“Ms. Casillo is remarkable in conveying that transformation from a dependent immigrant to a defiant woman who talks back to her husband and her mother-in-law.” – Bob Brown centraljersey.com
“Laurel Casillo, who created the role of Marina in Portland, is utterly credible as the woman unwittingly drawn into the maelstrom. She is convincingly confused and charming as she tries to understand her new surroundings — chatting at times with Lee in Russian — and she is also credible as she becomes increasingly troubled both by Lee’s inability or unwillingness to create a stable home and by Marguerite’s grinding insinuation into the couple’s lives.” – Charles Paolino myCentralJersey.com
“Laurel Casillo is superb as Lee’s Russian bride Marina, who finds that America is not such wonderful a place to live. Casillo conveys the young woman’s fierce rejection of her stupid mother-in-law’s interference and doesn’t hesitate to let Lee know that she will be the person he won’t. She’s not above pummeling him when he hits her and pushing his mother in a fit of pique. Best of all, her Russian sounds authentic and convincing. Of all the characters, she is the most worthy of our sympathy.” -Ruth Ross njartsmaven.com
“In a rich cameo, Laurel Casillo astutely finds the middle ground that makes Katerina both fascinating and funny. She doesn’t ham it up, but neither does she deprive us of the character’s wacky intensity.” -Alex Brown, Seven Days Vermont
“Laurel Casillo is a fascinating presence as Marina, at first a shy, awkward foreigner, who gradually asserts a certain amount of will and even rebellion, but who is ultimately sucked into the whirlpool of catastrophe.”-Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold, Broadwayworld.com
“Marina, played by Laurel Casillo, lights the fuse in the explosive Oswald family dynamics. When Lee returns from Russia with his new wife – who doesn’t speak English – and baby, Marguerite overcompensates in an attempt to secure Lee’s love, further alienating him and his new wife. Casillo captures Marina’s emotional journey from naivety to disillusionment and fear.” -April Boyle, Portland Press Herald
“Laurel Casillo is charming as Marina, the young woman Lee met and married when he lived in the Soviet Union between 1959 and May 1962. Marina speaks Russian but little English in the early scenes. Quickly, she falls in love with all things American but never really understands the odd Oswald family dynamics. Casillo brings depth to what may be an underwritten role.” -Judy Harrison, Bangor Daily News
“Casillo is… simmering with a barely contained fury, ready to attack but on a dime, to laugh. She can’t help herself with this man, and Casillo nicely conveys the pendulum of feelings. Yet she also crafts a woman of great caution and sharp wits, with a sadness at her core that longs for a gentle release into the honeysuckle air. She breathes with both text and subtext with alluring ease.” -Ross Haarstad, Ithaca.com
“Giving the play its heart and soul are the terrific performances of the quartet of actors, especially Casillo’s Romana. The balance of vulnerability and strength brought to mind Laura Esterman’s performance in “Marvin’s Room” years ago at Hartford Stage in its ability to balance tenderness, hope and fear in an idiosyncratic narrative.” – Frank Rizzo, Hartford Courant.
“…and this is primarily due to the wonderful cast, led by the vivacious, engaging Casillo, who gives us a young woman who is both gamine and femme fatale, with a bit of waif thrown in for good measure. She is, quite simply, a joy to watch, whether she is doing a sensuous pole dance, climbing a garden fence, eagerly anticipating that pheasant dinner or simply standing to learn her medical fate. Her performance is quite easily worth the price of a ticket.” -Geary Danihy, CT Theater News and Reviews.
“Ramona clearly puts the ball in play during their first date with her gabby charm, disarming countenance and positive energy. Casillo effortlessly plays her character’s love for life and faith in herself” -Kyle Minor, New Haven Register.
“Laurel Casillo shines in the central role of Lizzie Curry. Even before she blossoms in the final scenes, she radiates a hidden strength behind her sadness, and when her transformation comes, it is filled with wisdom and tenderness.” – Carla Maria Verdino-Sullwold, Broadwayworld.com.
“Casillo employs a lot of body language in revealing her inner turmoil and her struggle to maintain a balance in a house full of strong-willed men. Stomping about the house in anger or dallying around a tack house post with Starbuck, the young actress’s work becomes, at times, akin to a dance performance. Her immersion in the role is truly impressive and a lesson in what top-quality actors can accomplish when they embody a playwright’s words under subtle direction.” – Steve Feeney, Maine Today.
“…this show really belongs to Casillo, a guest artist from New York. She has a dazzling alacrity, a sharp intelligence, and quicksilver response in her frame, muscles, and face—it’s a delight to watch her giddiness, irritation, or rage speed over the length of her nerves and manifest as gestures and movement. She is both funny and ferocious in her acknowledgement of her place as an uncommon woman among so many conventional ones, especially as she playacts at flirtatiousness—she caps her shtick with a fierce, fleet glare. She also brings her performance down affectingly when Lizzy is faced with her supposed pathos—when File doesn’t come to dinner, when Noah has said unfeeling things about her plainness. While Casillo is so vivacious and so not-plain that it’s a stretch to imagine her so long unkissed, the point is that this difference that makes her “spinsterhood” is really less about looks than her male community’s calcified, limited culture. It’s a culture that could use Casillo’s Lizzy—so vibrant and spitfire—to play rainmaker for herself.” – Megan Grumbling, The Portland Phoenix.
“Laurel Casillo as Kim gives what will surely be one of the most spectacular performances of this festival. Conveying every contradiction and inner-struggle with such emotional rawness, she gives of herself freely to the audience. Her wide-eyes looking unabashedly forward, Casillo never turns away from this subject matter, and truly delves into Kimʼs troubled world.”-Wesley Frugé, nytheatre.com.
“Laurel Casillo did a fabulous job as Ruth” -Ashley Biviano, Norwich Evening Sun.
“Another favorite is Laurel Casillo’s portrayal of a very old grandmother. With her wrap around I-have-cataracts sunglasses and her Long Island accent, Laurel literally captured the soul of a 90-year-old granny. Physically, this is probably one of the best portrayals of a “young person playing an old person” I have ever seen. She was funny and real, and I wanted to help her walk across a busy intersection.”-Joe Beaudin, nytheatre.com.
“The entire cast was very solid, with a standout performance specifically from Laurel Casillo who plays Cassy. Very engaging and just as cute, Casillo has a definite star quality to her and she is quite charming and a joy to watch on screen.” -Matt House, horror film blog.