Kate Eastwood Norris Reviewed in the Press

For Lady Teazle in The School For Scandal directed by Richard
Clifford at the Folger Theatre – May/June 2008

As the singularly self-absorbed Lady Teazle, Norris gets some of
the best lines, and delivers them with accustomed aplomb.

 Peter Marks – Washington Post

 Norris, who recently received her second Helen Hayes Award in
two years, succeeds in making her character's witty remarks
and occasional physical gags seem effortless.

Susan Berlin – Talkin’ Broadway.com

Kate Eastwood Norris and Cody Nickell 

For Lady Macbeth in Macbeth directed by Aaron Posner and Teller at Two River Theatre, NJ and Folger Theatre, DC – Jan-April 2008

 

Ms. Norris, a Washington-based regional-theater actress whose work I mean to follow from now on, plays Lady Macbeth not
as a harpy à la Bette Davis but as a wholly believable woman lured astray by the siren song of ambition.

 

Terry Teachout – The Wall Street Journal

 

Norris is a convincing study of rapaciousness and guilt whose frail moments are also staged with sensitivity.

 

Paul Harris – Variety

 

These Macbeths are quite a couple, and Ian Merrill Peakes and Kate Eastwood Norris do justice to the unjust two-some. Their love scenes are erotic, and their fights are physical. Neither he nor she is above slamming the other against a door when anger invades the soul.

 Given that Lady Macbeth is the smarter of the two, Norris matter-of-factly delivers the specifics of her murderous plan while Peakes squints in confusion. Norris excels as the woman behind the man who's always one step ahead of him. After the first murder, he's appalled by the blood, while she's intoxicated by it.

 Norris is hardly the battle-axe that many a Lady Macbeth has routinely been in other productions. She's a cool, sleek honey blonde. That she seems so elegant makes matters worse, because she appears to be a noble woman who should know better.

 

Peter Filichia – NJ Star Ledger

---For Beatrice in Much  Ado About Nothing  directed by Kim Rubenstein at Shakespeare Santa Cruz – summer  - 2007

 

…one of the flirtiest Beatrice and Benedicks ever to coo and spar… Kate Eastwood Norris turns Beatrice into a proto-Carrie Bradshaw, a woman too smart and sexy to need a man to complete her (she's gutsy enough to sit at a table by herself at the masked ball), but unable to fight her yearning for Benedick.

 Karen D’Souza --- San Jose Mercury News

 

Kate Eastwood Norris as Beatrice and Ian Merrill Peakes as Benedick open new windows to the inner life of their characters. These athletic actors risk not allowing the brilliance of their barbed repartee to govern their choices. As a result Benedick and Beatrice come alive as fully human. We envy their devastating facility at verbal jousting, but we also seee how their mocking masks their vulnerabilities and costs them the very thing thay both so much desire.

 Mark Bradlyn --- Santa Cruz Sentinel

 

---For  Widow Quin in Playboy of the Western World directed by Bob Moss at Shakespeare Santa Cruz – summer - 2007

 

…the finely nuanced performance of Kate Eastwood Norris in the complex and difficult role of the Widow Quin …superb. 

 

Philip Slater- Santa Cruz Sentinel

 

---For Kay Fein and Jayne Summerhouse in She Stoops To Comedy by David Greenspan at Woolly Mammoth in March and April 2007 – directed by Howard Shalwitz

 

Around a king-sized bed onstage…Norris flings accusations and wounded looks. At, er, Norris. Back and forth she goes, flipping from actress Jayne to designer Kay and well nigh nailing the illusion of a verbal brawl between two worthy opponents….splendid…

 

                                                            Peter Marks – The Washington Post

 

 

This is the funniest performance from Kate Eastwood Norris since, well – since the last time she was on a stage. This woman makes unfunny funny, but that isn’t a skill she needs here. Here, she has material worthy of her talents and she makes the most of it. Reviewers often refer to musical theatre performers who can “stop the show” with a fabulous song…but when is the last time you’ve seen someone stop a show without a song? Norris accomplishes this with a crystal clear comic dialogue with herself that has her twisting and turning at top speed, creating both sides of a conversation with such clarity that no one in the audience doubted which character said what, while, at the same time, providing “herself” with both the set ups and the punch lines for a series of gags that builds to a wonderful theatrical climax.

                                                                        Brad Hathaway – Potomac Stages

 

---For Kari in The Pavilion, by Craig Wright at Two River Theatre in NJ, directed by Aaron Posner – winter’ 06

 

Kari is tenderly played by Kate Eastwood Norris as a woman determined to cope. With her face frozen in a wan smile of regret, she clutches her sweater closed as though trying to hide her broken heart. Still working at the bank, down in the basement among the safe-deposit boxes, and still married to Hans, the local golf pro who rescued her in her time of need, she hates golf almost as much as she despises the memory of Peter and their unborn child.

Naomi Siegel - NY Times

 

Kari, whose marriage to the local golf pro prompts a highly humorous and supremely sad anecdote, does an abrupt one-eighty, and Ms. Norris handles it smoothly. You believe it. In fact, you believe everything about this strong, gentle, intelligent survivor – and that’s really good acting. …and oh, yes, enriched by Kate Eastwood Norris’s definitive Kari, (Aaron Posner’s) Two River directorial debut is a success.

 

Philip Dorian - The Two River Times

 

 

---For Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream at the Folger Theatre, Washington DC -Oct/Nov ‘06 directed by Joe Banno, earning Kate a Helen Hayes Award for Outstanding Supporting Actress

 

John Huston once suggested that 99% of directing is casting.if so, Mr. Banno may have achieved 99% of his 99% with his inspired choice of the fabulous Kate Eastwod Norris as Puck. Puck is manic, but Norris paints the whole auditorium with joy; Puck is mischievious, but Norris makes us all co-conspirators in a never-ending adventure of love. Norris is, indeed, so versatile that had Banno chosen to lodge Dream  in a shop selling kitchen appliances instead of in the 1930’s, Norris would have rendered Puck convincingly as a toaster oven, and afterward served us all grilled cheese sandwiches.

Tim Treanor – DC Theatre Review

 

---For Rosalind in As You Like It and Goneril in King Lear  at Shakespeare Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA – summer of 2006 directed by Aaron Posner and Skip Greer, respectively

 

Norris is a delightful Rosalind, drawing us in to share her fear of the unknown…the forbidden fruit titillation at the idea of Rosalind disguising herself as a man (she’s a lovely, lanky, tentative youth) nicely prepares the way for the sexual-tension comedy of her mock-wooing scenes with the unsuspecting Orlando…a radiant cowgirl…’

 

                                                            Robert Hurwitt – San Francisco Chronical

 

Kate Eastwood Norris shines as the ruthless Goneril, the most monstrous of Lear’s daughters, always scheming, always ready to strike.’

 

                                                            Karen D’Souza – San Jose Mercury News

 

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