Stern is a wonderful clown...the more intense the funnier, and she doesn't mind milking the laughter by crossing her eyes
Stern is very funny as an aging, grumpy Little Orphan Annie, exhausted at the thought of yet another upcoming revival of "Annie." Stern skillfully represents a number of Broadway divas, including an accurately feral Elena Roger from "Evita," a too-chipper Sutton Foster, and a perfectly pouting Bernadette Peters "In Stephen's ear/I'm clear/I'm musical."She delightfully portrays up-and-coming Megan Hilty from "Smash," the hit TV show about Broadway musicals, "Fade in on a dame/with a big juicy frame/and a name gaining fame". And she's a standout as Judy Garland critiquing Tracie Bennett from "End of the Rainbow" with trenchant new lyrics for "You Made Me Love You" that begin, "You made me crazy/I wish you hadn't done it..."
Suffice it to say that the new cast -- extra specially, Jenny Lee Stern -- is another gifted quartet of ridiculous chameleons.
Ms. Stern captures exactly the hard-working yet oddly passionless performance of Ms. Roger’s Evita }as she promises in song that she’ll deliver “an utter lack of star quality.”
Roger is mimicked by Jenny Lee Stern, who is just smashing in her many celebrity aliases. While certainly not the first Forbidden actress to portray Bernadette Peters, her imitation of the star’s voice at this stage of her career “In Stephen’s ears / I’m still on key a lot.” is both precise in its vulnerability and loving in its presentation. She tackles familiar FB targets like Patti LuPone and Sutton Foster with aplomb and is hilariously deadpan as Cristin Milioti. But perhaps her most interesting turn comes in a very straightforward, non-comical impersonation of Judy Garland singing lyrics critical of Tracie Bennett’s over-the-top End of The Rainbow portrayal. “You made me loony. / I wish you hadn’t done it. / I wish you hadn’t done it.”
When the brilliant, leather-lunged Jenny Lee Stern soars into a faint, whispery head voice on the release to the song “Buenos Aires,” the effect is priceless and oh-so-accurate.In the shorter second act Stern scores multiple times, especially as a vapid, narcissistic Diane Paulus wreaking havoc on “Porgy and Bess” and a robotic Tracie Bennett reducing JudyNew Jersey Newsroom: (Michael Sommers)Jenny Lee Stern is this edition’s standout with her crotchety Annie, gushing Bernadette Peters, self-involved Patti LuPone, manic Judy Garland and various skewerings of other divas. Huff Post (Michael Giltz):but it must be said that the women outshine the men throughout and Jenny Lee Stern shines brightestThe evening is fun and breezy and the temptation to return in six months or a year and see what they're teasing next is understandable. Especially if Jenny Lee Stern is still in the show. She does an hilarious Patti LuPone (alongside Stevens as Mandy Patinkin), nails The Jersey Boys, Bernadette Peters and pretty much everyone else in her path. Saturday Night Live should jump on her talents right away.
Jenny Lee Stern knocks it out of the park
NY DAILY NEWS
The far-above-par Jenny Lee Stern is a riot...