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Reviews of "His Eye is on the Sparrow"

Maiesha McQueen as Ethel Waters in His Eye is on the Sparrow at The Armory. Photo by Patrick Weishampel/blankeye.tv.
Maiesha McQueen as Ethel Waters in His Eye is on the Sparrow at The Armory. Photo by Patrick Weishampel/blankeye.tv.

Powerful and Brooding
"The character of Waters, in the play that Larry Parr writes and McQueen interprets with relentless fervor and flashes of sharp dark wit, was created from the extreme poverty of her upbringing and her acute understanding of the crude and seemingly intractable racism that drove almost everything about the culture she lived in. ... it’s a powerful story to tell, and McQueen and Smith deliver it with passion and deep musicality." -Oregon ArtsWatch

Expansive and Tender
"McQueen has that rare ability to hold a room full of people in the palm of her hand. With a mezzo-soprano capable of big bottom notes and delicate top notes, she is an actor of penetrating talent. This is a quiet play, emotionally intimate, tracing the painful life of a woman from childhood to a triumphant performance at Madison Square Garden. ... McQueen's performance is raw and lavish and divine." -EDGEMedia

Beautifully Performed
"I loved the whole of McQueen's performance. She's funny and heartbreaking and brassy and dynamic and again, again, so authentic. ... what happens during the play: you feel lifted up. By Ethel Waters' music, her truth, her hilarious barbs, her persistence." -Ut Omnia Bene

A Powerful Show, Beautifully Presented
"This Portland theatre season has been delightfully packed with stories about incredible women who have overcome seemingly impossible odds. They've all been stunning, but we've hit a new high with Portland Center Stage's 'His Eye is on the Sparrow'
... McQueen is wonderful -- mesmerizing from beginning to end, and with a strong, gorgeous voice that moves just as easily between the different musical genres as Waters' own. She broke my heart and put it back together again several times during the performance. ... Overall, this is a powerful show, beautifully presented. I recommend it very highly."

Remarkable Story
"Theatre-goers will remember Maiesha McQueen from the PCS production of Ain’t Misbehavin’ last season. In this one-woman show directed by Timothy Douglas, McQueen, accompanied by music director Darius Smith, owns the stage as she portrays the life of a woman who fought the odds, hit some very high peaks, and suffered the lowest of lows."

Here's what people are saying on Facebook:

"Heartbreaking and uplifting, it's a story I did not know and one that is so relevant now. Maiesha McQueen is outstanding"

"The most moving play I've ever seen. Everyone should see it."

"What a beautiful and powerful story! Soulfully sung, and expertly played, the two actors and the unflinching story all combine to create a storytelling of immense magnitude."

"Just saw this amazing, powerful performance! Ms. McQueen is superb! Go see this show!"

"This show and Ms. McQueen were quite simply exceptional!"

Portland Center Stage is committed to identifying & interrupting instances of racism & all forms of oppression, through the principles of inclusion, diversity, equity, & accessibility (IDEA).

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