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yolanda Theatre Reviews



Member of The Wedding


* Independent Weekly Lead Actress Award

Noted regional actor—and chanteuse—Yolanda Rabun effectively collaborates with director Adam Twiss to ground this production with her work as Berenice, the stern but compassionate African-American cook and nanny hired to watch over the title character, in a performance worth the drive from Raleigh, Durham—or just about anywhere else, for that matter.


Rabun’s work as Berenice conveyed a well-rounded character, a compelling combination of temper, patience, wisdom, full-throated humor—and chilling fear when her own son’s life is threatened.

- BYRON WOODS, THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY



Violet, The Musical


The rest of the ensemble cast is also strong, but particularly wonderful — and kept from stealing the show only, I am sure, by strict directorial control — is the marvelous Yolanda Rabun, whose mighty singing voice is equaled by her natural comic talents. She plays several smaller parts, and runs with them all."

– KATE DOBBS ARIAIL, CLASSICAL VOICE OF NORTH CAROLINA


"Raise Me Up" is a rewarding mid-show rave-up indulging local hero Yolanda Rabun as an über-enthusiastic gospel choir leader.


-BYRON WOODS, THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


Jeffrey Todd Parrott amuses in multiple roles as various bus drivers and the Preacher’s oily assistant Virgil, but it is Yolanda W. Rabun who steals the show with her antics in the outrageously over-the-top “Raise Me Up” gospel number.


- ROBERT MCDOWELL, TRIANGLE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT


Violet is brilliantly staged and beautifully performed...Eric Woodall's direction is impressively precise...The talented ensemble includes ... Yolanda Rabun's hilarious gospel soloist.


- RALEIGH NEWS AND OBSERVER



The Drowsy Chaperone 


Wake Forest chanteuse Yolanda W. Rabun as Trix the Aviatrix, who drops in just in time to save the day... turns “I Do, I Do in the Sky” into one of the show’s musical highlights. "


- ROBERT MCDOWELL, TRIANGLE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT


* Best Ensemble Award


Crowns

You have to admire it from a distance, honey," says Mabel (the wonderfully vivacious Yolanda Rabun), whose monologue on being a preacher's wife snagged the night's largest audience response.


– MEG STEIN, THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY



Personals


The emotional moments are often quite effective as well, with Katie Lynch's wistful performance of "Imagine My Surprise" and Yolanda Williams Rabun's heartbreaking "Michael" as highlights.


–ZACK SMITH, THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY




Ain't Misbehavin'


Yolanda Rabun's character shone in "Keeping Out of Mischief" after the delectable comedy of act one's "Yacht Club Swing.


- BYRON WOODS, THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


Highlights in an evening chock-full of highlights include: Dale Sanders and Yolanda Rabun’s sweet duet on “Honeysuckle Rose and Yolanda Rabun’s rueful fidelity to her man in “Keepin’ Out of Mischief Now.”


-ROBERT MCDOWELL, CLASSICAL VOICE OF NORTH CAROLINA


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Archy and Mehitabel

* Best Actress Cantey Award


Yolanda Williams Rabun is purr-fect as the faithless Mehitabel.


- ROBERT MCDOWELL


Buddy: The Buddy Holly Story


" ...we are treated to the talents of Yolanda W. Rabun and Troy Valjean Rucker, who play “Apollo Performers.” ... The songs, the dance, and the characters are all a total delight. (With a cast as strong as this, one generally does not notice stand-out performances; but we feel compelled to mention that Yolanda Rabun’s 100-watt smile lights up the theater whenever she is on stage."


- TRIANGLE ARTS & ENTERTAINMENT



Ragtime


... Local vocalist Yolanda Rabun's vocal turn at a mid-performance funeral set us all on the path for justice.   We need more musicals like Ragtime. Catch it if you don't agree. 

-BYRON WOODS, THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


Yolanda W. Rabun gave a gritty performance as Sarah's friend and stopped the show with her ringing rendition of "Till We Reach That Day"


- ROBERT MCDOWELL, CLASSICAL VOICE OF NORTH CAROLINA




Smokey Joe's Cafe

...Yolanda Williams Rabun also belt[s] out "Hound Dog" with brio...


Yolanda Rabun makes the most of her moments in the spotlight, making "Fools Fall in Love" and "Saved" two of the show's musical highlights. 


- ROBERT MCDOWELL, CLASSICAL VOICE OF NORTH CAROLINA



* Best Ensemble Award


Twelfth Night


The time is the American Jazz Age. This is represented best by singer and Feste portrayer Yolanda Rabun, who sings several lovely and lively songs during the work...


A particular note is made here of … the sterling pipes of Yolanda Rabun, jazz singer and able portrayer of the fool at Olivia’s, the ever-clever Feste.  In the opinion of this reviewer, the tunes provided by Rabun are alone worth the price of admission.   


- ALAN HALL, CLASSICAL VOICE OF NORTH CAROLINA


... these three wise men [Feste, Sir Toby Belch and Sir Andrew Aguecheek] - played by Yolanda Rabun, David Dossey and Stephen LeTrent - simply steal the show by taking Shakespeare's advice: "Those that are fools, let them use their talents."


– KATE DOBBS ARIAIL, THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


Man of La Mancha


Yolanda Rabun … brings a fierce anguish to Aldonza/ Dulcinea.


-ZACK SMITH, THE INDEPENDENT WEEKLY


Rabun gave a gritty voice to the lower class with her ferocious approach to Aldonza. The "in your face" attitude gave the appropriate voice of doubt to the skeptics among us when we can't all be optimists


– SPENCER POWELL, CLASSICAL VOICE OF NORTH CAROLINA


But this play would not have any impact at all without a strong leading lady for the role of the lusty and heartbreaking Aldonza/Dulcinea. Yolanda W. Rabun provides just that through her portrayal of the misunderstood whore with a heart. Her sassy, tough, spot-on mezzo soprano is made more powerful and vulnerable when she sings out the side of her mouth and commands the stage with every roll of her hips. The chanteuse is a favorite of Raleigh audiences as an actress, dancer, and jazz singer.


- ROBERT MCDOWELL, TRIANGLE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT