Opera & Operetta Reviews
Musical Theatre/Theatre/Concert Reviews

Opera & Operetta Reviews
As Adele in DIE FLEDERMAUS: October 2005
"The voices and acting are first-rate and make the score pure listening pleasure. Rice's Adele is clear-voiced and vivacious and has several charming solos as well."
TIMES HERALD RECORD
As Marie in THE DAUGHTER OF THE REGIMENT:
"As Marie, Sarah Rice was pert and perky, her clear light coloratura dancing effortlessly from peak to peak."
OPERA NEWS
"Miss Rice knew her character well, blending innocence and mischievousness, just the way one might expect of a girl who had been raised by a group of men. And her singing was alluring; she has a fine range and color that makes her a pleasure to hear."
  ATLANTA LEDGER-ENOUIRER
"Sarah Rice...was vivacious and her voice was true and nicely colored. Her duets with Tonio, and her aria about her disappointment at losing her lover in the second act won the audience."
ATLANTA JOURNAL ARTS
"Especially strong were Sarah Rice, delightfully coquettish in the title role...."
  ATLANTA CONSTITUTION
"Sarah Rice as Marie is perfect for the part and sings the music extremely well, even the optional cadenzas for coloratura."
AUGUSTA HERALD
Photos of Sarah in this role
As Gilda in RIGOLETTO:
"As Gilda, Sarah Rice gave a creditable performance, her soprano, light yet strong, is right for the role, and she delivered a delicious trill the end of 'Caro nome.'"
OPERA NEWS
"Sarah Rice as Gilda sang sweetly and with great flexibility. Another point in her favor was her performance of the extremely difficult trill as it was originally conceived at the end of her aria 'Caro nome.'"
  QUEENS ILLUSTRATED NEWS
"Sarah Rice, with a face like Little Mary Sunshine, sang Gilda with a flexible bel canto voice."
NEWSDAY
Photos of Sarah in this role
As Grilletta in LO SPEZIALE:
"Soprano Sarah Rice was a thoroughly fetching and skillful Grilletta, wily as her suitors at the love game and able to speak volumes with a single g!ance."
THE JOURNAL NEWS
As Cunegonde in CANDIDE:
Minnesota Opera
"Sarah Rice as Cunegode had the most difficult vocal part in the show. Her big number is 'Glitter and Be Gay,' and Rice carried off this show piece brilliantly. The ensemble work between her and Johnson was also done well, especially in 'You Were Dead, You Know.'"
MINNESOTA DAILY
"The two young principals, Brian Johnson and Sarah Rice, are as huggable a pair as you would ever hope to see. They manage the music with a grace that makes it seem effortless."
  TWIN CITIES READER
"Sarah Rice's Cunegonde, Candide's much ravished but pure-hearted beloved, is a round-eyed blond kitten who wallows in jewels ('Glitter and Be Gay') as she warbles coloratura figures about the shame of it all."
ST.PAUL DISPATCH
"Sarah Rice, as the ravishing and frequently ravished Cunegonde...underplays (her) ubiquitous operatic cooing ever so slightly, making it that much funnier. Rice displays the outstanding voice that so impressed Milwaukee audiences several years ago...."
  THE MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
"...the beauteous Sarah Rice flashes a wicked wit as brightly as she trills the haunting coloratura of Cunegonde's 'Glitter and Be Gay.'"
MILWAUKEE SENTINEL
Photos and audio clip of Sarah in this role
As Marietta in NAUGHTY MARIETTA:
"Predictably, Sarah Rice in the title role, was the star. She was perfect for the part, displaying an instinctive sense of timing and espressive gestures."
THE ARIZONA REPUBLIC
"In any case, the show's saving grace is the presence of Sarah Rice as Marietta. Possessor of a sweet yet strong Iyric soprano, she carries the show on her pretty shoulders and is a dainty, pert, perky and funny Marietta. She plays the role with tongue in cheek and has some marvelous moments. She's a fine young actress and comedienne whose Broadway and Santa Fe Opera background serves her well. In fact, it's too bad the operetta doesn't have more songs for Marietta to sing so we could hear more from Rice."
  THE GAZETTE
Photos of Sarah in this role
As Margot in THE DESERT SONG:
Central City Opera
"His romantic partner, Margot Bonvalet, is gloriously sung and acted by Sarah Rice. Stunningly beautiful in her many gowns, Rice has a voice both bright and clear, employed by her with the zest demanded by this work."
DAILY CAMERA
"Margot is played by Sarah Rice, a petite red-haired beauty with an exquisite voice."
  THE NEWS
