“Without Jenny Lester in this role, it would have been a different play. She gets the character’s stream-of-conciousness humor and blunt honesty in a way that sets the pace for the show.”
“Talk about letting it all hang out: Jenny Lester played the part of Daphna... as if instructed to shed all decency and let her shadow side run free. So this was an obnoxious, offensive, self-righteous bad girl, convinced not only that she alone had possession of the truth, but that her verbal fluency could get her through any disaster, especially the ones she herself created. Lester’s Daphna was a woman seriously in need of Xanax, as well as six months of training in basic etiquette. Which all meant, of course, that, like most stage villains, she was delightful to watch. “
“The acting could not be better. Jenny Lester gives one of the year’s standout performances as Daphna. Her monologues are plowed through, like a speed demon at 100 miles per hour... This is the type of performance that people discuss afterwards, that we’re haunted by. During one of her monologues, I heard the person behind me whisper to her husband (twice), “She’s a mess.”It’s not a likable performance, nor is it meant to be, but it’s spellbinding; her work should be rightfully honored during awards season.”
“she is all Jewish fire”
“Lester’s Daphna is a witty motormouth whose verbal barbs cut like a samurai’s katana. Her passionate nature wonderfully alternates between hilarity and heartbreak.......Goldberg’s and Lester’s combative chemistry is pure magic on the stage.”
The performances are all strong... Top of them all is Jenny Lester as the bespectacled Mary Bennet... For anyone who saw Lester in the wonderful Bad Jews last summer, her work here will come as a shock. Talk about versatility! It looks like two completely different actresses with two very different personalities—the insufferable (but ultimately correct) Millennial in Bad Jews and the bookworm, unmarried, musical Mary. Her performance hits all the right notes here, quite literally.
“returning from an award-winning performance in American Stage’s production of Bad Jews, Lester is completely unrecognizable as Mary in terms of her physicality and emotional range. Whereas last year’s role was brazen, abrasive and explosive, her Mary is witty, controlled and silently compassionate and loving. It’s a transformative performance which reveals so much of her dynamic range as an artist. Her chemistry with Odsess-Rubin – who combines a sweet awkwardness with an inner strength – is pure magic.”
“Lester simultaneously villainous and affable, it’s a rare feat.”