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"Supporting cast members, particularly Darlene Hope as an adoption agent, are skilled in handling the considerable humor." --The NY Times
"As Catherine, Hope is sly, wise, and funny." --Backstage
"When the Ehrlichs meet with an African-American social worker [Darlene Hope] to begin the adoption process, the heart of the piece becomes more clear and painfully funny." --NYtheatre.com
"Catherine, (Darlene Hope), the adoption agency social worker, and Aiesha, (Lisha Mckoy) are standouts. Ms. Hope captures and balances the humorous moments with the more serious, confrontational segments. She asks the hard questions and gives the couple (and the audience) much to think about." --Theatrelife.com
"The best of the bunch is the support cast. Hope makes the most of it, and her performance is heartfelt." --Asbury Park Press
“Leading the cast as Esther is Darlene Hope, an actor of phenomenal talent who is able to convey emotions with just a cant of her head or a roll of her eyes. In moments you can almost hear [Esther and Marks] hearts pounding…In the hands of less accomplished actors, this might all seem a bit overly melodramatic, but it works. This is much to the credit of Hope, who weaves her character’s transformation from that of a smitten, prim young lady to one who is, albeit heartbroken, wiser and stronger. Hers is a complete, engrossing performance that allows you to see the soul of a woman who rises above the failures and foibles of others, and though the play ends with Esther back where she started, there is no sense that she has been defeated.” – Geary Danihy, CT Theater News & Reviews
“In the role of Esther, a part that seems tailor-made for Darlene Hope, the actress renders a performance that feels so natural and lived in, it's almost as if this beautifully animated character is an extension of herself. It's uncanny, yes. But it's ever so beautiful, especially since we spend nearly three hours with the actress (she rarely leaves the stage) watching her make every line of dialogue and expression so fresh, so honest and so beautifully positioned, we never once get the feeling we are watching a play. With Hope front and center, it's all very, very real....and then some.” - Jim Ruocco, Take 2
“Darlene Hope as Esther is equal parts strength and vulnerability. She delivers Nottage’s poetry as it clearly was intended. [And her chemistry with Mr. Marks] will have you wishing you could wear your heart on the outside of your body so it wouldn’t hurt so much.” – Stephanie, Pillow Talkings
“The acting is impeccable. Darlene Hope and Beethovan Oden are simply wonderful as the star-crossed pen pals, Esther and George Armstrong. Their character arcs are as skillfully crafted as Esther’s patchwork quilt.” -Wayne, Pillow Talkings
“Ms. Hope is a remarkable actress whose versatile face changes to reflect every emotion, sometimes moment by moment.” -Tom Nissley, CT Critics Circle
“The playhouse has assembled its best cast in over a year. Hope has made Esther a spiritual descendant of Celie from “The Color Purple,” fragile, but holding a hidden strength that needs the right key to unlock her. She is sensitive at one moment and severe the next with textured honesty and nuance.” – Tom Leininger, Journal Inquirer
“Esther, played by Darlene Hope with winning simplicity… [possesses] a shy savvy that makes her an interesting and interested interlocutor”. - Donald Brown, New Haven Review
"Darlene Hope makes her strong CST debut as the Friar. Casting a woman in this role was an inspired decision and allows this character to tap into her maternal instincts while healing her flock. Possessed with a gorgeous singing voice, which she occasionally employs throughout this production, Ms. Hope is a powerfully magnetic presence, both in trying to be a supportive friend to the luckless lovers while providing spiritual guidance to a war-torn Verona." – Chicago Theatre Review
"And as the Friar who marries Romeo and Juliet and then hatches their disastrous escape plan, Darlene Hope creates a truly holy person who isn’t above telling clueless secular folk to take a seat." – The Chicago Sun Times
"Only the Friar (Darlene Hope) comes off as a character who seems fully grounded in an emotional reality." -The Chicago Tribune
"Romeo and Juliet seal their love and meet with the Friar, Darlene Hope, another newcomer to the CST stage is a delight with a wonderful voice." – Around The Town Chicago
"The true strength of this production is in the supporting cast, with Darlene Hope especially impressive as the Friar. Her presence and timely eye-rolls serve as the production’s moral center." – New City Stage
is skilled at handling considerable humor!"
-New York Times
Watch Darlene co-star as Robyn Bell on Season 1, Episode 13 of God Friended Me on CBS. Full length episode available for purchase now. Just click play!
is Sly, Wise & Funny!"