"As Margot, tbe romantic interest, who like most 1920s' operetta heroines can't make up their minds, Sarah Rice is refreshing and clever. She finds herself in a place she had only dreamed of being and finds the circumstances alarming. She handles her concern smartly. Her singing has charming timbre that is just right for the occasion."
ROCKY MOUNTAIN NEWS
"The sweetness of soprano and independence of thought that are needed for Margot are appealingly met by Sarah Rice. She makes Margot a proper twenties operetta heroine with her engaging prettiness. She is so eager for romance, she finds the real thing overpowering."
  CITY EDITION
As Princess Stellina in THE ENCHANTRESS:
"Not until the close of the second act when Sarah Rice cut loose with 'Art is Calling Me,' subtitled 'I Want to be a Prima Donna,' did the bells start ringing in our heads. In that one number, Ms. Rice walked off with the entire production."
BACKSTAGE
"…and Sarah Rice, who demolished every operatic diva in sight with her Geraldine Farrar send-up, 'Art Is Calling for Me.'"
  Peter G. Davis
NEW YORK MAGAZINE
As Kathie in THE STUDENT PRINCE:
"The Interest really soared with the flute-like wonder of Sarah Rice's clear soprano...(She) enhanced (her) vocal presentation with just the right quality of youthfulness that made their picture of awakening love believable."
MILWAUKEE SENTINEL
"Sarah Rice was the epitome of youthful wholesomeness. She treated the opening-night patrons to a Broadway-caliber performance. Her acting was first-rate, and her soaring soprano voice must have made all think they were listening to a beautiful bird."
  MILWAUKEE JOURNAL
"The two lovers (Keith and Sarah Rice) emerged as the stars of the production. Their flawless acting stole the heart of the audience and their strong, clear voices were evenly matched and breathtaking to hear."
WAUKISHA FREEMAN
Photos of Sarah in this role
As Gretel Columbus in CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS:
"Sarah Rice, as Gretel Columbus (one of Christopher's many wives) revealed a lovely coloratura soprano voice."
OPERA DIGEST
As Magnolia in SHOWBOAT:
"Magnolia is played by Sarah Rice, a combination of Judy Garland and Kathryn Grayson in appearance and a glorious voice that captivates the audience. It is very evident to the audience that the cast is enjoying every minute on stage"
TALLMADGE EXPRESS
"Sarah Rice, creator of Johanna in 'Sweeney Todd' is just perfect as Magnolia. At first a naive child, Magnolia quickly grows to a worldly-wise adult. Rice captures the attention of the audience and has the voice for the beautiful score."
  WEST LIFE
"Standouts, in the cast are Dean Russell and Sarah Rice, who generate a believable sense of romance as Magnolia and Ravenal."
THE REPOSITORY
"Audiences are in for a real treat with 'Showboat' headlined by Dean Russell as gambler Gaylord Ravenal, and Sarah Rice as Magnolia. These two provide the romance and are so natural that you almost forget they're 'just play acting.' They handle their roles comfortably and their voices blend beautifully in the ever popular, 'Only Make Believe.'"
  RECORD COURIER
"Sarah Rice and Dean Russell make a winning love-struck couple. Their duet, 'Make Believe,' 'You Are Love' and 'Why Do I Love You?' are in the finest tradition of romantic operetta. They also seem to have a lot of fun with their exaggerated playacting in the Cotton Blossom play, 'The Parson's Bride.'"
THE MASSILLON EVENING INDEPENDENT
"And so when Julie (Priscilla Quinby) sings 'Can't Help Lovin' Dat Man' to Magnolia (Sarah Rice)—who is still dazed by seeing handsome gambler Gaylord Ravenal for the first time—and the two are joined by ample Queenie (Marlynne SmithNealy) for a lighthearted dance around the kitchen table, the moment is precious. Its naturalism and simplicity make you bubble along with them. None of the singers needs miking—a glorious luxury these days. Rice is very winning as the sweet-voiced Magnolia, Capt. Andy's daughter, whose marriage isn't 'happily ever after.'"
  THE PLAIN DEALER
As Alexandra in REGINA:
Michigan Opera
"...not only was her third act assertion of independence effective, with her girlish soprano overriding her mother's malevolent one, but her projection of this character's initial immaturity was also the most sweetly convincing I've seen, including straight dramatic portrayals."
THE DETROIT NEWS
"...a shining young Alexandra, Sarah Rice."
  THE NEW YORKER
"Sarah Rice, in the role of Alexandra Giddens, was a sensitive, vocally attractive performer. There were no affectation in her role-playing, and she was excellent as a naive, young girl."
THE BIRMINGHAM OBSERVER

