary second act, despair arrives center stage as Mary, John, the mechanic, and the cop suddenly face soul-wrenching grief. Despair tethers people to their lives, Eno suggests, and gives them a sense of agency that no amount of wonder can approximate. Waters and his cast express this transformation with such passion and wisdom it's awe-inspiring to watch . . . "

-Justin Hayford, Chicago Reader Full article

BackStage Theatre Company | MEMORY

"In Memory, the flawed but indisputably haunting new show by the BackStage Theatre Company, the ever finer Chicago actress Brenda Barrie plays Eva, a Holocaust survivor who suffered unspeakable losses at the hands of the Nazis . . . How can a modern actress - even one as capable as Barrie - possibly create a facsimile of such pain? . . . The scene kept me awake last night, and stays with me as I write . . . "

-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune Full article

New Essential Chicagoan: Brenda Barrie

"Barrie has been on our radar for a while (we first noticed her in a supporting role in BackStage's 2007 Waiting for Lefty). But in the past year, the 29-year-old actor has really grabbed the spotlight with a succession of headlining performances that showcased the radiant charm she employs to endear . . ."

-Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago Full article

Meet Chicago's Rising Stars

"Few Chicago actors have had a year like Brenda Barrie. Her arresting turn this spring as an overly passionate postulant in the Lifeline Theatre production of "Mariette in Ecstasy" was more than enough to turn heads. And Barrie followed that up with a rich and textured performance in the hit production of "Graceland" at Profiles Theatre, playing a lost soul trying to live with a lifetime of poor decisions. She then had to leave the role to star in "Ruby Sunrise," now at Gift Theatre . . ."

-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune Full article

Acting filled with 'Ecstasy' for Hammond's Barrie

" . . . I think that that's why her acting is so luminous -- there's no pretense, there's no fronts; she shares that onstage," McKie said. "She just has this sweet disposition that you think would get beaten up in the theatrical world, but she has this great blend of vulnerability and tenacity, which makes her a great actor and a great person . . ."

-Bob Kostanczuk, Post-Tribune Full article

Lifeline Theatre | MRS. CALIBAN

"Barrie, who has created a series of indelible portrayals in recent seasons (in Mariette in Ecstasy, Graceland and The Ruby Sunrise), is a true treasure. With her alabaster skin, sonorous voice, balletic grace and palpable inner life she is worth seeing in Mrs Caliban for its opening sequences alone, as she repeatedly bids mechanical goodbyes to her detached husband, washes dishes and dances into deep fantasy to the sound of classical music on the radio . . ."

-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times Full article

BackStage Theatre | AUNT DAN AND LEMON

"Barrie, exquisite as always, presents this Svengali with a disarming sensuousness; a mix of faith and pent-up sex, she could be an escaped nun from Black Narcissus."

-Caitlin Montanye Parrish, Time Out Chicago Full article

The Gift Theatre | THE RUBY SUNRISE

"Gawlik's direction is brisk delight; the production brims with crackerjack performances. Barrie, as Ruby's daughter, and Thornton, as her writer love interest, are first among equals and the sexiest screwball pair since Hepburn and Stewart."

-Caitlin Montanye Parrish, Time Out Chicago Full article

Ellen Fairey's GRACELAND

"Barrie, a petite blond with a most intriguing face and emotions that run deep, made a huge impression as the star of Lifeline's "Mariette in Ecstasy" earlier this season, and her beautifully modulated work here only confirms her enormous talent."

-Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun-Times Full article

Lifeline Theatre | MARIETTE IN ECSTASY

"The production benefits greatly from a remarkable central performance from a beautiful and honest young actress named Brenda Barrie, who manages to physically set herself apart from everyone else in the production and appear at once more sophisticated and more dangerous."

-Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune Full article

BackStage Theatre | HOW I LEARNED TO DRIVE

"Reeder's excellent production is anchored by Barrie's commanding performance. As both the mercurial central character and the more grounded, adult narrator, Barrie takes Li'l Bit from early adolescence to adulthood with sly confidence."

-Kris Vire, Time Out Chicago Full article

Silk Road Theatre Project | CARAVAGGIO

"The cast is confident and captivating. Brenda Barrie's portrayal of Lena, Caravaggio's prostitute-model-female love interest, is exceptionally engaging as she delivers the most compelling passion in her performance."

-Venus Zarris, Gay Chicago Magazine Full article


"The current production at the Metropolis benefits immensely from Brenda Barrie's convincing and stirring performance as Blanche DuBois . . . Barrie's performance as Blanche is mesmerizing, building to a finale that feels truly tragic."

-Rob Loerzel, Pioneer Press Full article

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