CINDERELLA - (May 25- Oct 19, 2018)
Tuacahn Center for the Arts
"Cinderella is strengthened by strong performances from supporting characters... Erika Amato as 'Madame' (aka the wicked stepmother) is captivating on stage. Her character is in turns comedic, social climber and downright wicked to her stepdaughter."
-- HOLLIE REINA, St. George News
"Cinderella wouldn’t be much of a story without the side characters, each of whom also performs their role fantastically. Erika Amato is the pompous and selfish stepmother 'Madame'... I was enthralled, and I can only imagine the magical quality that the production had for the younger audience members."
-- JENNIFER MUSTOE, Front Row Reviewers Utah
BIOGRAPHY - (Sept 21 - Oct 15, 2016)
East Lynne Theater Company
"Erika Amato plays 'Marion'...setting the mood for the entire production with a remarkable portrayal... All give outstanding performances... Laugh-out-loud fun... Thanks to Amato, we are completely enamored with Marion, the heroine from another era truly fitting for our times."
-- TOM SIMS, Exit Zero Magazine
"With their production of Biography, by S. N. Behrman, director Gayle Stahlhuth and her cast and designers have turned a 1932 classic into a masterful stage production...a bona fide masterpiece... The play takes place in one New York apartment, and is entertaining, satisfying, and witty... The cast delivered powerhouse performances. The energetic Erika Amato convincingly displayed both the seriousness and the fun-loving Bohemian sides of 'Marion Froude' – very worthy of having a biography written about her life."
-- RIKCY YOUNG, DC Metro Theater Arts
THE SECRET GARDEN - (May 12 - June 26, 2016)
Arden Theatre Company
"...A stellar ensemble of actors, singers, and musicians (under Ryan Touhey’s masterful music direction), all of whom contribute splendid characterizations to their roles and rich voices and instrumentation to the score’s exquisite ballads and harmonies...there is not a missed note or a weak link in the production."
-- DEBRA MILLER, Phindie.com
"The Secret Garden at the Arden is different from any version you may previously have seen. The cast has brought each of their own individual strengths to create a melting pot of stellar performances... Erika Amato was hilariously stern as Mrs. Winthrop... The Arden’s Secret Garden is blooming with their daring new vision of this classic tale. This is a garden worth visiting."
-- TORI MITTELMAN, DC Metro Theatre Arts
"I can’t imagine a happier introduction to The Secret Garden than the Arden’s beautiful, heartfelt, and visually glorious production... What co-conceivers Terry Nolen and Jorge Cousineau do is nothing short of astonishing...the piece is never less than engaging, especially in the hands of Arden’s blue-chip ensemble — not a weak link among them."
-- DAVID FOX, PhillyMag.com
"A top-notch cast and an unusual, but magical set make for a completely enchanting The Secret Garden at Arden Theatre Company in Philadelphia."
-- KATHY LAUER-WILLIAMS, The Morning Call
A FUNNY THING HAPPENED ON THE WAY TO THE FORUM- (Oct 1 - Nov 1, 2015)
The Wick Theatre
"Erika Amato as Domina makes the most of her brief scenes and her lively Act Two song opener, 'That Dirty Old Man,' has kick."
-- MICHELLE F. SOLOMON, Florida Theater On Stage
"The gags come fast and furious, enabled by a physically and musically adroit cast, notably Amato, who makes the thankless role of undesired wife a winning one."
--LESLIE GRAY STREETER, Palm Beach Post
"While [Ken] Jennings was the focus, Michael Ursua, as Hysterium, had some great moments, as well as the rest of the ensemble cast... Jim Ballard (Miles Gloriosus), Dennis Setteducati (Lycus) and Erika Amato (Domina) gave robust performances."
-- RACHEL GALVIN, The Observer
"A whirlwind of song, dance, innuendo, slapstick comedy, and uproarious pandemonium. ...There are many versions of Forum (I've personally seen about a half-dozen), and each is reliant on both the individual energy of and the chemistry among the actors. This one works on every level."
-- DAPHNE NIKOLOPOULUS, Palm Beach Illustrated
"His domineering wife Domina [is] played imperiously by Erika Amato...it would be hard for anyone in the audience not to have fun during this production of A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum!"
--JOHN LARIVIERE, Talkin'Broadway
BACKWARDS IN HIGH HEELS - (Aug 13 - Sept 20, 2015)
Westchester Broadway Theatre
"A standout performance was handed in at this first showing by Erika Amato as Ginger’s mother Lela Rogers in her WBT debut. She brings out the strength of the woman that had such an influence on her talented daughter’s career. Ms. Amato has a terrific singing voice, dances well, and has the acting ability to match."
