Side by Side by Sondheim

“The production features an impressive cast of seven, among the area’s best singing actors, who bring out the humor and heart in even the most familiar songs by truly connecting with the stories and characters by clearly enunciating even the trickiest phrases.”
– Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune

Lola in Damn Yankees

“Kathryn Parks has all the right stuff for Lola: she is a statuesque beauty and a fine singer and dancer. When in “A Little Brains, a Little Talent” she sings, “and this queen has her aces, in all the right places,” she certainly does.”
– William S. Osner, Talkin’ Broadway

“Kathryn Parks plays Lola, a fellow villain, who ends up changing her wicked ways when she experiences the love and true heart of Joe Hardy. Parks displays crisp and solid vocals throughout the show in addition to a few eccentric dance moves. She carefully shows the heart of her character as you see the transformation of her beliefs and desires. Like most changes with one’s character, it is a process and Parks does a nice job in not rushing the process and allowing the audience to experience the change she is undergoing.”
– by Jacob Ruscoe,

“Kathryn Parks’ Lola is lovely, displaying solid vocals, and she strikes the necessary balance between sexy and vulnerable. She hits every mark in a challenging role.”
– T. Michele Walker, Sarasota Herald Tribune

Maggie in Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

The production’s impressive even for people who know the play well, thanks to some excellent acting in exceedingly difficult roles. Kathryn Parks as Maggie, the de facto title character, has to carry the long first act almost single-handedly, and she does so with the menace, restraint and sexiness the role demands.

– Marty Clear, Bradenton Herald

The play’s focus shifts between three central characters: Maggie (aka Maggie the Cat), Big Daddy and Brick. Maggie’s monologues fill most of the first act….Parks’ bravura performance makes it work. Her character is a smart, tough-minded, seriously sexy woman who knows exactly what she wants—and isn’t shy about saying it.

– Marty Fugate, Sarasota Observer

This production is anchored by two fine performances, Rafael Petlock as Brick the favored son and Kathryn Parks showing her acting chops as his wife Maggie “the cat.” Ms. Parks, brilliant earlier in Violet and a solo cabaret show, demonstrates fine acting talents as Brick’s vixenish wife, from a poor family and with no intention of ever returning to that financial state.

– William Osner, Talkin Broadway

Kathryn Parks, who is best known as the star of many musical comedies. As Maggie the Cat, she commands the stage for almost all of the first act, spouting off her dreams and desires to her husband, Brick…. Parks has to be both alluring and irritating… she helps you understand both Maggie and Brick.

– Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune

Secrets and Sequins

Ms. Parks commands the stage as the local star that she is.

– William S. Oser,

Photo by Mark Palmer
Photo by Mark Palmer

Violet in Violet

The cover of the program states that this production is starring Kathryn Parks, unusual for community theater, but in this case absolutely appropriate. She is, in a word, magnificent. The music carries the show and Ms. Parks sings every bar beautifully. Her acting, strongly tied to the singing, is stunning as she moves from completely unassured to “healed” through her inner strength. I intend not to miss her future starring roles.

– William S. Oser,


Handy Award from Jay Handelman, Theater Critic for the Sarasota Herald Tribune

In the last few years, Kathryn Parks has apparently set out to put her stamp on all the classics, or (neo-classic) musical theater roles. This year, she segued from the tomboyish Polly in “Crazy for You” to Julie Jordan in “Carousel” (both at the Players) and then on to British swimming star Edith in “My One and Only.” She has poise and style, has proven to be a strong dancer and has grown more engaging with each passing year.

 Edythe Herbert in My One and Only

Fortunately the stars, Michael DeMocko as aviator Billy Buck Chandler (a Texan, natch) and Kathryn Parks as Edith Herbert (a Brit who’s not as high-class as she tries to be), are up to the challenge of those dance steps…. It’s a pleasure to watch them.
Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine

(Watch S’Wonderful – where I tap dance in a pool of water!)

Julie Jordan in Carousel

…there’s still “If I Loved You,” which is beautifully sung by Kathryn Parks and William Masuck…They have the right kind of chemistry that befits their push-pull relationship. They’re clearly drawn to one another, but Billy is down on himself and takes it out on Julie, leading her to be wary of him…The most effective relationship on stage is between Parks and her real-life mother, Sharon Ohrenstein, who plays Julie’s cousin Nettie Fowler…The personal connection between them adds an extra layer of emotion in their scenes together.
Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune

Most happily, it has some performers up to the task of that often challenging music…That includes not only Kathryn Parks as Julie but her offstage mother, Sharon Ohrenstein, as Nettie Fowler… There’s perhaps an extra layer of connection between Julie and her onstage cousin, Nettie, due to the real-life relationship between the two.
Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine

