theater reviews

FUNNY GIRL

"Revelatory... The perfect Fannie Brice for our time."
-The New York Sun

"Julie Benko is the bright-eyed, dulcet-voiced soprano who went from standby to star."
-The New York Times


"Ms. Benko is rendering a star-making performance... For what it’s worth, I hereby offer my imaginary Tony nomination of Julie Benko as Best (Standby) Actress in a Musical"
-Theater Pizzazz

"She was, in a word, luminescent...  Julie has a more than a passing resemblance to the real Fanny Brice, and from her big-eyed expressions and pitch-perfect Yiddish accent in the “Rat-Tat-Tat-Tat” number, it is clear she has done her Vaudeville homework. Julie’s clear voice soars whether she is drawing on her jazz background for “Cornet Man,” or belting “Don’t Rain on My Parade” (the song that brought down the house at my performance). Hers is a gentler Fanny than we may have seen before, and her interpretation of this iconic character is completely fresh."
-FF2 Media

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ONCE

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"Julie Benko is a powerhouse as Girl. A fine singer and pianist, she combines dramatic nuance with a knack for comedy. Girl tends to plant her feet, beam a direct gaze from her dark eyes to size things up and then tunnel right to the emotional heart of a situation. She has the kind of tenacity that's fun to root for, and, in Benko's hands, it should come with a warning label: Do Not Underestimate."
-Seven Days Vermont

"Still, in this true ensemble piece, it was Julie Benko’s Girl that proved the center of Friday’s performance. Her simple directness, with emotions simmering underneath, made her irresistible and riveting."
-Rutland Herald

"Honest, awkward, sweet, surprising, funny, genuine, evolving... an astounding achievement. [Her] acting cannot be separated from [her] melodious voice or from her inspired keyboard skills.... They are spectacular.
-Revue WM

"Benko is a delight as Girl, with plenty of sass to control the conversation and yet the tenderness to win devotion.
-Encore Michigan

The fantasticks

"Julie Benko, as Luisa, has a face that can render every blushing excess of adolescence, from saucer-eyed hope to defiant daring. Resisting squeaky youthfulness, she turns an abstract ingénue into a person both decisive and awkward. And her strong singing is a window into a Luisa with a real soul."
-Seven Days Vermont

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our town

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"Julie Benko's performance... was as delightful as it was heart-wrenching."

-Manchester Journal

"Emily Gibbs [was] played beautifully with tremendous range and emotion by Julie Benko."

-Vermont Journal

"Julie Benko was responsible for much of the production’s joy and heartbreak, irresistibly portraying three stages of the girl’s life. The final flashback was particularly heart wrenching."

-Rutland Herald

"Julie Benko sets Emily fluttering between shyness and exhilaration. Her gaze devours everything around her, and we see Emily aching to uncover the world. In Friday's performance, as Emily grasps an elemental truth in the final act, Benko wept as she experienced it."

-Seven Days VT

RAGS

"...a radiant turn by Julie Benko... Benko’s [ebullient] as Bella."
-The Mercury News

"...singing the rousing title song, "Rags"—a number Julie Benko as Bella particularly shines as she exclaims her immigrant impatience in a voice refreshing with its exuberance and energy."
-Talkin' Broadway

"Benko deftly navigates one of the most complex characters in the play."
-Bay Area Theatre and Bites

 

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bar mitzvah boy

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"...strategically and beautifully set in motion by a scene between Eliot and his sister Lesley (a terrific Julie Benko)."
-Curtain Up

"Benko is the perfect combination of irksome and protective as the big sister."
-Talkin' Broadway

"Benko is both bossy around her boyfriend and endearing with her useful wisdom..."
-Theater Scene

   Fiddler on the Roof  

The biggest... surprise was from Julie Benko, who had stepped in as Hodel, Tevye’s second daughter. Her melancholy and heartbreaking rendition of “Far from the Home I Love,” my favorite song in the show, was an unexpected treat.

-Pop-Culturalist.com

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   The Golem of Havana   

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"Julie Benko... does a delightful job of depicting the young woman’s courage and conviction. She maintains her energy level throughout and embraces her songs with an appropriate enthusiasm...."
-Springfield Art Examiner


""The girl, Rebeca Frankel, is played by Julie Benko with a sincerity that is ultimately moving... Benko acts and sings with strength and a realism that makes her loveable... for her ardor is only exceeded by her imagination."
- Berkshire Bright Focus

"For her part, Rebeca (a thoroughly engaging Julie Benko) is richly imaginative and inquisitive."
-The Berkshire Eagle

   Les Misérables   

"Julie Benko...[stars] as Cosette...and [performs] beautifully. Benko portrays an exquisite Cosette in her purest form."
-Sacramento 365

"Julie Benko's Cosette had us shivering with delight in 'A Heart Full of Love."
-Indyweek.com

"Other highlights included Julie Benko's performance as Cosette, offering a shining soprano voice."
-Live Toast

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