the wild party
“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striking after seeing the actress in Passion earlier this year, where she gave a Jeff award-winning turn as the sullen, withdrawn Fosca.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