"A tour-de-force performance"

"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."

-Julie Congress