"...the actors manage their performances, here including Danni Smith’s beautifully empathetic Mary…" -Kris Vire
“Still, the highlight of the night here is Danni Smith, who plays Mary Magdalene and who moistened my eyes with 'I Don't Know How to Love Him,' a song so familiar as to have become cliched. But Smith actually finds a pathway through the number, which generally is performed merely as a repeated assertion. It's a beautiful few minutes of Chicago theater, and reason alone to see this show.” -Chris Jones
“The incomparable Danni Smith, so excellent in Theo Ubique’s recent productions of Always…Patsy Cline and Passion, astounds once again, this time as a very vulnerable, loving Mary Magdalene. Everything that happens in this musical, whether or not it directly involves her character, is mirrored in Ms. Smith’s eyes. This lovely lady’s face says everything. And when she sings, Heaven is definitely on our minds. Ms. Smith’s renditions of 'Everything’s Alright' and, especially, 'I Don’t Know How to Love Him' are performed with such honesty and raw emotion, as to bring the audience to tears.” -Colin Douglas
“Louise, played to the sassy hilt here by Danni Smith... Though one wishes she had more opportunities to sing along with Patsy, she keeps busy not only prodding the stellar five-piece band (led by pianist/music director Aaron Benham), but as the emotional standin for everyone who ever loved Patsy—whether they were drinking and kvetching or not.” -Kerri Reid
"If there’s any disappointment, it’s that patrons only get to hear Smith sing twice in short-but-lovely duets with Hall. Smith’s considerable resume, including recent bring-the-house-down performances as Violet in Bailiwick’s The Wild Party and as Fosca in Theo’s Passion, illustrate her vocal prowess more than this script allows."
“Danni Smith, as Louise Singer, overwhelmingly supplies in love, humor and sincere admiration for her singing idol. The chemistry between these two actresses is real and visible. Luckily for audiences Ms. Smith, who is herself a musical star of the highest calibre (seen recently in The Wild Party and Passion), gets to join Ms. Hall in several of the numbers. However, it’s the honesty and empathy Ms. Smith brings to her portrayal that makes this devoted, caring friend so special.”
“Danni Smith’s effervescent performance as Queenie is even more striking after seeing the actress in Passion earlier this year, where she gave a Jeff award-winning turn as the sullen, withdrawn Fosca. The brazen Queenie is the polar opposite of Fosca, giving Smith the opportunity to showcase her keen ability to completely transform into whatever character she’s given. From her vocal quality to her body language and facial expressions, Smith is one of the great chameleons of the current non-equity musical theater scene, and she’s had an exceptional year with two meaty roles that have pushed her to new heights.” -Oliver Sava
“Danni Smith, for whom no role is apparently too challenging or difficult, convincingly brings Queenie to full, voluptuous life. Strutting her seductive stuff in “Queenie Wazza Blonde,” pumping the party into high gear with her titillating “Black Bottom” and “The Lowdown-down” or baring her soul in “What I Need” and “People Like Us,” this ever-versatile actress continues to surprise and amaze in every part she plays.” -Colin Douglas
“Danni Smith, filled with pent up emotions just waiting to let loose, leads the cast as Queenie. Queenie at first appears as the usual dumb blonde chorine, but as her layers are peeled away we finally see what’s under all that makeup; a scared person just trying to find her way in the world like the rest of us. Honestly, it took me a bit to warm up to Smith’s performance, but as Queenie became more vulnerable so did Smith and her emotional journey packed a wallop by the end. One of her finest moments was during the beautiful duet [People Like Us] performed with her new love interest Black (played with perfect charm and charisma by Patrick Falcon.)” -Rand Ringgenberg
“The show is headed by the phenomenal effervescent and stunning actress Danni Smith who is as good as she’s ever been. Smith’s Queenie is ominously reminiscent of a distraught Marilyn Monroe just as her life was falling apart. Smith goes against what’s obvious in the text and doesn’t play up the vicious confident sexuality in her character. Instead she uses Queenie’s sexual ambition more as an emotional tool to fill a void for her own lack of self-worth.
There is a great deal of warmth in Smith’s Queenie and it offers us some surprising shades of vulnerability hidden underneath her layers of vanity. Early in the show Queenie sings about coming from a small town to Manhattan, and later that evening when Queenie becomes overwhelmed with emotions after a confrontation with Burrs we hear small traces of that small town girl accent re-emerge through the painful breaks in her voice. They’re small reminders of the happy girl she used to be.” -Justin LeClaire
“Featuring white-hot performances from the likes of Danni Smith...Smith, who's impressed in a number of roles here and at Theo Ubique in recent years, delivers her best work yet in a flinty, honest (and gorgeously sung) portrayal of a woman who can't quite convince herself she deserves better than she has.” -Kris Vire