Ivy Reviews

New York

A rare and heartfelt performance that pays tribute to the women of Appalachia- and to the heroism of strugglers everywhere

Herbert Mitgang of the New York Times

Theatrical Excitement! A lifetime’s worth of sass, whoop, hurt and reflection— The Village Voice

“Ivy Rowe” seems both special & real— Newsday

Actress Smith makes a sterling New York debut as she blossoms from the blush of youth into womanhood, then to sagacious old age. Her portrayal becomes a lesson in living, and one that few actresses would begin to achieve. —New Jersey Sun Bulletin

Both funny and heartbreaking Variety

We are captivated and enthralled, brought to laughter and tears. Smith gives a flawless performance; she is superb—WOR

It’s like watching a young cherry tree grow, bloom, blossom and finally stand tall on a mountainside… This stunning actress portrays the Ages of Woman… Don’t miss this one! —Entertainment Network

Ivy Rowe seems like a real person’s bio. Smith spans six decades with believability and zest— Theater Week


Barbara Bates Smith is as convincing as an emotional teenage girl in 1912 as she is as a married thirtysomething having a wild affair with a local honey farmer. —The Scotsman (Edinburgh)

Lee Smith has called Barbara’s performance as IVY ‘brilliant.’ —Virginia Mountaineer

A performance that theater legends are made of —Cape May Star

A mesmerizing evening of theater and a tour-de-force for the actress —Birmingham News

Eloquent One-Woman Play Speaks from the Heart to Everyone! —Atlantic City Press

Ivy Rowe is powerful, absorbing.” —Evansville Courier

A patchwork of love and compromise is rendered vividly in this affecting production —Philadelphia Inquirer

Dazzling... A totally engrossing work that will fill your heart. —Lakeland Ledger

I was thrilled with Ivy 20 years ago; I find it richer and deeper now. —Lu Ellsworth, Dean, UVA-Wise Law School

“Ivy Rowe” continues to captivate and inspire our teacher groups, focusing on writing, personal narrative, sense of place, resilience in the face of hardships, and environmental issues. The story is so rich, the talent so outstanding, it would enhance any sponsor's programming effort. —Donna Glee Williams, Ph.D., N.C. Center for the Advancement of Teaching

It was the #1 best-loved event of the Festival. It was magic! —Silas House, Mountain Heritage Literary Festival

This touted production delighted us with its celebration of the human spirit and its vivid depiction of 20th century Appalachia: the mine disasters, revivals, bulldozers, rural electrification. The Theater Department wants to bring them back for a statewide gathering. —Kat D. Williams, Ph.D., Director of Women’s Studies, Marshall University

The prolonged standing ovation at the Colonial Theatre says it all! —Michael Beadle, Arts Council, Waynesville NC

I've never seen a better performance. It was incredible. A friend asked, "How did y'all ever get anything like that to come to Brundidge?—Jaine Treadwell, WPA Theatre, Brundidge AL

Jeff Sebens is a genius as Barbara's accompanist, seamlessly making the music a major, integral part of the story.

Lee Smith, author, Fair and Tender Ladies

Afterward we talked aboutopportunities we could create to bring literature to life in our community and on our campus. I think that emergent energy might be your best, most lasting gift to us here at WPCC.

— Cheryl Oxford, PhD, West Piedmont Community College, NCI