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Musical Theatre/Theatre/Concert Reviews

As Susan in THE WAVES:
"Each characterization is distinct with especially strong work (singing as well as acting) by Sarah Rice as Susan…the actors artfully discover a path through the effulgent prose."
TMel Gussow
THE NEW YORK TIMES
"The material calls for singing-actors capable of aging 40 years in a few hours. Catherine Cox, Diane Fratantoni, Aloysius Gigl, John Jellison, Sarah Rice, and John Sloman all rise to this challenge. Their voices dazzle and their transformations from youth to middle age delight."
  Guy Leslie
THEATRE WEEK
As Ophelia in HAMLET:
"As innocent Ophelia, submissive daughter of the courtier Polonius, blond and sweet-faced Sarah Rice shows she can act and sing beautifully."
THE ATLANTA JOURNAL
Photos of Sarah in this role
As Marian Paroo in THE MUSIC MAN:
"One actress who is excellent throughout is Sarah Rice as Marian the librarian. She is perfect in the role of the young woman who is waiting for her someone and at the same time trying to upgrade the intellect of River City's stuffy female residents. Rice has a full and clear soprano voice which beautifully fills the theatre with such songs as 'Goodnight, My Someone' and 'Till There Was You.'"
THE PRESS JOURNAL
Photos of Sarah in this role
As Elizabeth in SWAN SONG:
"Among those who give as good as they get: Sarah Rice, a charming plot meddler with an exquisite soprano."
Marilyn Stasio
NEW YORK POST
As Christine in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA:
"As the object of the Phantom's obsesslon, Sarah Rice is pretty, winsome and fragile—physically the perfect Christine. Rice has a pretty-pretty voice—just right for the role."
TIMES TRIBUNE
"Sarah Rice is sweet-voiced as Christine, the soprano who is the Phantoms's favorite."
  THE TRIBUNE
"The delightful and sympathetic Christine is played by Sarah Rlce, who created the role of Johanna in the Broadway production of 'Sweeney Todd,' for which she won a Theater World Award and recorded the original cast album on RCA. A true opera singer, she's such an asset to this production."
THE TIMES
"...the cast is marvelous: Sarah Rice as Christine (she was the original, outstanding Johanna in 'Sweeney Todd')...—that's a great cast."
  THE POST
"Sarah Rice brings a thrilling soprano voice to the role of Christine."
THE GAZETTE, Montreal
"Sarah Rice campe bien le personnage principal de Christine, allure fragile et voix ravissante."
  LA PRESSE, Montreal
Photos of Sarah in this role
As Johanna in SWEENEY TODD:
"Sarah Rice is a perfect ingenue with a captivating bell-like soprano voice...her rendition of 'Greenfinch' was delicate and poignant...."
THE BERGEN RECORD
"Todd's dear young daughter, Johanna is sung by petite blond Sarah Rice with a sweet lyric soprano."
  NEW YORK DAILY NEWS
Photos and audio clip of Sarah in this role
As Della in GIFTS OF THE MAGI:
"As Della Dillingham, the former high school sweetheart who is now the devoted wife, Sarah Rice seems totally genuine. It is difficult to imagine that she could be anything other than the sweet, gentle, loving Della with her twinkiling eyes and merry laughter. Rice's extensive background in professional opera is also very evident."
COURIER TIMES
"Garrett States and Sarah Rice are the perfect Dillinghams, which is not to say that they play their characters as the Perfect Couple. They laugh, argue, sulk, doubt, believe in and love each other with much of the tension and realism of real-life love."
  PHILADELPHIA DAILY NEWS
"Sarah Rice makes a charming Della and is blessed with a beautiful soprano. For anyone familiar with the Stephen Sondheim/Hal Prince musical 'Sweeney Todd', Rice originated the role of Johanna on Broadway and her considerable talents figure prominently on the album."
THE TRENTONIAN
As Sarah Brown in GUYS AND DOLLS:
"Sarah Rice and Daniel Marcus both mesmerize the audience with their beautiful voices."
THE MIRROR
"Sarah Brown, played by Sarah Rice, has an incredible voice, threatening to break the glasses with her high notes."
  THE NEWS
Starring In Concert — FESTIVAL OF THE STARS:
"If the show hit a lull here, it was to pick up and never look back with the appearance of actress and singer Sarah Rice. She sang with beautiful range and control, particularly in a song from 'The Phantom of the Opera,' which was rendered exquisitely and poignantly."
WORCESTER TELEGRAM
"From 'Sweeney Todd' came the lovely Sarah Rice and after a number from the 'Phantom of the Opera' it was obvious that her soaring soprano was hypnotic. Even more thunder. Topping the evening was Lee Roy Reams and Rice's duet from 'West Side Story' —a nice topper to this feast of performances by some really gifted people."
  SENTINAL-ENTERPRISE
"Ms. Rice and Mr. Reams combined in a moving rendition of 'Tonight' from the musical, 'West Side Story.'"
THE EVENING GAZETTE
Starring In Concert — THE GODDESS CONCERT
Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, Troy, NY
April 2007
"However, (Leona) Mitchell did not have the only memorable moments. Other highlights were Sarah Rice showing great vocal chops with a knockout version of the demanding "Voci di Primavera" by J. Strauss.

