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Reviews

 

"Angela Kariotis is a slam poet, using herself and her voice as her best prop. No, wait, she is an entertainer- a dancer, a rapper, a mimic, a mime. No, wait, she is a comedian- like Margaret Cho, say, or John Leguizamo- mixing social commentary with hilarious stories of home. No, wait, she is none of those things- or all them a-jumble. Something all her own."
~Sarah Hepola, The Austin Chronicle full article


"'Stretch Marks' is more far-reaching, tackling issues of birth, heredity, culture and identity. And all of it punctuated with hip-hop's trademarks of an eclectic soundtrack and a non-stop athleticism. 'Stretch Marks' represents Kariotis' resolution of the challenge of stretching her identity to accommodate her daughter. 
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Kathleen O'Brien, The Star-Ledger full article


"Baby Steps: Stretch Marks looks at common human denominators. You don't have to have stretch marks to find meaning in Angela Kariotis' latest theatrical adventures. You just had to have been born.
~Diana Nollen, Iowa Gazette full article

"In addition to vibrant characters, Kariotis offers a resonant portrayal of a woman in the throes of pregnancy and the early stages of motherhood, complete with excitement anxiety, terror, exhaustion, depression, and elation. Stretch Marks delivers laughs, catharsis, movement, and metaphor. “I hold on tight and keep my feet planted on the pelvic floor,” she says. On the ride of her life, Angela Kariotis has invited us all to join her on this rite of passage. Hop on: it’s a heck of a journey."      
~Amy Lee Pearsallnytheatre.com full review

"Kariotis uses her work to invite you over. You're camped out in her living room, but you're remembering, as she says, 'your own circumstance.' She's very clear. She's certain. She wants her own rememberings to help spark you to work through your own."
~C. Denby Swanson, The Brooklyn Rail full article

"It's smart. [Reminiscence of the Ghetto] makes you think about race and ethnicity. So, it's challenging; it's interesting; it's vibrant. Angela really brings her whole self to the stage."
~Madge Darlington, Rude Mechanicals, News 8 Austin full article


"It’s dandelion season in Irvington. A tenacious green plant may emerge from a crack in the concrete in a backyard, the same concrete in which brother and sister left their footprints two decades ago.Given a bare minimum of water and sunlight, it may triumphantly flower — only to discover society calls it a weed. Yep, even as a teenager, Angela Kariotis knew a good metaphor when she saw one.The nose-in-a-book girl who grew up on Union Avenue now writes searing one-woman “spoken word” plays that chronicle her gritty urban upbringing as a first generation Greek-American. The result is not quite “A Tree Grows in Brooklyn,” for her work is too provocative, too funny. Nor is it “My Big Fat Greek Wedding,” for it is too raw, too poor. Instead, a Hollywood agent might pitch it as “My Skinny Little Greek Dandelion Grows in Irvington.” Or, as Kariotis promises her audiences, it’s “the 411 on 07111,” Irvington’s ZIP code. Her first play, “Reminiscence of the Ghetto & other things that raized me,” is a hip-hop chronicle of her search for identity in the hometown to which she remains fiercely loyal." ~Kathleen O’Brien, The Star-Ledger, I AM NJ full article


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Angela Kariotis is easy conversation. She’s funny, frank, and proudly front-phobic. ‘I am against saying things [if] you do not know what they mean,' …she name checks philosophers, breaking them down into digestable compounds for share, not show. She’s already got two degrees…but they’re just another “language” to add to her fluencies in Greek-American culture and Hip-Hop. “I give up no one way for any other,' she pronounces, 'but I juggle it all.' …Kariotis shuffled multiple allegiances, including one to Hip-Hop culture which she insists, was ‘not something that I chose to be involved in or a decision that I enunciated for myself verbally. It was an aesthetic that premetated the neighborhood. It was there before I got there, and because it helped foster me, it naturally influenced my voice and prose at the same time.' Kariotis’ distinctive voice and droll prose take center stage in Reminiscence… The play showcases Kariotis’ ‘massive phraseology’ but also incorporates Hip-Hop’s predilection to sampling: ‘I sample throughout the play. I sample my family members. I sample my friends. I sample in the same way that we sample the first four bars of a song and loop it. It’s the same as being inspired. It’s taking something and creating something else from it.'"
~MUGSHOT MAGAZINE No 12, with Jalylah Burrell