--NANCY SASSO JANIS, OnStageBlog.com
"From the first announcement of Ginger Rogers' 1941 Academy Award to the triumphant close - Ginger’s thank you speech for the award and ode to her mother, Lela, played with a sensitivity by Erika Amato - every mother and Dad, too will standup and cheer. Ms. Amato’s credibility and 'mothering reality' made the conflict of the show work, and she showed pitch perfect feeling on her big solo, 'You’ll Never Know.'"
--JOHN BAILEY, White Plains CNR
"Some of the other memorable moments of this wonderful show include...The poignant scene between mother and daughter toward the end of the show, when Amato performs 'You’ll Never Know,' a number that showcases her fabulous singing voice, is one that audiences will remember."
--COLETTE CONNOLLY, The Examiner News
"The performers are first rate... As [Ginger's] stage mom, Erika Amato is equally impressive. Her voice is truly extraordinary, and she brings a real warmth and sensitivity to what could be a strictly clichéd role."
--MICHALL JEFFERS, TotalTheater.com
"The remarkably talented cast of nine fills the large WBT stage with their beautiful voices and precise dancing... Erika Amato as Ginger’s mother Lela carries a great deal of the emotional weight of the show. The mother/daughter relationship is the core of the show’s arc, and in numbers such as 'Baby Face' and particularly 'You’ll Never Know' she demonstrates the parental pain of letting a beloved child go."
--MICHAEL J MULDOON, More Sugar Magazine
"A remarkably multi-talented cast which dazzled the audience from beginning to end... Erika Amato, as Lela Rogers, charmed the audience with 'Baby Face' and 'All My Eggs in One Basket.' There was good mother/daughter chemistry which made for some touching as well as humorous moments."
--CAMILLE KAISER, The Cue
"The dynamic [mother/daughter] duo is captured onstage with Darien Crago as Rogers and Erika Amato as Owens. Crago expresses the true vitality of Rogers... Amato commands respect onstage, a natural talent with a voice to match. Their turbulent relationship leads them to some great song and dance numbers, including 'Fascinating Rhythm/The Orpheum Circuit,' 'Baby Face' and 'All My Eggs in One Basket.'"
-- MICHELLE JACOBY, The Mamaroneck Review
"Another fine performance is by [Ginger's] mother, played with real depth and emotion by Erika Amato."
-- BRUCE CHADWICK, History News Network
"Erika Amato is a feisty Lela and a good singer... 'You'll Never Know' aptly demonstrates Lela's love for her daughter."
-- DAVID A. ROSENBERG, CurtainUp.com
INTO THE WOODS - (April 29 - May 23, 2015)
Ocean State Theatre
" Chief among the standout performers [is] Erika Amato as the Witch... Amato commands the audience from the first moment she appears on stage - impressively, even when her facial expressions are shrouded by the Witch's cloak and heavy makeup - and musically she excels in each and every number. She deftly executes the Witch's tongue-twisting, exposition-laden prologue patter song, she infuses "Stay with Me" and "Lament" with heartrending grief, and her edgy "Last Midnight" is chillingly foreboding."
--VERONICA BRUSCINI, www.broadwayworld.com
"The main character who runs in and out of all the fairy tale scenes is the Witch, played splendidly by Erika Amato. She has a marvelous stage presence as this malevolent woman and her transformation from old hag into stunning beauty is done in the flash of an eye. Her first number is about the vegetables in her garden that the Baker's father stole from her. Erika handles the tongue twisting lyrics with perfect precision. The Witch only shows warmth to her adopted or rather stolen daughter, Rapunzel. Erika's songs include "Stay with Me" where she wants Rapunzel to remain trapped in the tower and in "Witch's Lament" where she mourns for her after the Giant kills her. However it is her eleventh hour number "The Last Midnight" that stops the show with its poignancy and power at her brilliant rendition. She enthralls the audience with her dynamic portrayal."
--TONY ANNICONE, www.theatermirror.com
"A host of impressive voices...including Erika Amato's witch, who was outstanding in 'Stay with Me.'"
--CHANNING GRAY, Providence Journal
"Ocean State Theatre Company's magical new production of Into The Woods is an exquisite example of Sondheim’s genius and the company’s commitment to perfection in every aspect of musical theater... There isn’t sufficient space here to recognize all the exceptional performances in this show, so I’ll just point out a few of many highlights. Sopranos Pothier, Paige, and Amato — as Cinderella, the baker’s wife, and the witch respectively — all have magnificent voices. Their high range reaches up to somewhere in the stratosphere and they deliver Sondheim’s difficult lyrics flawlessly... Another show-stopper is “Last Midnight” delivered beautifully by Erika Amato."
--DAVE CHRISTNER, Newport Daily News
"Directed by Kathryn Markey with a strong hand for comedy and just enough for seriousness, this Into The Woods is filled with first rate acting and singing... Erika Amato makes the witch, who becomes young once again only to lose her witch's power, into a real star, a winner both as an old lady and a young one."
