PRESS

THE PAIN OF MY BELLIGERENCE - Playwrights Horizons, NYC

Written by Halley Feiffer

Directed by Trip Cullman

(Photo Credit: Joan Marcus)

"I won’t say much more about this final scene, except that it introduces (Yuki)... convincingly embodied by Vanessa Kai."- Ben Brantley, New York Times

 

"“Pain” is perfectly cast, beautifully acted, fluidly directed and astutely designed"

- Ben Brantley, New York Times

"Yuki (cool and poised Vanessa Kai), excellent)" - Michael Dale, BWW

"The kind and deliberate wife, Yuki, beautifully portrayed by the stunningly wise Vanessa Kai" - Time Square Chronicles

"Yuki (a superb Vanessa Kai), who punishes herself, in ways different than Cat’s, for both her enormous success in business and her failure to leave the constantly cheating Guy." - TheaterNewsOnline

HENRY VI - Shakespeare's Trilogy in Two PartsNational Asian American Theater, NYC

Written by William Shakespeare 

Adapted & Directed by Stephen Brown-Fried 

DRAMA DESK NOMINATED FOR OUTSTANDING REVIVAL OF A PLAY

NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS' PICK

"Kai, one of the few actors who gets to play just one part all the way through, becomes more and more prominent and impressive as the Earl of Warwick, a subtle schemer unashamed to change his stripes at the last minute." - Dan Rubins, theasy.com

(Photo Credit: William P. Steele)

KPOP - ARS NOVA, NYC

Book by Jason Kim

Music & Lyrics by Max Vernon & Helen Park

Directed by Teddy Bergman 

LUCILLE LORTEL NOMINATED FOR OUTSTANDING FEATURED ACTRESS IN A MUSICAL

(Photo Credit: Ben Arons)

TOP GIRLS - Huntington Theatre Company, Boston, MA.

Dir. Liesl Tommy

"Lady Nijo (Vanessa Kai, terrific) a 13th-century Japanese courtesan to an emperor, who later became a Buddhist nun."  - Don Aucoin, Boston Globe

"As played by Vanessa Kai, conveys an interesting blend of fragility, fierceness, and an unexpected sense of humor." - Helen Epstein, The Arts Fuse

"Vanessa Kai a standout as Lady Nijo." Carolyin Clay, The ARTery

SOMEBODY'S  DAUGHTER - Second Stage Theater, NYC

Written by Chisa Hutchinson

Directed by May Adrales

"As Millie, Kai embodies the tiger mother from hell. Her glances are so withering, her words so cutting, that we pray the house lights stay dim, lest she turn her claws on us inferiors seated in the audience. Still, we come to understand her bullying is all the natural result of the rotten deal she has been handed: She credits herself with creating this new American family — Richard would have been content to stay in China as a Communist bureaucrat without her intervention — but her role has been relegated to enforcer for an unaccountable patriarchy with unquestioned values. Dad gets to stay jovial and aloof while mom transforms into a monster. The fact that we can feel some shred of empathy for Millie by the end of the play is not just a testament to Kai's performance, but Hutchinson's incisive writing." - Zachary Stewart, Theatermania

"Millie's early scenes give Kai little opportunity for nuance. But when the character drops her guard in Act Two, the results are an alarming burst of violence, a heartrending confession, and a performance that's what spectators will recall most vividly about this production" - Charles Wright, CurtainUp

"...especially the character of Millie, the “tiger mom.” Although the character did some reprehensible things, in the end, I felt I understood her choices and sympathized with her. And Vanessa Kai did a stunning job of bringing Millie to life" - Donna Herman, TheFrontRowCenter

(Photo Credit: Jeremy Daniel)

THE ARCHITECTURE OF BECOMING - The Women's Project, NYC

Written by Kara Lee Corthron, Sarah Gancher, Dipika Guha, Virginia Grise, & Lauren Yee 

Directed by Elena Araoz, Lydia Fort, & Lauren Keating

Produced by Deadria Harrington, Meropi Peponides, Aktina Stathaki, & Lanie Zipoy

"Vanessa Kai is particularly notable for her lovely performance as Tomomi"

- Brooke Pierce, EdgeBoston

"I would see any of these actors in future work"

- Constance Rodgers, TheFrontRowCenter

"Vanessa Kai's stoic Tomomi Nakamura drags at the heart strings while later roles throw the chains of "Gaman" and reveal a new side of Kai"

- Paul Morin, Entertainment Hour

WHAT WE KNOW - One Year Lease Theater Company, NYC

"a STAND OUT PERFORMANCE by Vanessa Kai"

- Hayley Levitt, Theatermania

FAR EAST - Stamford Theatre Works, CT

"Vanessa Kai is MARVELOUS as the Reader!"

- WMNR 88.1FM Fine Arts Radio

"The casting of Vanessa Kai as the Reader was a MASTERSTROKE!"

- Shore Publications

"Notable here is the Reader, PLAYED BRILLIANTLY by Vanessa Kai....She does so by impressively assuming the role of numerous unseen American and Japanese characters, including a military aide, a secretary, Mrs. Anderson's maid, a naval wife, a male servant, a Vietnamese prostitute, a military lawyer and a hilarious dance instructor who laughably steals the scene....The only regret is we don't see more of her. "

- The Stamford Advocate

"The Reader, played by the ABSOLUTELY ASTONISHING Vanessa Kai, who, dressed in a kimono and wearing Kabuki make-up, is called upon to play everything from a Mama-san running a string of B-girls in a bar in Saigon to a prim and proper 'Cross your legs at the ankles, ladies' - dance instructor. In the style of Kabuki, Kai also ends each scene with a sharp clack from two rectangular pieces of wood she slams together. Amazingly, Kai is able to convey different emotions through this simple act."

- Fairfield Citizen News

What We Know