Critic Reviews


Critic Reviews

irresistible

★★★★★
5 5 1
Jamaica Farewell is funny, engaging and irresistible!

Engaging

★★★★★
5 5 1
Spectacular Performance! Rapturously Engaging! Sweet comic timing

Exhilarating

★★★★★
5 5 1
Exhilarating…Breathtaking..

Infectious

★★★★★
5 5 1
Infectious..laugh out loud funny! Very entertaining!

magical

★★★★★
5 5 1
A magical storyteller!

nostalgic

★★★★★
5 5 1
This is a wonderful play, which evokes almost constant laughter, tears, serious reflection and feelings of great relief. Ms. Ehrhardt’s performance is stunning; she fills the stage with her versatility, grace and style, and she’s helped by witty, well-structured text that tugs at our nostalgic sensibilities.

riveting

★★★★★
5 5 1
I thoroughly enjoyed your performance. JAMAICA FAREWELL is riveting. You have found a way to present this fact-based story in an inimitable Jamaican style, that demonstrates the versatility and determination of the Jamaican spirit and our ability to triumph in the face of adversity.

riveting

★★★★★
5 5 1
I thoroughly enjoyed your performance. JAMAICA FAREWELL is riveting. You have found a way to present this fact-based story in an inimitable Jamaican style, that demonstrates the versatility and determination of the Jamaican spirit and our ability to triumph in the face of adversity.

brilliantly performed

★★★★★
5 5 1
Truth is rarely more exciting than fiction. But this time it is. Jamaica Farewell authored and acted by Debra Ehrhardt recalls the never-to-be-forgotten period of the 1970's in dramatic and traumatic episodes, brilliantly performed by Debra in a magnificent reawakening of the most tragic period in modern Jamaican History.

Charming

★★★★★
5 5 1
Charming...Ehrhardt impresses with her ability to conjure up an unforgettable world through words as well as the sheer dynamism of her performance.

genuinely breath-taking

★★★★★
5 5 1
This performance was genuinely breath-taking..she might be about the most charming and beguiling storyteller at EdFringe '14.

90 highly enjoyable minutes

★★★★★
5 5 1
90 highly enjoyable minutes..very funny and fast-paced piece..whatever your point of origin, be it ten thousand or ten miles from Wicker Park, you'll likely find yourself staring at Ehrhardt, who is uncommonly beautiful, and musing on how the world kicks out remarkable people who refuse to stay where they are put. America is far luckier than it realizes that so many of them want to come here.

exuberant storytelling

★★★★★
5 5 1
The stage of the Chopin Theatre is bare, aside from a large steamer trunk and a few stacks of old suitcases. But have no fear. Jamaican-bred, Los Angeles-based actress Debra Ehrhardt is a storyteller who can fill up empty space with the sheer power of her exuberant storytelling. And as she spins her self-penned one-woman show, “Jamaica, Farewell” —recounting the adventure-filled saga of how she realized her more than decade-long dream of emigrating from the Caribbean “paradise island” of her birth to the United States —she fills our imagination with a slew of people, places and near-catastrophic experiences.

exuberant storytelling

★★★★★
5 5 1
The stage of the Chopin Theatre is bare, aside from a large steamer trunk and a few stacks of old suitcases. But have no fear. Jamaican-bred, Los Angeles-based actress Debra Ehrhardt is a storyteller who can fill up empty space with the sheer power of her exuberant storytelling. And as she spins her self-penned one-woman show, “Jamaica, Farewell” —recounting the adventure-filled saga of how she realized her more than decade-long dream of emigrating from the Caribbean “paradise island” of her birth to the United States —she fills our imagination with a slew of people, places and near-catastrophic experiences.

welcome and poignant

★★★★★
5 5 1
Driving the show are the actress’s appealing presence and her ability to move in and out of characters ranging from her mother and father to the American CIA agent who unwittingly keeps her out of jail. Ehrhardt’s story is a welcome and poignant revelation.

enjoyable

★★★★★
5 5 1
The attractive and athletic Ehrhardt performs her show with an energy and verve that belie the many times she's done this for an audience. It's a short but enjoyable show that passes even faster than its 85 minutes would suggest, due to Ms. Ehrhardt's likable presence.

