ONLY THE NICE ONES...
Actor / singer / musician / composer
Broadwayworld - Rachael F. Goldberg - Waits and Shaina Taub's music - performed by the entrancing quartet of Manny Arciniega, Lizzie Hagstedt, Kanysha Williams, and Ian M. Riggs, and directed by Liz Filios - elevates the whole production to another level, adding a siren-like quality to an already engrossing performance.
Washington Post - Celia Wren - Daniel Conway’s set is part cross-sectioned ship, part seedy carnival sideshow, with an upper-level bandstand. Here, cast members Manny Arciniega, Lizzie Hagstedt, Kanysha Williams and Ian Riggs provide music, most noticeably bluesy renditions of songs by Tom Waits and Kathleen Brennan, which sound spot-on in this quirky, enchanted realm.
Washington City Paper - Chris Klimek - The show sounds wonderful, too. The accordion-and-percussion band that performs the 11 Waits/Brennan numbers, fronted by by singer-bassist-accordionist Lizzie Hagstedt and singer Kanysha Williams, is such a good match for the gravelly voiced Waits songbook that I’d happily sit through a full concert program of just them playing “God’s Away on Business,” “Clap Hands,” and “Innocent When You Dream” (all included in the show) and whatever other Waits/Brennan covers they wanted to do.
Metro Weekly - Kate Wingfield - This is not just a visual and an aural experience — in hearing Shakespeare’s language spoken with relish — but also in the gloriously-invested musicians delivering Waits and a landscape of sound from their dimly-lit cavern above the action. These powerful presences cannot be praised too much: Kanysha Williams and Lizzie Hagstedt give sultry, stunning voice to the songs, Hagstedt also playing a deliciously thrummy bass. As percussionist, Manny Arciniega works like a wild stevedore when the time calls, then almost turns invisible when it’s not. This trio is integral to the mood, and they are pitch-perfect.
SOUTHERN COMFORT – The Public Theater
New York Times Critic’s Pick – Charles Isherwood
Center on the Aisle - Kelly Corcoran – “The onstage band (the Storytellers) acts like a Greek chorus, providing musical accompaniment throughout. In “Bird,” Lola meditates on being trapped in a man’s body…Her powerful, booming voice pairs perfectly with the more traditionally female-sounding vocals by storyteller Lizzie Hagstedt – making for a hauntingly beautiful moment.”
Hyperallergic - Zachary Small - " Often, Southern Comfort’s score relies on the intimacy of its five-person band to provide nuance to the musical’s world. Four of these band members also function as storytellers, jumping into songs with harmonies that emphasize the narrative’s many gender identity conflicts. As Lola (stage veteran Jeff McCarthy) laments her inability to believably pass as a woman in the showstopping number “Bird,” the song becomes too emotionally painful to sing. One of the female band members steps in to harmonize with Lola, both as a support mechanism and an embodiment of the trans woman’s inner self. As Lola becomes more comfortable in her own body, she no longer needs the music to affirm her womanhood."
THE BLACK CROOK – Abrons Arts Center
New York Times Critic’s Pick - Laura Collins-Hughes
Theatre Is Easy - Piper Rasmussen - "BOTTOM LINE: A 100%-committed cast of physical performers stud the stage in this thoughtful reflection on the American Musical...Rodolphe struggles to escape a deal with the “devil” and his faithful servant, who are double-cast as the producers and played by Merlin Whitehawk and Lizzie Hagstedt (masters of the evil laugh). "
Culture Catch - Leah Richards - "Hagstedt, as businessman Jarret and as Count Wolfenstein, plays variations on the villain as ably within and without the frame story...Joshua William Gelb and his team have created a thoroughly enjoyable postmodern take on a very significant piece of America's theatrical past. You will learn a little history while having a lot of fun at The Black Crook."