…Her comedic and sardonic style conjures images of Aristophanes or the orating Pericles and could be an imagining of the pontificating Aristotle or a provacative barefooted Socrates…Hip-Hop could easily be compred to Rembetika music and street poetry of early 20th century Greek urban centers of Pireaus and Thessaloniki…Early Homeric couplets such as the Odyssey, were sung and likely danced in the ancient storytelling tradition. The Cretan mandinades still bear similarities to this oral tradition…Kariotis dances through the rapture of her own verses…Though the dance moves are not distinctly Greek, the energy throughout could have been juxtaposed with a contra-rhythmic Xasapiko or a solo Zeimbekiko, to echo the alternating poetic verses…”
~ Athan Karras, Hellenic Journal

“… Angela communicates a personal and very true story: inspiring, enlightening, funny, heart-breaking and boundary-breaking. She succeeds in defying stereotypes, transcending the definition of “Ghetto” and can move an entire audience—judging from the hearty applause and copious laughter—to rethink a major portion of life. She crystallizes the essence of what it means not to give up, and her performance, as well as her very life force, entertains and uplifts. With a powerful voice and body, robust and poetic writing, and fiercely precise multi-character portrayals, Reminiscence leaves you with the powerful insight of a new paradigm for underdogs everywhere.
~Spencer Chandler, nytheatre.com full article

“[SAY LOGOS SAY WORD] zigzags from the Greek philosophers to [Kariotis’] mother’s kitchen to the Greek Orthodox church to Kariotis’ own childhood memories. Provocative, often hilarious, and at times deeply moving…It’s understandable why this woman defies an easy description. By refusing to bend to stereotypes of what being a Greek American means, Kariotis blows the cobwebs off old-fashioned, stale ideas that often prevent people, especially young people, from participating in the Greek community in a meaningful way. In doing so, she not only makes room for all our stories to be heard, but validates the importance of diversity in all Americans.
~Antonia Callas, MIA Magazine

Angela Kariotis could probably light up a small city with her raw energy, but it’s her sly and engaging use of language that makes her work memorable…Now Kariotis, the daughter of Greek immigrents, digs deeper into her roots with Say Logos/Say Word, in which she combines the Greeks of antiquity (Aristotle and Aristophanes) with those of pop culture (Zorba) and her own family. There aren’t too many white women working in hip-hop theater, but Kariotis should be counted as one of its foremost practitioners…”
~Kerry Reid, The Chicago Reader

“…Best of the three is “Reminiscence of the Ghetto & Other Things That Raized Me.” Angela Kariotis, a lithe and vital writer-performer, hip-hops through a memoir in movement and poetic imagery regarding growing up as a home girl of Greek extraction in Irvington. Exuberant and sibilant, Kariotis rap-rhapsodies of nights “lullabied asleep with peeling out as cars drive by with the booming systems” and humorously lists the “ways you know you’re ghetto.” If there’s some passé stuff about dandelions struggling through cement in her text, Kariotis compensates with sharp physicality and her semi-satirical edginess of urban attitude.”
~Michael Sommers, The Star-Ledger

“It’s funny, moving, and socially relevant…”
~Austin Chronicle


“Angela Kariotis has rhythm…a powerhouse writer, performer…In Kariotis’ world, language is loaded; words bite. Defining is confining. She re-examines, contorts and re-presents “ghetto” in her one-woman show, “Reminiscence of the Ghetto & Other Things That Raized Me,” an explosive performance piece…(Come to think of it, Kariotis says everything with conviction; she even speaks her name as a declarative statement.)… Don’t dismiss Kariotis as just another mouthy kid from the neighborhood. “Reminiscence… ” is dripping with attitude, punctuated with hip-hop moves and urban slang. Each life story spewed from her snarled lips, each jab that slices the air, seems as if it’s shooting forth from her gut, firing-line style…”
~Laurie Granieri, Home News Tribune

“…nothing was cooler than Angela Kariotis. A slight, spry woman with a switchblade tongue, Kariotis tells what it’s like to be a Greek-American growing up in the Jersey ghetto. It’s tough, it’s weird. It’s cool. MINOR whITeY major: OTHER is a segment from Kariotis’ one-woman show Reminiscence of the Ghetto & Other Things That RaiZed Me. It is about being stuck in between, too white for black people, too black for white people, too poor for rich people, too rich for poor people. Kariotis kicks off our anxiety about class and race—What’s a wigger? What’s a nigga? (And why doesn’t Dr. Dre call this woman?)—in a dynamic performance that is both serious and seriously funny.”
~Sarah Hepola, Austin Chronicle

“Not only did Kariotis stun the audience with her extremely fluid movement and speech, but also her stance on judgment, classes, and disingenuous personalities allowed insight into the improvable part of society.”
~Bradley Schneider, Austin Ameican-Statesman

“An amazingly intense actress…”
~Michael Barnes, Austin American Statesman