honest

★★★★★
5 5 1
Ehrhardt is a charming, straightforward performer who easily slips between her wide-eyed childhood self to her no-nonsense mother to her deadbeat alcoholic father, as well as other colorful characters on her path to freedom from ravaged 1970s Kingston, Jamaica. She certainly knows how to spin a tale using both humor and pathos, and the dramatic stakes get higher as, after several false starts and dead ends, she latches onto a risky and nearly life-threatening opportunity involving a bag of money and a man named “Bullet” to make it to America. I’d be interested to know how much of it is true vs. teased up for dramatic purposes, but I was engaged throughout, and it all felt honest, so that’s what really matters.

thoroughly charming

★★★★★
5 5 1
The thoroughly charming Debra Ehrhardt reminisces about her voyage from Kingston, Jamaica to Miami, USA. In her engaging one woman story, Ehrhardt mimics her seven year old self, alcoholic father, religious mother and many other colorful characters. Under the direction of Joel Zwick, an animated Ehrhardt scurries around luggage in her energetic recollection of her passage’s events. The stage has trunks and suitcases strewn across it. The ever-moving Ehrhardt darts in, around, and on top of them to create the illusion of travel. Ehrhardt is a delightfully lilted storyteller. And the audience goes with her on her elaborately described adventure.

You won't be disappointed.

★★★★★
5 5 1
...or anyone who has ever had a dream, which is everyone, the story will resonate on a variety of different levels. You will laugh, you will cry, you will stand up and cheer. "Jamaica, Farewell" is more than an average "Coming to America" story; it is about overcoming the everyday obstacles that hinder us to realize our dreams. See this show before it leaves Chicago and continues to its next destination! You won't be disappointed.

excellent

★★★★★
5 5 1
A combination of spy thriller and slapstick comedy..Ehrhardt is an excellent storyteller and monologist!

Memorable

★★★★★
5 5 1
Captivating...Memorable...Fantastic..An outstanding piece of theatre!

Wonderfully executed

★★★★★
5 5 1
Powerful Story. Wonderfully executed.

Delightful

★★★★★
5 5 1
Delightful..Ehrhardt holds the audience in the palm of her hands.

Riveting

★★★★★
5 5 1
Powerful and Riveting from beginning to end!

Entertaining and engaging

★★★★★
5 5 1
Entertaining and engaging.

captivating

★★★★★
5 5 1
The most captivating solo production this reviewer has witnessed!

The reviews were right!

★★★★★
5 5 1
The reviews were right! Powerful, fantastic performance! A definite must see!

touching, funny, captivating and hugely enjoyabl

★★★★★
5 5 1
Jamaica Farewell delivers splashes of nostalgia, warmth and island charm..touching, funny, captivating and hugely enjoyable.

One of the funniest stories

★★★★★
5 5 1
One of the funniest stories I have ever had the pleasure of listening to...a theatrical tour de force of both script and performance.

drama at its best

★★★★★
5 5 1
I caught closing night of Jamaica Farewell, written and performed by Debra Ehrhardt, and was simply blown away. It's a one-woman show, but you'd think that you were in a movie. She masterfully told her tale that kept the audience entranced, titillated, mesmerised and awestruck. Her show was only here for one weekend, but it left an indelible mark on our theatre landscape, as it was drama at its best...