Theaterscene.net - Joel Benjamin - "The Black Crook holds a mythical place in theater history as the purported first musical comedy in the United States....In an entertaining mini-version...The Black Crook made yet another appearance on a New York stage, the Abrons Arts Center’s tiny Underground Theater where eight gallant actor/singer/dancer/musicians worked mightily to demonstrate why this show made such a dent in NYC theater and beyond...As the evil characters—both in the libretto and theater history—Lizzie Hagstedt (playing Wolfenstein and Zamiel), Merlin Whitehawk (as the backstabbing producer Wheatley and Hertzog) chew up the scenery and twirl mustaches in perfect period style."
TAMING OF THE SHREW - VIRGINIA STAGE
The Virginian-Pilot - Mal Vincent - "The red-maned Lizzie Hagstedt plays double roles, shifting costumes as fast as characterizations - and obviously relishing every slice of ham served."
A MARVELOUS PARTY – AMERICAN STAGE
Talkin’ Broadway – William S. Oser - “Lizzie Hagstedt, with a vivacious stage demeanor, handles most of the comedy work…If her vocal chores are not enough, she plays 2nd piano off and on through the show (very well), does a brief stint on accordion, and, in a moment of great hilarity, pushes the bass player away from his instrument and accompanies herself for a stretch. She is a performer I would like to see more of. Her act one highlight, a traversal through a 1930s musical called "The Coconut Girl", is a delight.”
Tampa Bay Times - Colette Bancroft - "Lizzie Hagstedt is a standout as well, bouncing all over the stage when she isn't crimped into a tight spot under the set's staircase to play piano. Her hilarious big number strings together six songs as she plays an extremely excited young actor portraying all the roles in "The Coconut Girl", the musical in whose chorus she's been cast."
Gina Vivinetto - Creative Pinellas - "Joining McGee and Alexander is the irrepressible Lizzie Hagstedt, who sings, dances, and plays a second piano with winning spirit. Hagstedt steals the show in Act I’s final comic “Coconut Girl,” which finds the actress trying her hand at a few additional instruments and taking on both the male and female parts of a duet."
SOUTHERN COMFORT – BARRINGTON STAGE
Berkshire Bright Focus - J. Peter Bergman - "Surrounding this cast is an ensemble of players who are the most amazing folks on our regional stages today. Storytellers, character actors, singers and musicians, they are always in view, play the entire score - 25 musical numbers - without music, sing more than seven numbers and play the parents of the principals, among other roles, with total honesty and believability. You are aware of them, always, and ignore them most of the time. They are the texture of the show, and the tapestry of humanity. They are Lizzie Hagstedt, Elizabeth Ward Land, David Lutken and Joel Waggoner."
imby.com - Enid Futterman - "...the gorgeous, mournful, joyous voice of Lizzie Hagstedt, worth the price of admission."
SOUTHERN COMFORT – CAP21
Stagebuzz.com - Rob Hartmann - "In one of the standout songs of the evening, “Bird”, Lola sings of her desire to escape her masculine frame and deep voice...In the song, McCarthy duets with a member of the band, Lizzie Hagstedt (also playing bass), whose pure soprano is what Lola wishes her own voice could be."
THE GOREE ALL-GIRL STRING BAND - NYMF
Theatermania - Hayley Levitt - "Lizzie Hagstedt is the coolest bass player in town as Bonnie.
Newyorktheater.me - "I would be remiss not to single out Hagstedt’s masterful bass playing."
SWEET CHARITY - THE NEW GROUP
Aisle View - Steven Suskin - "Georgia Stitt leads a ferocious all-girl ensemble placed on a platform above the action, and they truly rock."
Entertainment Weekly - Melissa Rose Bernardo - "Did we mention this production is stripped-down? As such, you’ll also need to reconcile the climactic “I’m a Brass Band” without, well, any brass in the band. But thanks to Mary-Mitchell Campbell’s groovy orchestrations — and the dynamite six-member, all-female on-stage band — you likely won’t miss the trumpets."
The New York Times - Ben Brantley - "...adept..."