--BILL GALE, Rhode Island Public Radio (NPR) Click here for audio
"This colorful, energetic and above all, heartfelt production, directed by Kathryn Markey, features a remarkable ensemble of rich, stylish performances, complete with songs that amuse, enlighten and keep the audience in a perpetual state of enchantment... Production number highlights include "Agony," a wondrous, amusing lament from two smitten princes, sung by Jonathan Olivera and Wayne Hu, "On the Steps of the Palace," from the lovely voice of Pothier whose Cinderella cannot decide whether to stay or go, "Last Midnight," a rousing, eloquent cry of disdain from Amato's Witch, and the show-stopping signature song, "Children Will Listen" [also Amato]."
--CHRIS VERLEGER, Edge Media Network
"The singing, delivered by a strong ensemble cast, wove fantastic, tragic, and inspiring tales of storybook characters struggling to figure out what they want, how to get it, and how to manage life after their sought-after prizes lose the luster of the unattainable. Friday’s opening night audience was palpably moved by the performances... Erika Amato’s Witch conveyed an ominous and mysterious presence as an old, bent, but nonetheless graceful crone."
--ROB BORKOWSKI, Warwick Post
"Ocean State Theatre Company’s new production of Into The Woods is a delight for the eyes and ears... Director Kathryn Markey has done a spectacular job with the staging. The ensemble cast features some magnificent voices, particularly Amato, Pothier, Labanaris and Wayne Hu, as Cinderella’s Prince..."
--JOE SIEGEL, Motif Magazine
"Stephen Sondheim’s Tony Award-winning musical IntoThe Woods is given a great interpretation at Warwick’s Ocean State Theatre Company, thanks to some crisp direction (Kathryn Markey), dazzling costumes (Brian Horton), clever, colorful sets (Clifton Chadick), a live orchestra led by Esther Zabinski, and a terrific cast that knows how to sing the challenging Sondheim music... I must single out Wayne Hu as Cinderella’s Prince, whose operatic voice shines above the rest, and Erika Amato’s lovely voice as the witch..."
--DON FOWLER, Warwick Beacon
Ocean State Theatre Company’s production of IntoThe Woods boasts a stellar cast of singer-actors... Erika Amato commands as the Witch, showing off her strong vocals in “Last Midnight.” She also has tender moments in “Stay With Me..."
--KIM KALUNIAN, WPRO News
FLASHDANCE - THE MUSICAL - (Erika opened with the company Oct. 22, 2013)
1st National Tour
" DeQuina Moore, as Alex’s smart-mouthed friend Kiki, and Erika Amato, as the prim and stuffy head of the dance academy Miss Wilde, who isn’t above a little financial persuasion for an audition, are glorious scene-stealers."
--R.T. ROBESON, Freeline Media (Orlando, FL)
"Some of the ensemble, on the other hand, were quite fantastic... Madeleine Doherty and Erika Amato turned in fine performances as Hannah and Miss Wilde, respectively."
--ROBERT BAROSSI, www.broadwayworld.com (Providence, RI)
"Secondary characters are generally stronger throughout... That roster includes Miss Wilde (Erika Amato), the admissions director at the Shipley Academy who looks down her nose when Alex inquires about studying ballet there..."
--NANCY GROSSMAN, www.broadwayworld.com (Boston, MA)
"The production’s noteworthy ensemble includes...starchy academy admissions director Miss Wilde (Erika Amato)..."
--SHEILA BARTH, www.theatermirror.com (Boston, MA)
JACK LONDON: SEX, LOVE, AND REVOLUTION - (Aug. 15 - 25, 2013)
NY International Fringe Festival
"Erika Amato is fabulous as Ninetta, the sometime narrator and one of the many mother figures in London’s life. Even when the material struggles, she manages to keep an energetic wink in her eye and a spring in her step."
--JOSEPHINE CASHMAN, NYTheatre.com
"The cast, especially Mr. Chauncey, Ms. Amato, and Ms. Roy are fine, and the material -- literary, historical, and romantic -- is genuinely interesting."
--MARK SAVITT, Hi! Drama (www.mnn.com)
ANNIE GET YOUR GUN - (April 18 - June 9, 2013)
Fireside Dinner Theatre
"Part of the delight of the production is the casting... [including] Erika Amato as the bristly Dolly Tate and Roy Richardson as the wise and amusing Chief Sitting Bull."
--JULIE MCHALE, The Milwaukee Post
HAIRSPRAY - (June 9 - Oct. 20, 2012)
Tuacahn Center for the Arts
"Standouts include Erika Amato (Velma) as Tracy’s deliciously malevolent foil, Randy Aaron (Seaweed) as Tracy’s smooth-talking friend from the other side of town, and Fran Jaye (Motormouth Maybelle) as Seaweed’s mother, who has a big mouth and an even bigger soul. The ensemble is energetic and filled with great dancing and singing talent..."