brash and precocious in its simplicity

★★★★★
5 5 1
Debra Ehrhardt's Jamaica Farewell is brash and precocious in its simplicity and exudes an overwhelming and compelling charm that belies the boldness of the playwright /actress. With meticulous yet not pedantic intricacies Debra weaves a web that tugs and hauls you willingly or even unwillingly at first, into her story so that without even knowing exactly when, you are the story, and the journey is yours. Jamaica Farewell is an account of deep personal pain revealed honestly. And in true Jamaican style with a generous enough serving of humor sprinkled cautiously and appropriately. It is the ambivalence of embracing your shame, of loving to the end regardless, of doing the wrong things painstakingly correctly, in pursuit of a supposedly higher and more noble calling. It is about not giving up on a dream even after others have given up on you because of the seeming futility of the pursuit of that dream. It is about faith and risks amidst seriously debilitating fatal alternatives. Debra reveals her story through skillful employment and an unfailing adherence to the ever so tested principles and signposts of the hero's journey such that would make the ancestry of epic story codifiers and shamans take note. From Aristotle through Joseph Campbell to Christopher Vogler and Robert McKee the theoretical underpinning on which this tale is platformed is sound. As such, all human kind but particularly student playwrights, novelists, short story tellers and writers, screen writers, actors and directors should benefit immensely from a viewing of this well chronicled "personal confessions of Debra." Jamaica Farewell is simple and irrefutable corroborated evidence that less is more.

an excellent piece

★★★★★
5 5 1
Debra Ehrhardt wrote and executed an excellent piece that held the audience spell bound from start to finish--not a boring moment--- undoubtedly a top grade piece and thanks for it!

magnificent production

★★★★★
5 5 1
Last night, my wife and I were in Atlanta and took the opportunity to attend the fabulous one woman show titled: "Jamaica Farewell" staring Debra Ehrhardt and Directed by Francis McGahy. It is funny, it's original, well rehearsed and went off without a hitch. I could readily relate to the story line about a Jamaican girl who dreams of escaping to America during the Turbulent Seventies. Through many daring and hilarious twists and turns (Jamaican style), she averts disaster and achieves her goal. For good belly laughs and inspiration mixed with a great deal of back-home inferences, you will want to make every effort to see this magnificent production. I absolutely loved it and I am sure you will as well. Ms. Ehrhardt deserves an Oscar. To learn about play dates, please go to: jamaicafarewelltheplay.com. Your soul will be enriched.

Brilliant

★★★★★
5 5 1
I don't know if she has a producer, but I would put money into it.

I highly recommend

★★★★★
5 5 1
Ms. Ehrhardt succeeds in creating one of the most memorable shows that I have seen...I highly recommend this show as something original and different...

You will not be disappointed

★★★★★
5 5 1
Jamaica Farewell is outrageous, funny, honest and thoroughly entertaining. You will not be disappointed!

Highly Recommended

★★★★★
5 5 1
This critic has finally found a one-person show that he highly recommends.

a rare ability to mesmerize

★★★★★
5 5 1
Debra Ehrhardt possesses a rare ability to mesmerize that would have kept ancient Grecians sitting around the fire for hours.

Flashes of wit and genuine lyricism

★★★★★
5 5 1
Flashes of wit and genuine lyricism combined with an adventure that might make James Bond sweat.…gripping and marvelously funny!

Exciting!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Exciting! Ehrhardt’s charm as a storyteller is unwavering. A lovely escape!

Funny!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Funny! Ehrhardt emoted and delivered a stellar performance!

Funny and tender

★★★★★
5 5 1
Funny and tender until it suddenly becomes The Bourne Ultimatum.

Highly Recommended

★★★★★
5 5 1
I recommend this piece to all theatre goers.

Mesmerizing

★★★★★
5 5 1
Mesmerizing…Whoever lives through Ehrhardt’s journey with her, stands up to holler ,‘You go girl!’ Among polite theatre goers, a standing ovation has to suffice.

a 90-minute feast

★★★★★
5 5 1
A fascinating story…a 90-minute feast for the ears and soul.

High Comedy

★★★★★
5 5 1
Exuberant! High Comedy!

audiences loved it

★★★★★
5 5 1
“Jamaica, Farewell” was definitely one of the highlights of the 2008 Wintergreen Summer Music Festival! Our audiences loved it. Debra Ehrhardt is a major talent . . . as an actress and as a playwright.

Powerful

★★★★★
5 5 1
Powerful…Debra Ehrhardt holds the audience captive from beginning to end, with this powerful drama, filled with humor and suspense.

well-crafted and put together

★★★★★
5 5 1
A well-crafted and put together piece of honest and charming autobiography.

Winning!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Winning! The evening’s real pleasure is simply Ehrhardt herself, She’s got it going on, living every day like Independence Day.

