"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"
"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."
"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."
"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.
"Benko is a delight as Girl, with plenty of sass to control the conversation and yet the tenderness to win devotion.
"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
"Julie Benko's performance... was as delightful as it was heart-wrenching."
"Emily Gibbs [was] played beautifully with tremendous range and emotion by Julie Benko."
"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."
"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."
"...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."
"Benko deftly navigates one of the most complex characters in the play."
-Bay Area Theatre and Bites
bar mitzvah boy
"...strategically and beautifully set in motion by a scene between Eliot and his sister Lesley (a terrific Julie Benko)."
"Benko is the perfect combination of irksome and protective as the big sister."
"Benko is both bossy around her boyfriend and endearing with her useful wisdom..."
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.