- Under the directorial magic of Melissa Rain Anderson, the stage swirls in life and passion, song and dance, flowing seamlessly like smoke from a hookah.
– Carol White Llewellyn, Beyond The Nest Reviews
- an all-engrossing, captivating theatrical experience that you surely won't forget.
– Colin Fleming-Stumpf, Broadway World
- For all the beauty in Big River, there is the fact that the story deals with slavery and racial prejudice. Anderson did not flinch at portraying a taste of the ugly racial realities of the time, such as when she created a haunting “The Crossing” (where re-captured runaway slaves are brought back to Missouri). Anderson recognized that softening these aspects of the show would dull its power.
And powerful it is. By having an understated style and a deft touch, Anderson has created a Big River that is direct and meaningful. The cast’s wonderful performances make Big River a success on any metric, and I encourage readers to take their own trip down the Mississippi with Jim and Huck.
– Russell Warne, Utah Theatre Bloggers
- Perhaps the most remarkable thing about USF’s “Big River” isn’t the cast’s Broadway-level talent — although you’d be hard-pressed to find any better than Rob Riodan’s irascible Huckleberry Finn and Ezekiel Andrew's gentle Jim — but the delightful ease with which essential lessons about humanity and goodness go down.
– Cristy Meiners, Deseret News
- In the Heights’ musical at Geva an all-around knockout... Under the guidance of director Melissa Rain Anderson, the hugely talented dream cast sang, danced and gyrated on stage as if their very lives depended on it.
– Marcia Morphy, Rochester Democrat & Chronicle
- Geva Theatre Center’s In the Heights is a not-to-be-missed production of musical theatre at its finest, that evokes the gamut of human emotions.
This show is remarkable in the overall strength of its cast and production value.
...sparkling and glorious production of In the Heights.
– Carol White Llewellyn, Beyond The Nest
- The Marvelous Wonderettes
- The Repertory Theatre of St. Louis
- Written and Created by Roger Bean
- Performs January 3-28, 2018
- Melissa Rain Anderson has directed with a tongue-in-cheek whimsy and her choreography captures the magic and mystery of both decades and their differing styles.
– Steve Allen, Stage Door St. Louis
- A goodly amount of physical comedy from all four of them...this isn’t a show with four singers just standing there snapping their fingers in unison. Melissa Rain Anderson directs and choreographs with plenty of action.
– Ann Pollack, St. Louis Eats and Drinks
- The show is directed and choreographed by Melissa Rain Anderson, who perfectly captures what I imagine a ’50s prom would be like. She ensures that the audience really feels like they are there, and makes it easy to get lost in the moment for a couple of hours. I wouldn’t have thought that the choreography would be so impressive for such a simple premise, but I was mistaken. The dancing and movements are all wonderful as the women are constantly switching places and rearranging on-stage. The seamless execution was more of a ballet than I would have ever expected.
– Kevin Brackett, ReviewsSTL
- ...director Melissa Rain Anderson gives full weight to the shadows in Dickens’s fable, as well as his message about the need for human goodness and generosity in an often grim and frightening world. This doesn’t mean the production is preachy or solemn, or that it lessens the story’s bright magic.
– Juliet Wittman, Westword, Denver, CO
- ...the Denver Center's stellar production, directed by Melissa Rain Anderson... This production features a wonderfully diverse cast that freshens things up by disposing of some old tropes.
– Alex Miller, Vail Daily
- Yes, [Scrooge] is still scary and mean, but his portrayal of the role, as directed by Melissa Rain Anderson, has given him more humanity, and more earnest desire to make personal changes than seen in many past productions.
– Tom Jones, Tom's Colorado Theater Reviews
- Great River Shakespeare Festival's production of The Comedy of Errors is a total lark, as giddy and funny and slap-happy refreshing as a child running through a lawn sprinkler on a hot summer day. ...directed by Melissa Rain Anderson, polishes the material to a bright shine... Great River Shakespeare Festival takes has mounted this most agreeable work with admiration for the Bard's craft, respect for the audience's intelligence, and joy in the magic of theater.
– Arthur Dorman, Talkin' Broadway