--TYLER HINTON, BroadwayWorld.com
"The acting is spot-on. Erika Amato and Summerisa Bell Stevens are devilishly cruel (think 'Mean Girls') as mother and daughter, Velma and Amber Von Tussle. Amato is particularly noteworthy singing 'Miss Baltimore Crabs,' armed with a scepter and voice that recalls memories of Ursula in last year's 'The Little Mermaid.'"
--BRIAN PASSEY, The Spectrum (thespectrum.com)
"Exuding energy from every limb, the principals have, legitimately, no weak spots... The staunchly uppity and competitive mother-daughter Von Tussle duo is played with humane inanity by Erika Amato and Summerisa Bell, respectively... Tuacahn’s Hairspray is a nonstop, hook-heavy confection of song and dance not to be missed. Grade: A"
--BRUCE BENNETT, The Independent (suindependent.com)
"Especially well done [were] the scenes with Velma Von Tussle (played by Erika Amato), the producer of the Corny Collins show. Between the dynamic Amato and the evil lighting, these scenes highlighted the unpleasant feelings associated with this vile character..."
--MEGAN B PEDERSEN, UtahTheaterBloggers.com
"There was some kind of strong Hairspray keeping things together Saturday at sold-out Tuacahn’s wild opening night of the musical based on the classic John Waters movie... A vicious wind picked up as the over two-hour musical Hairspray continued... It was too much for one of the two giant television screens that served as sort of retro black and white Jumbotrons...
Near the end of the production, the action on stage needed to be stopped and some audience members moved so workers could gingerly lower the screen.
The stop created a chance for Chris Warren Gilbert, who played television host Corny Collins, and actress Erika Amato, who played pushy stage mom Velma Von Tussle, to improvise some hilarious one liners on the situation.
'Isn’t there a town named Hurricane nearby,' joked Amato at one point as she began making Wizard of Oz quips...
What all this showed was the professionalism of this energetic, large ensemble cast and the behind-the-scenes crew. They made the best of a difficult situation. In fact, they turned it into something fun. It was a memorable opening night few will forget...
There were many wonderful little acting gems... Amato was particularly good as Velma Von Tussle, managing to bring sympathy, wit and a bit of humanity to an unsympathetic character... This loud, brassy, colorful production has much to recommend it, including a staff that put the safety of its cast and audience ahead of finishing the show under very difficult opening night conditions. The production is wonderful..."
--TOM WHARTON, The Salt Lake Tribune (sltrib.com)
THE SPHINX WINX - (May 3 - July 24, 2011)
The Beckett Theatre (Off-Broadway)
"The Sphinx Winx is billed as a 'musical-comedy misinterpretation of ancient Egyptian history' and the campy, light-hearted production, which opened Wednesday night Off-Broadway at Theatre Row, features broadly comical characterizations of Cleopatra, Julius Caesar and Marc Antony... The role of Cleo (as Cleopatra is known here) is handled with wry aplomb by Erika Amato."
--JENNIFER FARRAR, The Associated Press
"This ambitious little show definitely delivers the comic goods.... Ms. Amato, as Cleopatra, shows off her impressive vocals, particularly in the song 'Queen of Today.'"
--SCOTT HARRAH, StageZine.com
"In order to fully enjoy the delightful new musical The Sphinx Winx, you only need to know the roughest outline of history... Cleopatra, played elegantly, if not histrionically, by Erika Amato is a slightly-past-her-prime queen, bored with her doting and lecherous husband Julius Caesar..."
--JOSHUA BOMBINO, Theatre Is Easy (theasy.com)
"A delightful new musical... As the queen Amato is serpentine and seductive..."
--LESLIE BRAMM, NYTheatre.com
"The show is pure musical theatre camp. And I mean that in the best way possible... Erika Amato takes the helm as the divine, demanding, and ever-dramatic Cleopatra... Kudos to the director, Matthew Hamel, who seems to have pulled off a delightful, updated rendition of an old book and to the actors who made it all look so easy!"
--DOUG MARINO, NewYork.NearSay.com
"The Sphinx Winx has some engaging moments of pure silliness, mostly from Erika Amato and Bruce Sabath."
--PAULANNE SIMMONS, CurtainUp.com
"The new musical comedy The Sphinx Winx, now at Theatre Row's Beckett Theatre, is a silly take on the classic love triangle between Cleopatra, Julius Caesar, and Marc Antony that will make adults smile and please young audiences even more... The entire cast is blessed with comedic talent."
--IRIS WIENER, TheaterMania.com
"If you thought you knew what happened between Cleopatra and Mark Antony, or what Julius Caesar was really like, The Sphinx Winx will turn your world upside-down (and fill it with laughs)... All six of the actors are very talented, especially as they switch effortlessly between numerous characters."
--LIZ HOFFMAN, TicketNews.com
CINDERELLA - (May 6 - June 27, 2010)
Fireside Dinner Theatre
"The cast is excellent, featuring some outstanding voices. Leading the list is the vivacious Erika Amato as the Fairy Godmother. Amato is perfectly cast here, both for her singing and her acting; but she is also fondly remembered by this critic for her incredible desk-top song and dance in "How To Succeed!" She is again brilliant."
--BILL BEARD, Belvidere Daily Republican (belvideredailyrepublican.net)
SIGNS OF LIFE- (February 16 - March 21, 2010)
Marjorie S. Deane Little Theatre (Off-Broadway)
"Erika Amato is exceptional in the role of Berta Pluhar, a former Jew who had converted to Christianity years before in order to marry her husband,
a Nazi Party member, only to be thrown out on the street by him and separated from her young daughter."
--IRIS GREENBERGER, Show Business Weekly (showbusinessweekly.com)
"All of the cast members are very good, but three stand out in excellence: Erika Amato plays Berta, a Jewish wife dumped by her German businessman husband. She wears her emotions openly and sings with a voice that tears at your heart. Her portrayal of Berta is aching."
--SCOTT MITCHELL, MusicOMH (musicomh.com)
"Erika Amato gives a passionate performance as Berta, who has been discarded by her husband although she converted to Christianity years ago. Her 'Home Again Soon,' about the suffering
Polish children in the camp is one of the most poignant songs."
--ELIZABETH AHLFORS, Curtain Up (curtainup.com)
"Berta (an exceptional Erika Amato) shops to fill her home with expensive artwork to impress and then finds herself out on the street when the Nazi’s arrive, dumped by her German husband..."
--OSCAR E. MOORE, Talk Entertainment (talkentertainment.com)
"Two memorable [songs] are sung by a supporting character named Berta (Erika Amato), a Jewish wife who has been cast off by her Nazi husband. 'Home Again Soon' is a genuinely moving number about a group of Polish
children under her charge who are being shipped to Auschwitz for the second time. And in 'I Will Forget,' Berta challenges us with her own, unique plan for survival in the war's aftermath...Amato settles into her character with quiet dignity."
--ANDY BUCK, TheaterMania (theatermania.com)
"Overall the cast created engaging performances...the vocal talents of the cast were equally strong. Noonan and Amato in particular provided beautiful lyrical moments, with Amato shining in the heart-wrenching 'Home Again Soon.'"
--DAVID PASTEELNICK, Queer New York (queernewyorkblog.blogspot.com)
"Amato does justice the show's best song, a chilling 'Home Again Soon,' in which Berta shares her heartbreak over trying to comfort children in the camp who ultimately will be sent to Auschwitz."
--LAUREN YARGER, Reflections In The Light (reflectionsinthelight.blogspot.com)
THE SOUND OF MUSIC- (August 27 - November 1, 2009)
Fireside Dinner Theatre
"Ed Flesch's strong production at The Fireside...is a joy to all, [and] takes advantage of the considerable talent of a fine cast... Captain von Trapp's two houseguests are often played by secondary actors; but here they are both top notch performers.
...Georg's romantic interest, Baroness Schraeder, is handled with great care and loving wisdom by the vocally and physically beautiful Erika Amato, remembered for her perfect portrayal
of the boss' secretary in Fireside's How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying."
--BILL BEARD, Walworth County Today (walworthcountytoday.com)
HOW TO SUCCEED IN BUSINESS WITHOUT REALLY TRYING - (August 21 - October 19, 2008)
Fireside Dinner Theatre
"Fireside Dinner Theatre [has] resurrected this Pulitzer-Prize-winning musical and offers us a delightful, energetic rendition of it...Erika Amato as Miss Jones
literally makes her voice be heard in the scene with all the male employees as they sing 'The Brotherhood of Man.'"
--JULIE McHALE, GMToday.com
TRIUMPH OF LOVE - (April 25 - May 11,
Astoria Performing Arts Center
"Amato is hands-down the star of
this production. It helps that she has the best song, the heartbreaking ballad 'Serenity,' but she articulates every inch of her tightly laced character so persuasively that hers
is the fate you lament at the end of the production. Bewitched and bullied by the scheming Leonide, Hesione serves as the emotional anchor in this overwhelmingly silly story. In
fact, Amato’s elegant presence and velvety voice are the best reasons to revisit this show."
--AMY KRIVOHLAVEK, OffOffOnline.com
"Ms. Amato shows off a glorious
voice as Hesione - her song "Serenity" is a highlight of the evening (as it was for Tony- and Drama Desk-nominated Betty Buckley in the original cast)."
--DUNCAN PFLASTER, BroadwayWorld.com
"As the philosophical Hesione, Erika Amato steals the show. Originally a vehicle for Betty Buckley, Hesione is the most developed character in the adaptation. Amato steps up to the challenge well and sings
'Serenity' so powerfully that you forget what show you are in for a moment."