A terrific story

★★★★★
5 5 1
A terrific story with wit and panache…suspenseful enough for a thriller and deliciously funny.

captivating and hilarious

★★★★★
5 5 1
Not since Nia Vardalos' MY BIG FAT GREEK WEDDING has there been such a captivating and hilarious one-person show as JAMAICA, FAREWELL.

a joy to watch

★★★★★
5 5 1
Ranging from comedic to heartbreaking to utterly unbelievable, a joy to watch.

Entertaining, funny, wonderfully told

★★★★★
5 5 1
Entertaining, funny, wonderfully told tale…enough humor to melt even the Minutemen patrolling our border.

A TOUR DE FORCE

★★★★★
5 5 1
A TOUR DE FORCE…Ehrhardt’s inspired performance makes you laugh and cry and applaud the persistence of the human spirit…an unforgettable journey, crafted with wit and empathy.

gripping, suspenseful, and hilarious

★★★★★
5 5 1
A gripping, suspenseful, and hilarious odyssey… Debra Ehrhardt is a terrific story-teller...engrossing, entertaining, and amusing.

A crackerjack storyteller

★★★★★
5 5 1
Filled with humor, emotion, and gripping suspense…Highly entertaining and poignant…A crackerjack storyteller.

Ehrhardt rivets the audience

★★★★★
5 5 1
A plot driven, fascinating story full of twist and turns,…Hilarious...a true coming-to-America story…Ehrhardt rivets the audience.

riveting

★★★★★
5 5 1
The writing, and her performance of it, is riveting…I’ll never forget some of it.

saucy, spicy and flighty

★★★★★
5 5 1
Capture a piece of the American Dream…saucy, spicy and flighty as Jamaican jerk wings.

not to be missed

★★★★★
5 5 1
When a one-woman show makes you feel like you saw a fully-cast play, you know you've just witnessed a fabulous actor at work....an extremely talented performer…not to be missed.

riveting tale

★★★★★
5 5 1
Enthused with the madcap humor and deep emotions of the Jamaican spirit, this riveting tale reminds us of the power of personal storytelling.

America The Beautiful

★★★★★
5 5 1
Debra takes off the gloves and wraps her elegant hands around the American dream the way it used to be. With her sultry voice and physical beauty, it’s a fast-paced twelve round knockout that leaves you chuckling and dewy-eyed at the same time. Here’s one Jamaican joy that reminds us of how we used to be for most immigrants; 'America The Beautiful’.

Debra Ehrhardt held the audience spellbound

★★★★★
5 5 1
A brilliant evening's entertainment … Debra Ehrhardt held the audience spellbound for one and a half hours without a hitch … Some serious talents involved here.

Powerful

★★★★★
5 5 1
Powerful…with wit and a melodic Jamaican lilt, Ehrhardt proves to be an entertaining and charming raconteur.

Fantastic!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Fantastic! An emotional journey that does full justice to the drama of her life-changing off-stage odyssey.

Fantastic!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Fantastic! An emotional journey that does full justice to the drama of her life-changing off-stage odyssey.

Intriguing

★★★★★
5 5 1
Humorous…Intriguing…lively and colorful…a truly pleasurable experience.

hilarious

★★★★★
5 5 1
An awesome hilarious play.

Beautiful

★★★★★
5 5 1
You don't want it to end.

Superb acting

★★★★★
5 5 1
Traversing the rich, cultural and political landscape of the 1970's Jamaica, Debra Ehrhardt weaves her way through the complexities of that period to bring the audience to a humorous and compelling view of the reality of a turbulent time in the country's history. Superb acting places the viewers at the center of the plot and leaving them holding their bellies in pure laughter.

Hang on to your seat

★★★★★
5 5 1
Hang on to your seat. With guile and humor Debra takes you on a hill 'n gully ride that will leave you breathless and enlivened. I highly recommend Jamaica Farewell to everyone.

Go and see it!

★★★★★
5 5 1
Once in a while a play comes along, so well written that you can see, feel and experience the restless times and inner turmoil - not to mention the intense rip-roaring humor - Debra endured. Jamaica Farewell is one such play...Go and see it!