"The rhythms of the play, its exquisite language, are present at every turn. Kate Fuglei does not infuse her Blanche with unnecessary gestures. Fuglei, a wren-like figure with large, searching eyes, brings to Blanche intelligence and dignity. She lets you feel how the suicide of her 'dear young boy' so long ago has carried her mind to its current place of fragility."
"This is an intelligently made, well-acted one-woman show about the life of a Russian Jewish immigrant who travels alone to America at the turn of the century. Kate Fuglei plays Rachel Calof, tackling the tricky accent and songs with aplomb. She shines especially on the early numbers 'Lullabye' and 'America' which captures the frightening thrill of heading to a new life and a new continent. The evening's worth is to see an actress invest so fully and successfully in a character."
"Actress Kate Fuglei gives a tour-de-force performance in Rachel Calof, a one- woman show with music adapted from Calof’s memoirs. Fuglei’s portrayal of Calof is completely believable, from her Yiddish accent to her stoic physicality. Her movements are spare but incredibly specific. It is clear that director Ellen S. Pressman has a keen eye for detail and it is remarkable how clearly, yet simply, we see the moments from Rachel’s life. The births of her children seem painfully graphic-yet all Fuglei does is sit on the table that, with two chairs, makes up the entire set. Ken LaZebnil’s adaptation is filled with strong images and keen details. While not a musical per se, Rachel Calof features seven original songs with music and lyrics by Leslie Steinweiss. A lullaby in Yiddish creates the feel of the world that Rachel leaves behind (but is forever rooted in) and show us early on the continual importance of Rachel’s mother. The song "My Life is Mud" executed by Fuglei with an almost scary intensity, shows a desperate perseverance and a new dimension to our heroine and is a highlight of the show. Not only is it excellently realized and a testament to minimalist theater, but it does put our own lives very much into perspective."
"Fuglei's performance is captivating, whether detailing her first encounter with cockroaches in NY or the day to day life on the prairie. Fuglei creates the whole things with her body, movement and voice, all of which build a rich and vibrant world. Fuglei is more than up to the task presented in the music and the pieces make a tremendous addition to an already full theatrical plate."
"In the one-woman show, Rachel Calof, the details of the the life a North Dakota mail-order bride Rachel Calof endured as an immigrant at the end of the 19th-century and the beginning of the 20th are harrowing but difficult to turn away from. As played by the expert Kate Fuglei, they become unforgettable."