--DAVID STALLINGS, TheFabMarquee.com
"Lovely Erika Amato dazzles
as [Hermocrates'] spinster sister -- she is a musical knockout, stopping the show with her rendition of 'Serenity.'"
--JOHN KENRICK, Musicals101.com
"Most impressive is Ms. Amato, who brings an amalgamation of seemingly limitless chest voice and an agile lyric mezzo to Hesione's numbers. Her reading of 'Serenity,'
Hesione's Act One showpiece, is among the best renditions I've ever heard. She's also the most comfortable actor of the bunch, soaring through a scene in which Leonide, disguised
as Phocion the student, attempts to seduce her. Her voice beautifully blends with Ms. Baum's raw but appealing belt."
--CAMERON KELSALL, Theater Talk's New Theater Corps (newtheatercorps.blogspot.com)
"Erika Amato is good enough as [Hermocrates'] sister Hesione to make you mourn her character's prudishness...the performers sing their roles beautifully and have energy to spare..."
--SAM THIELMAN, Backstage.com
IRVING BERLIN'S WHITE CHRISTMAS - (Nov. 8 - Dec. 30
Welk Resort Theatre
"Erika Amato has a wonderful voice, and she uses it to excellent effect in her big number ('Love, You Didn't Do Right by Me') in Act 2. Amato does right by all her assignments in
this lively show... Berlin's music still packs a punch, and so does this uplifting production of White Christmas.
"The Welk production is a triumph.
The show features the best ensemble dance numbers I've ever seen at the Welk
and the principal performers have big, beautiful singing voices...
Engstrom has put together a super-talented cast who can deliver Berlin's songs
with the same gusto as the film's original cast and are strong actors and dancers as well... Erika Amato has a rich singing voice, a sensitive stage presence and smart comic timing as Betty Haynes."
KRAGEN, North County Times
"[John Racca] is a charismatic leading man, and he plays well opposite Erika Amato as his on-again off-again love interest. Her sultry, torchy 'Love, You Didn't Do Right By Me' is an Act II highlight."
SLEEPING BEAUTY WAKES- (March 31 - May
Kirk Douglas Theatre
Jeff Calhoun creates worlds we are, at evening's end, reluctant to
leave.... Most mesmerizing is Deanne Bray, who plays the somewhat-stern
clinic director and the rubber-faced Bad Fairy richly and enchantingly.
So we are late in noticing that Bray never speaks. Her roles are voiced
by Erika Amato, whose singing instrument is astonishingly,
gloriously full-bodied and whose characterizations are crisp and witty;
they are two fine actors, magnificently paired here."
MARGOLIES, Backstage West (Critic's Pick)
characters in Sleeping Beauty Wakes, as per Deaf West
Theatre's company style, are acted and signed by one thesp while being
spoken and sung by another. The melding of performances is seamless
All the Charles Perrault ingredients are here: princess's christening;
uninvited Bad Fairy (a sultry, understated turn by Faye Dunaway look-alike
Deanne Bray and superb singing partner Erika Amato); cursed
spindle; pricked finger; hundred-year snooze
Bray and Amato out-wicked "Wicked" in just
two menacing numbers, 'Uninvited' and 'Wheel Goes Round.'"
a production so relentlessly demanding of the highest levels of performing
virtuosity and producing coordination, there can be no single star
but only an entire galaxy...Erika Amato [is] beautiful
--LAURENCE VITTES, Hollywood Reporter
Beauty Wakes, the new co-production by Deaf West Theatre and the
Center Theatre Group, is neither a conventional play nor a musical.
It is however, a true theatrical experience -- a work of art, talent,
and humor in which the combination of deaf and speaking actors feels
completely organic. The book, by Tony Award winner Rachel Sheinkin,
is derived in part from the classic fairy tale. Princess Rose...
has been born with a curse over her head: A spiteful fairy (Deanne
Bray, voiced and sung by Erika Amato), furious that she had
not been deemed pretty enough to be invited to Rose's christening,
commands that a poisonous spindle will kill the princess.
and Amato work very well together, often to hilarious effect.
During their villainous number 'Uninvited,' you forget that
one woman is singing while the other is signing. Their most delectable
song, 'The Wheel Goes Round,' pretends to be an instruction
for the spinning wheel but is really a recipe for murder..."
--JONAS SCHWARTZ, TheaterMania.com
"Of course, it certainly doesn't hurt that Erika Amato is powering her way through the Bad Fairy's 'Uninvited'
on the vocals... It is when Sleeping Beauty Wakes combines a solid character-driven
song with a stellar signed performance and a complementary vocal that
this show really hits the heights."