Wiliam Massuck and Kathryn Parks in Carousel
Wiliam Massuck and Kathryn Parks in Carousel

Polly in Crazy for You

He falls head-over-heels at first sight with the theater owner’s daughter, Polly Baker (played by a lovely Kathryn Parks)…Thankfully, she’s got a strong group of tappers, led by O’Neill, who practically floats across the stage whenever there’s music playing. Parks is just as graceful, at least as much as her tomboyish character allows.
Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune

Kathryn Parks and Logan O’Neil in “Crazy for You”

Maria in the Sound of Music

Ms. Parks quite literally carries this production on her slim but highly capable shoulders. As Maria, she perfectly depicts her character’s conflicts: her devotion to the convent versus her growing love of the von Trapp children, and their father, whose severe demeanor slowly melts under the warmth of her irrepressible joie de vivre. And her voice is sparkling. As she warbles the title song at the show’s outset the audience realizes it can sit back and relax, knowing that all you need to do to “solve a problem like Maria” is to cast the wonderfully talented Ms. Parks in the part.
– Steve Smith, Scene Magazine

Parks displayed genuine star power in one of the most famous and demanding stage roles.
-Wade Tangelo, Bradenton Herald


Eve in Applause

Kathryn Parks is just right as Eve Harrington, the plotting protégé who plans to upend the career of her mentor, aging actress Margo Channing (Kaylene McCaw). She begins as a supposedly naïve waif who soon reveals the kind of ruthless treachery that would make Iago blush. But in her song “One Halloween,” she convincingly demonstrates what drove her to become an ambitious schemer in the first place, and we almost feel compassion for her.
– Steve Smith, Scene Magazine

Parks is most engaging in Eve’s ruthless scenes, in part because of a prelude that makes you realize all the early innocent scenes are more of an act, though she plays them well.
– Jay Handlemen,  Sarasota Herald Tribune

Kathryn Parks plays Eve Harrington, the scheming young actress who has designs on Margo’s roles, her lifestyle, her friends and her man. Parks performs equally well when capturing Eve’s false naiveté early in the performance and her character’s darker side that appears when desire and success begin to go to her head, with casualties mounting along the way.
– This Week In Sarasota

Parks is believable as the treacherous Eve, all sweet and helpful on the surface but scheming and cold underneath.
– Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine

Brian Rudolph and Kathryn Parks
Brian Rudolph and Kathryn Parks

Anna in the King and I

…it gets much of that spirit from its charming leads, Kathryn Parks as a graceful Anna Leonowens and Brian Rudolph as a fierce-on-the-outside, soft-on-the-inside King of Siam…Parks sings sweetly and moves with elegance in the beautiful hoop dresses designed by Nicholas Hartman.
– Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune, Review for The King and I

She both sings and moves very well and shows a fine spirit as an 1860s-era woman who must confront a powerful man. It’s nice to see her solo, Shall I Tell You What I Think of You? included here…She also plays convincingly with Rudolph as the King, especially late in Act I when they finally come together as colleagues in helping to Westernize his kingdom.
Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine

Kathryn Parks played Anna with a great deal of spirit and has a beautiful voice fully suited for the score.
– Jean Trammell, Venice Magazine

Eve, Barbara, Passionella in The Apple Tree


Ohrenstein, one of the best singers in the area, proved it over and over…in complete control of tune and words. As Passionella, Ohrenstein again showcases her depth of talent.
– Kim Cool, The Venice Sun

Ohrenstein and Rudolph work well together here, alternating between funny moments and more bittersweet ones; you may find yourself surprisingly touched as the first act ends. Ohrenstein is charming as both a mousy chimney sweep named Ella and the glamorous movie star she eventually becomes, thanks to a sort of fairy godfather.  Overall, though, as staged by director Dan Higgs and headlined by Ohrenstein and Rudolph, The Apple Tree is a pleasurable way to pass an evening.
Kay Kipling, Sarasota Magazine



Kate McGowan in Titantic the Musical

Some stand out more than others,… Kathryn Ohrenstein is lovely and playful as a young Irish girl with big dreams.
– Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune

MyFairLady_MFL SN COV_PurplePhotoEliza Doolitte in My Fair Lady

And then there’s the show’s centerpiece, the lovely Kathryn Ohrenstein as Eliza Doolittle. She sings with ease and more importantly is convincing in Eliza’s transformation, both in her speaking voice and her attitude. She keeps you involved.
– Jay Handelman, Sarasota Herald Tribune

Kathryn Ohrenstein is the quintessential Eliza Doolittle. She looks the part, acts the part and sings the part, charming the audience and Henry Higgins in one fell swoop.
-Kim Cool, The Venice Sun