“The Grapes of Wrath” by John Steinbeck
Attic Community Theater
Role: Ma Joad
Director: Kathy Paladino
August 22 – September 14, 2014

“I enjoyed your performance last Friday night. I really felt like you WERE Ma Joad – what a makeup job! You did an admirable job of capturing her essence as the family’s center of strength. I didn’t feel like I was watching “acting”. I felt like you were “in it” the whole time. Overall, I enjoyed the play immensely, despite its bleak subject matter, and have recommended it to a few friends.” ~Tom States, Actor

“I had the privilege of attending the Grapes of Wrath play at Orange Counties Attic Community Theater last night. This was definitely a very ambitious three hour production. The forty or so actors, four musicians and minimalist set design all worked well to recreate the words and atmosphere of John Steinbeck’s Dust Bowl era masterpiece. Chad Cuervo as Tom Joad, Norma Jean as Ma Joad and Bob Fetes as the ex preacher Jim Casy are all exceptional actors, which with support of the rest of this amazing cast made for a most enjoyable night out.”
~William Armstrong, Lake Forest

“On the 75th Anniversary of John Steinbeck’s Pulizer Prize novel, The Attic Theater’s opening night of The Grapes of Wrath portrayed a gripping, real, often raw look into the Joad family and their plight from Oklahoma west on their relentless journey for a better life during the Great Depression.  The excellent acting stood out, especially from Bob Fetes who played Jim Casey (the ex-preacher) and Norma Jean who played Ma Joad the matriarch and ‘glue’ that kept the family going.  I was amazed at the talent and depth of these two actors.  Young Tom Joad, played by Chad Cuervo was very good as well as the other actors in the Joad family.  As life can be humorous, the play was not devoid of some funny moments, especially from veteran actor Gordon Buckley.  I was amazed at the creative staging, props (their truck) and lighting which made you believe you were really with them on their journey.  The interjection of vocal and instrumental interludes between scenes was ingenous and brought cohesiveness to the entire play.  Forgive me if I quote a famous reviewer here, but “Thumbs Up” on a successfully entertaining show!”
~Carol Lustig, Costa Mesa

“Arsenic and Old Lace” by Joseph Kesselring

Attic Community Theater
Role: Abby Brewster
Director: Kathy Paladino

“The Brewster sisters were so believable. They are obviously not in their senior years yet but, they have you fooled the whole time. The darlings had me loving them just as the one’s in the film did. You can’t help yourself.”

“This version of Arsenic & Old Lace was so close to the original Black & White Movie.. The Aunts were so cute and believable.”

“Everyone laughed and laughed during this humorous play. The casting was excellent and the punch lines were well timed.”

“This performance followed the movie to a tee! They played out the whole movie to perfection! My sister was even mouthing the lines (she has seen the movie at least 20 times) and loved every minute of it.”

“We enjoyed it very much, the acting was excellent.”

“You could tell the actors were enjoying their performance which made it fun for the audience.”

“One thing I noticed was the way you ladies walked – fabulous attention to details and commitment to every action. Total kudos!”

“If you enjoyed the movie then I can’t recommend this stage performance highly enough.”
~Goldstar Audience Reviews 10/13/12

“Blithe Spirit” by Noel Coward
Costa Mesa Playhouse
Role: Mrs. Bradman
Director: David A. Blair

“Dan Henry and Norma Jean play the writer’s guests, a doctor and his wife, the latter injecting hilarious traits (such as a raucous horse laugh) into her straightly written character.” ~Daily Pilot 09/15/11

“The Book of Liz” by Amy Sedaris
Costa Mesa Playhouse
Role: Elizabeth Donderstock
Director: Michael Dale Brown

“In the play’s central role of Sister Liz, Norma Jean beautifully elicits memories of rubber-faced TV comediennes past, from Imogene Coca to Carol Burnett. Her performance is alternately heartwarming and knee-slapping in a richly full-blooded interpretation.” ~OC Register 02/10/11

“Moonlight and Magnolias” by Ron Hutchinson
Huntington Beach Playhouse
Role: Miss Poppenguhl
Director: Gigi Fusco-Meese

“Spicing the show and heightening the comedy is Norma Jean as Selznick’s harried secretary Miss Poppenghul, whose dialogue consists mainly of “Yes, Mr. Selznick” and who pops in and out of the office at appropriate moments.” ~OC Register 10/18/10

“Lend Me a Tenor” by Ken Ludwig
Costa Mesa Playhouse
Role: Maria Merelli
Director: David A. Blair

“The showstopper, however, is Norma Jean Riddick as Tito’s hot-blooded Italian wife, who consistently addresses him at the top of her voice.”~OC Register, 09/03/09

“Norma Jean gave a glorious, loud and passionate performance!” ~Newport Beach Independent, 09/02/09

“Sordid Lives” by Del Shores
Costa Mesa Playhouse
Role: LaVonda Dupree
Director: Michael Dale Brown

“Norma Jean adds comic punch as squabbling survivor.”~Daily Pilot, 07/26/08

“Auntie Mame” by Jerome Lawrence and Robert E. Lee
Huntington Beach Playhouse
Role: Agnes Gooch
Director: Allison Bibicoff

“”Auntie Mame” and its musical cousin contain a relatively small character role that, in the right hands, can steal the show — the nerdy transcriber Agnes Gooch, and Norma Jean Riddick is an absolute howl as she undergoes a “My Fair Lady” transformation in five minutes and a more defining lifestyle alteration during the next nine months.”~Huntington Beach Independent, 09/09/06


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