--SHARON PERLMUTTER, Talkin Broadway
"Truly the diva of the show, Bray's
'voice' is further brought to life by the sinfully fun singing
of Erika Amato... [including] a rock-infused
bitchfest with the Bad Fairy's 'Uninvited.' If any musical
deserved a cast recording, Beauty Wakes is just the one to
be immortalized with an album pressing."
ANYTHING GOES - (September 29 - November 12, 2006)
Candlelight Pavilion Dinner Theater
the moment Erika Amato (playing the glamorous nightclub singer
Reno Sweeney) belted out her first song, I knew we were in for a great
show. Her commanding presence and angelically bold voice gripped the
audience, leaving them begging for more, which she obliged numerous
times throughout the two-hour performance... Amato sang like
she was singing to a packed crowd at one of the top theaters on Broadway... Amato and Webb shone brightly
and definitely stole the show..."
--LA RUE NOVICK, Inland Valley Daily Bulletin
Candlelight Pavilion's production of Anything Goes is
really well done... Nor do the people who run this theater
hire just anyone for their productions. In this current production,
directed by Douglas Austin, the role of Reno Sweeney is played by Erika Amato, who performs her role superbly. Her singing is
--MICHAEL QUIGLEY, Yucaipa News Mirror
"[Director Douglas] Austin said he couldn't be happier and feels
blessed working with such a supportive production company, with his
friend and choreographer John Vaughan, and multitalented actors and
casting the part of Reno Sweeney took some searching. After an open
audition and hunting through piles of resumes, Austin found his Reno
in Erika Amato. 'We knew we needed someone with charisma and
star presence and must have a strong voice,' he said, noting she would
play a role previously filled by such respected thespians as Patti
LuPone and Ethel Merman, who originated the part. 'From the resumes
we invited back eight ladies, but as soon as Erika walked in and started
to sing I thought, 'That's it.'"
--DIANA SHOLLEY, San Bernardino Sun
42nd STREET - (June 9 - August 28, 2005)
Welk Resort Theatre
the female show-stoppers is Erika Amato as the aging ingenue,
Dorothy.... Amato's rich, low voice throbs with feeling..."
--CHARLENE BALDRIDGE, North County Times
Amato's big smoky voice makes her haughty diva Dorothy Brock a
standout in such songs as 'Shadow Waltz.'"
--ROB STEVENS, Backstage West (Critic's Pick)
and full-voiced Erika Amato is excellent as the egocentric
diva du jour, the star of the Broadway musical who falls, breaks her
ankle and is incapacitated just before the opening... If you havent
been to the Welk in some time, this is the one to watch. A delicious
treat from start to finish."
--PAT LAUNER, San Diego Theatre
fine casting makes for one of the Welk's better efforts in some time...Erika
Amato makes Dorothy Brock a dour diva adept at torchy laments..."
--JEFF SMITH, San Diego Weekly Reader
PAINT YOUR WAGON - (November 23, 2004 - January 9, 2005)
support is offered by David Jennings (as Ben's sidekick Ulysses),
Rob Kahn (as angry Bull), Steven Hack (as merchant Salem), Robert
Alan Clink (as saloonkeeper Jake), Erika Amato (as Madame Cherry),
and Sharon Lawrence as once actress Lily Smith."
--ED KAUFMAN, Hollywood Reporter
THE BUNGLER - (May 28th through July 25th, 2004)
West Coast Ensemble
company makes you believe the playwright wrote the script just to
let actors practice their comic timing without distraction from his
typical lessons about conscience and tolerance. Its a gift this
cast deserves: Spencers Célie is sweet but never cloying;
her adversary, Hippolyte (Erika Amato), is biting but not shrewish;
and the standard effete old men, Anselme (Dan Alemshah), Ledermans
Trufaldin and Marzs Pandolfe, are the kind of perfectly tuned
caricatures of the pre-Revolutionary French elite that would thrill
the playwright himself."
--JUDITH LEWIS, LA Weekly (Theater Pick of the Week)
the way we are entertained by the delightful cast, including the likeable
and effervescent Dan Alemshah as the foppish Anselme, beautifully
charming CB Spencer as Celie, and the inspired comedic performance of Erika Amato as the desperately lonely Hippolyte..."
--KATE WEST, bluntreview.com
M! - (Feb. 19 through Mar. 7,
Fullerton Civic Light Opera
Amato makes the most of her amusing role as a haughty prima donna...When the cast members sang 'I
Want to Hear a Yankee Doodle Tune,' the thunderous applause confirmed
the crowd's wholehearted agreement."
--LES SPINDLE, Backstage
"Rogel is surrounded by many talented women: Mara Davi
as devoted sister Josie; Cynthia Ferrer as loving mom Nellie; Leslie
Trayer-Harvey, reminiscent of Angela Lansbury as Cohan's first wife,
Ethel; Tracy Warren, beaming with Irish-American warmth as Cohan's
second wife, Agnes; and Erika Amato, using florid speech and
overblown mannerisms for comic relief as temperamental Broadway diva
Fay Templeton... George
M! is ultimately as triumphant as Cohan was in life."