One of the joys of the concert was hearing these great talents without amplification in the acoustically perfect Troy Savings Bank Music Hall. Supporting them was
William Lewis on piano, and as with the great vocalists he accompanied, he made his instrument a thing of beauty."
-- Bob Goepfert
THE RECORD

Starring In Concert — THE GODDESS CONCERT
Merkin Concert Hall, NYC, NY
May 2006
"Sarah Rice, the original Johanna in "Sweeney Todd" on Broadway, has performed internationally with singers as diverse as Dame Joan Sutherland and Angela Lansbury. Her classically trained soprano offered clear coloratura flourishes to "That Mesmerizing Mendelssohn Tune" (Irving Berlin). She later saluted the great Yma Sumac, the original Sun Virgin goddess, with "Taki Rari" (Moises Vivanco). And yes those high notes were there! She later dazzled with "Bel Raggio" (Rossini) from "Semiramide," demonstrating that she has obviously studied Dame Joan's repertoire and knows her way around a trill."
-- Gregg Culling
Talkin' Broadway
Starring In Concert — VOICES OF SPRING
Merkin Concert Hall, NYC, NY
April 2006
" The biggest treat, for me, was the coloratura soprano Sarah Rice who wowed us with the song she introduced on Broadway in Sondheim's SWEENEY TODD "Green Finch (and Linnet Bird)." Amazingly, she sounds just like she did in the original production and on the Original Cast Recording (1979). She was positively stunning on "Voci di Primavera" (J. Strauss/I. Celsete) as she has obviously performed this numerous times, and she has it down to perfection. She was superb on Romberg's "Romance" from THE DESERT SONG (lyrics: Harbach/Hammerstein), and Menotti's "Steal Me Sweet Thief" from OLD MAID AND THE THIEF, not something you often hear in concert. She was quite the comedian on the multiple verses of Rodgers/Hart's "To Keep My Love Alive."

There were also duets from the Lucy Simon/Marsha Norman THE SECRET GARDEN ("Where in the World/How Could I Know"), and Maltby & Shire's CLOSER THAN EVER ("It's Never That Easy / I've Been Here Before") that were brilliantly performed. "
-- Gregg Culling
Talkin' Broadway
Starring In Concert — BROADWAY ORIGINALS! at Town Hall, NYC
October 2005
"It started with "Broadway by the Year." Then came "The Nightlife Awards". This all-star show was followed by "Broadway Unplugged" and now, there's "Broadway Originals!" – a concert featuring about two dozen Broadway showstoppers delivered by the performers who originated them.

Diva turns of the best sort were to be found throughout "Originals." Penny Fuller, Eve Harrington to Lauren Bacall's Margo Channing in All About Eve-based Applause, brought frightening intensity to "One Halloween" from this Strouse-Comden-Green show. Sarah Rice, performing without the aid of amplification, filled the theater with her beautiful soprano singing "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sweeney Todd."
-- Andy Propst
AMERICAN THEATER WEB
"Sarah Rice declined the microphone for her stunning "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" (Sweeney Todd)."
-- Michael Dale
BROADWAY WORLD.COM
"Sarah Rice gave us a letter- and note-perfect "Green Finch and Linnet Bird" from Sweeney Todd"
-- Martin Denton
NYTHEATRE.COM
Starring In Concert — VOICES OF SPRING:
May 2005
" Leaving no doubt as to her operatic training, Rice turned in a glorious rendition of "Voci di Primavera" as her voice ranged from vibrant to high-floating falsetto. In a more serene mood and with a sense of longing, she urged "Steal Me, Sweet Thief." In comical reprises, she sashayed through three versions of "To Keep My Love Alive."

Among the most touching episodes in the presentation were heartwarming exchanges between a dejected
Groenendaal and an assuring Rice (earlier deceased) as they deal with the problems of "Where in the World/How Could I Know."
--Marcus Kalipolites
TIMES HERALD RECORD
Starring In Concert — ISN'T IT ROMANTIC?
February 2005
"Sarah Rice has an extraordinary soprano range, with soaring high notes. She sang a haunting piece titled "Trees on the Mountains," which showcased her voice beautifully. Rice's turn at some Broadway standards, such as "Bill," were wonderfully executed and presented."
TIMES HERALD RECORD
As Luisa in THE FANTASTICKS:
"His casting is unequivocal perfection. As the 16-year-old Luisa, Sarah Rice is adolescence personified. She acts beautifully, sings even better. And you can hear her clearly throughout the theater."
THE PHOENIX GAZETTE
Photos of Sarah in this role
As Anne in A LITTLE NIGHT MUSIC:
"Sarah Rice (Anne) was all young beauty and breathlessness as the young enchanting creature Frederik marries to renew his youth."
THE WNY CATHOLIC
Photos of Sarah in this role

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