They found the right mix: one false move in any direction and the tone could have gone off the rails into hopeless Hallmark-channel schmaltz, or incomprehensible chaos. Amazingly, Frederick and Vignone masterfully created a moving film that pulls no punches while compassionately exploring life with mental illness.
Betty Jo Tucker
Grabs your heart and won’t let go, Tanna Frederick plays [her] meaty role with a wonderful authenticity… An important movie supporting mental health awareness.
Tanna is a true golden age throwback. I can easily see her as a contract player of the Thirties. A brassy, saucy, firecracker, full of moxie, a dame who could pull a heist, crack a joke, break a heart, croon a tune, and never muss her hair.
Tanna is like the famous racehorse Pharlap, who was so gifted, they would add additional lead weights under the saddle pad to intentionally slow him, so as not to embarrass the other horses on the track and make it somewhat competitive.
To say I worked with Tanna would be a misnomer. It would be more accurate to say I went to an actor camp with Tanna, called “Just 45 Minutes From Broadway”. And she is a great fellow camper who brings lots of goodies: a vivid imagination, excellent study habits, stamina, accessible emotions, wonderful sense of humor, enthusiasm, and grace under pressure.
If she played baseball you’d call her a 5-tool player, meaning she excels at hitting for average, hitting for power, base-running skills & speed, throwing ability, and fielding abilities…no weaknesses.
Santa Monica Daily Press
All of the players are ablaze in this terrific production of N. Richard Nash’s The Rainmaker, thanks to Jack Heller’s careful direction. But bottom line, the play belongs to Tanna Frederick as Lizzie and Meryl Streep couldn’t do it better!
A very funny play [Sylvia], it’s the cat’s meow! Tanna Frederick has to be seen to be believed!
The Huffington Post
Tanna Frederick is truly brilliant as ‘Sylvia’! The play is pure hysteria – Don’t miss it!
Tanna is a comedic gem as Mary. Some of the funniest physical comedy I have seen in a long time. She has some touching moments as well and even though she is crazy, and a criminal, you still fall in love with her. … As a director, Tanna has done a great job of moving the play along and getting excellent performances out of her talented ensemble cast.
Santa Monica Mirror
Tanna Frederick is hilarious, an extraordinary performance – ‘Sylvia’ is a howl!
The Los Angeles Times
A whirl of magic realism [in Why We Have a Body], heady talk and quirky wit!
Unless you see the current production of The Rainmaker, you’ve simply never seen this play. Each performance should be distilled, bottled, and preserved for posterity but the standout of this cast is TANNA FREDERICK – who by some magic of theatrical alchemy- performs a transformation not to be missed!
A RICH, COMPLEX AND HEARTBREAKING STORY OF DOOMED LOVE – TANNA FREDERICK’S RADIANCE AND EMOTIONAL TRANSPARENCY [IN THE RAINMAKER] WON ME OVER!
(President, San Francisco Critics Circle)
THE M WORD, HEADED BY THE BRILLIANT TANNA FREDERICK, AN EXTREMELY VERSATILE & ADORABLE ACTRESS WHO CAN PLAY ABSOLUTELY ANYTHING AND WHOSE COMEDIC SKILLS ARE ON FULL DISPLAY HERE.
F. Kathleen Foley
CRITIC’S CHOICE….The standout of this terrific cast is Tanna Frederick’s acerbically yearning Lizzie. Plain as mud in the early scenes, Frederick lets down her hair with Starbuck – and by some magic of theatrical alchemy, becomes a genuine beauty. It’s a transformation not to be missed.
Steven Leigh Morris
Its linchpin [is] Frederick’s droll, rat-smart Lizzie. With subtlety and composure that often belies the text, she knows who she is and what she wants…Terrific performance…
WOW….Frederick gives us a heartbreaking, real three-dimensional Lizzie, from her spunk and grit to her refusal to be a flirtatious bubblehead (though she does do a hilariously over-the-top imitation of one) to her very real long to fit in, to be the swan rather than the awkward duckling….Robert Standley is a leading man to be reckoned with.
Going against the obvious, [Tanna] Frederick plays Lizzie as strong and feisty, focusing less on her fragile, repressed side. It’s a perfectly credible choice, and when she does expose her character’s stoic despair, pain, and neediness, Frederick is all the more effective.
Joan and John Schwartz
Frederick is outstanding. There is not a moment on stage when you don’t feel her deep need to be held, adored and loved. It’s almost, at times, heartbreaking to watch.
Under the direction of Jack Heller, the cast does very well with their roles. Tanna Frederick is wonderful as Lizzie, beautifully inhabiting the character in her silences as well as when she’s speaking. Lizzie is the heart of the play, and Frederick’s portrayal is top-notch.
Tanna Fredrick, as the eponymous Sylvia, throws herself totally into the thing and maintains a high comic level. Her voice inflections, body twists and turns, and Jim Carey-like expressions run a full gamut of inventively delightful stuff.
Seriously entertaining, a great night out…Tanna Frederick is lightning in a bottle.
Led by an inspired ball of energy otherwise known as Tanna Frederick…the energy fun and pet-wise unconditional love is a Grogan-inspired marathon of energy put forth by Frederick.
Tanna Frederick shines in ‘Sylvia.’ This play is the perfect vehicle for the very talented and versatile Frederick. Tanna Frederick totally embraces this role and has such ‘doggone’ fun in bringing Sylvia to life. It is infectious.
Tanna Frederick. I must say I never heard the name. But now that I know her story, I won’t forget it. And don’t you, either. I have a feeling we’re going to hear more from this girl.
Playing the title role in Sylvia by A.R. Gurney, Tanna Frederick preens and gambols about the stage of the Edgemar Center for the Arts in Santa Monica like she owns the place. And she does. Her kinetic energy fills the theater as she riotously stretches, scratches, sniffs, humps, licks, and hurls herself into something resembling, but thankfully not exactly copying, a dog. She is having the best time, and the sheer pleasure she takes in exploring every nook and cranny on stage, both figuratively and literally, sweeps us away.
Tanna’s concept is just delicious… She is incredibly creative. She has a wonderful vision and every element in [Why We Have a Body] is incredibly inventive.