--ERIC MARCHESE, Orange County Regsiter
MADLY IN LOVE - (Oct. 16 through Nov. 23, 2003)
Fritsche as Juliet, Mark W. Smith as Lancelot, and Erika Amato as Mrs. Simpson bring wonderful life to their roles..."
--TRAVIS MICHAEL HOLDER, Backstage West
and Amato both bring style and charm to the endeavor, not to
mention lovely voices."
--TERRY MORGAN, LA Weekly
this motley crew only the Windsors ring true. Modeled on real characters,
as opposed to fictional ones, Erika Amato and Bubba Dean Rambo
bring flesh and blood to these world-weary spirits. As Wallis Simpson, Amato does a manic Charleston and bemoans the fact that she
'gave up freedom and youth' for 'a present to grow
stale in.' As her impeccably tailored consort, Rambo waits for
'something to happen.' In the meantime, they dance, very well indeed
smirking Duchess of Windsor (Amato) is especially adroit, and
her befuddled Duke is a likeable and believable partner
--CYNTHIA CITRON, Beverly Hills Outlook
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF- (July 10 - 20, 2003)
Starlight Musical Theatre
"Erika Amato stands out Hodel, the second-oldest of Tevye's
five unmarried daughters. She has the show's best voice (heard in
the beautifully sung 'Far From the Home I Love'), and she's
a nice fit with Kurt Norby as Perchik, the young revolutionary whom
Hodel falls for and follows to Siberia."
--PAM KRAGEN, North
"Director Jeanette Thomas has cast a great group of singers... Tevyes three lovely eldest daughters, Tzeitel
(Kelli Sides), Hodel (Erika Amato), and Chava (Adina Di Fede)
get it going with their beautiful and humorous performance of 'Matchmaker.' Erika Amato returns for a gorgeous solo in the affecting 'Far
From the Home I Love' when saying goodbye to her papa."
--ROB HOPPER, San Diego Playbill
21 through July 28, 2002)
The Chance Theater
"Erika Amato brings a wealth of emotion to Luisa,
painting her loyalty, anger and pain as very real and lending a powerful
vocal style to her songs."
--ERIC MARCHESE, Orange County
female leads in this production are pitch-perfect. Amato, Lanzarone
and Ceporius capture the particular drives of their characters. Amato yearns for respect and honesty
the women surrounding this Guido
are complicated and believable.
This show features some great
and that's a win by any measure."
--JOEL BEERS, Orange County Weekly
women in the cast appealingly bring their characters to life. Erika
Amato, as loyal, loving, disgusted wife Luisa, has a lovely voice
and an intense presence."
prevents a full listing of all Nine's treasures. But I must note
that the voices were fantastic [and] the acting showed depth
Among my favorites: Amato, strong and at the same time vulnerable
For all the talent, singing, sex, lies and vino bianco - I have just
one question: With a cast packed with perfect 10's, why do they still
insist on calling the show 'Nine?'"
--CHRIS CRESON, Fullerton
THE SOUND OF MUSIC - (August 1 - 18, 2002)
Saddleback Civic Light Opera
Has Seldom Sounded So Sweet
Rainer, the lead role of Rodgers & Hammerstein's "Sound of
Music," has been played by everyone from Mary Martin to Debby
Boone - and, in the famed 1965 film version, Julie Andrews - so the
casting of this role is crucial to the success of any revival of the
why praise is due for Sheryl Donchey, director of Saddleback Civic
Light Opera's new staging at the McKinney Theatre in Mission Viejo,
and for Beth Hansen, the troupe's casting director. Their selection
of Erika Amato as Maria is a masterstroke.
combination of textured vocal work and layered acting make this "Sound
of Music" a pleasing experience. Alongside the actress, Donchey
has cast fellow Equity actor Steven Connor as the imperious Captain
Georg von Trapp. His portrayal may not be equal to that of Amato,
but it doesn't have to be to succeed.
in distinctive work from the seven youngsters...a solid supporting
cast and Diane King Vann's sure-handed musical direction, and you've
got a "Sound of Music" for the memory books - definitely
one of the best SCLO productions in quite a few years.
philosophy is to throw herself into life headlong, show affection
for all in your path, and trust in fate. Amato takes this same
tack in portraying Maria, displaying the character's traits both overtly
and subtly. Her Maria isn't afraid to defy the captain's icy grip
on order. With admirable vocal control, she's commanding in signature
numbers such as "The Lonely Goatheard" and "Do Re Mi,"
only two songs in which Amato's style presents a welcome hint
of Andrews' more familiar inflections.
soaring yet low soprano carries Maria's several numbers with the children..."
--ERIC MARCHESE, Orange County Register