The best scene in Door Shakespeare’s current production of “Much Ado About Nothing” unfolds in a church, where Hero (Elyse Edelman) and Claudio (Rob Doyle) are about to be married. […] In most renditions of “Much Ado,” Hero is a passive victim in this church scene – [...] But Edelman and director Joseph Hanreddy clearly had other ideas, resulting in a Hero more readily imagined as a younger version of the woman Beatrice has since become. In her pre-church betrothal scene, Edelman’s Hero is not just a prize, but also a woman clearly choosing as much as she herself is chosen. In her post-church scenes, she exhibits traces of contempt and aversion before moving toward forgiveness and acceptance. And in the church scene during which Claudio denounces her, this Hero is not just incredulous but also outraged. All of which puts a different spin on the fact that confirmed bachelor Benedick (David Cecsarini) once jilted Beatrice (Deborah Staples). This Hero’s ability to reconcile despite having been wronged seems less like an act of weakness than a choice made from strength, by a woman who doesn’t want to join her cousin in growing bitter as well as old. […] Because Edelman’s Hero is the most emotionally honest and compelling character in this production, reading her does indeed provide the best means of understanding what’s really happening, in a play where characters continually misread others because they can no longer interpret themselves. 

Mike Fischer

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The distinctive silent expressiveness of Elyse Edelman can do amazing things for any peripheral role in Shakespeare. Here the subtle mix of emotion that fades in and out of her countenance lends power to the drama of Hero.

Russ Bickerstaff

THE SMALL STAGE "What Didn't Make it in" / Shepherd Express

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Elyse Edelman as Hero in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Directed by Joseph Hanreddy
Door Shakespeare, Door County WI
Photo by Heidi Reich Hodges

The company sparkles. It digs into Shakespeare, colors his lines. It sings. It dances. It puts myriad pieces of Shakespeare’s kaleidoscopic puzzle together with a sense of conjoined spirit. The leading female actors are able produce tears, they are so into their characters. The tears are for individual reasons […] Elyse Edelman, as Hero, produces tears for redemption that comes from a song sung by Claudio over Hero’s “grave.” Hero has been so terribly and viciously wronged, and now the boulder on her heart and reputation is being lifted.

Warren Gerds/ Critic at Large

wearegreenbay.com

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Elyse Edelman as Hero in MUCH ADO ABOUT NOTHING
Directed by Joseph Hanreddy
Door Shakespeare, Door County WI
Photo by Heidi Reich Hodges
Elyse Edelman as Luciana in THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
Directed by Leda Hoffmann
Door Shakespeare, Door County WI
Photo by Heidi Reich Hodges

As it happens, Edelman is also part of a duo providing the key that unlocks what’s going on in “The Comedy of Errors,” Shakespeare’s wildly popular screwball comedy involving two sets of long-separated identical twins with the same names.  As with the Door Shakes “Comedy” in 2014, Leda Hoffmann directs. Edelman is reprising her role in that 2014 production as Luciana, overlooked and unmarried sister to the high-strung Adriana (Staples). […] the man Luciana is chatting with certainly isn’t talking like the brother-in-law she knows; instead he is telling her that he adores her. And only her. Luciana is floored, and Edelman registers it all as poignantly as she did four years ago, in a beautiful breakout performance from which she’s never looked back and which I’ll never forget. Bending and stretching the marching iambs in this most end-stopped of the Bard’s plays, Edelman reads between the lines to channel that insecure part of each of us which can’t imagine we’re worthy of such great love – even as we tremulously give ourselves over to its wonder and hope like hell it’s the real deal.

Mike Fischer

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

His hopes of running away to some form of sanity are complicated when he falls in love with Luciana—the sister of the woman claiming to be his wife—played with a wide-eyed and inventively playful sense of humor by Elyse Edelman.

Russ Bickerstaff

Shepherd Express

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Elyse Edelman as Luciana in THE COMEDY OF ERRORS
Directed by Leda Hoffmann
backstage at Door Shakespeare, Door County WI
Elyse Edelman as Angie in TOP GIRLS
Directed by Suzan Fete
Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee WI
Photo by Ross Zentner

In the most interesting part of the play, Marlene's chic and worldly girl-made-good comes back to Suffolk, the hometown she desperately wanted to escape. […] They also talk about Angie, the intellectually stunted and under-achieving girl who hates Joyce and is fascinated by Marlene, who turns out to be her real mother. Played with a big heart, child-like wonder and extreme emotions she can't completely control, Elyse Edelman creates a girl who "isn't quite right" and certainly isn't equipped to excel the way Marlene did.

Gwen Rice

onmilwaukee.com

The opening scene sets the stage with a kind of confusion that left me breathless, but the real power came barreling on with the introduction of Marlene’s sister Joyce (Ms. Amato) and Angie (Ms. Edelman), the slow and dysfunctional daughter of Joyce.

Dave Begel

davebegelontheater.com

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Elyse Edelman as Angie in TOP GIRLS
Directed by Suzan Fete
Renaissance Theaterworks, Milwaukee WI
Photo by Ross Zentner

A scene between 16-year-old Angie (Elyse Edelman) and her younger friend Kit (Grace DeWolff) is likewise riveting. The pair unflinchingly embody the ubiquitous tension of adolescent friendship, here further complicated by socio-economic hardship, familial fracture and mental impairment.

Silena Milewski

Shepherd Express

Amato and Edelman morph into Joyce and Angie: Marlene’s sister and child. Joyce raises Angie as her own, in the poverty that Marlene escaped.  Edelman is heartbreaking as a slow and simple 16-year-old girl Joyce aptly describes as “stupid, lazy and frightened.”

Mike Fischer

Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

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Elyse Edelman as Fang in NATE THE GREAT
Directed by Niffer Clarke
First Stage, Milwaukee WI
Photo by Paul Ruffolo

As the only adult in the cast, Elyse Edelman does a great job anchoring the show. Both her mom character and her turn as Fang the dog are understated, allowing Nate and his investigation to shine. Her easy soprano and natural spark lift up the group numbers, whether she's performing as a pooch or a pancake. (Yep, you read that right.)

Gwen Rice

onmilwaukee.com

The only adult actor in the show, the incomparable Elyse Edelman, plays the concerned mother and the dog Fang, both with skill and humor.  I was reminded of the play “Sylvia” as I watched her play a dog. It takes some observation to do that well, just as it does to be a detective.

Julie McHale

Waukesha Freeman

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Under the direction of Niffer Clarke, Edelman explores the humorous characteristics of a grown woman playing a dog. As a result, the children in the audience screamed with delight on Friday. The audience’s laughter came to a peak as this talented pooch takes Nate for a whirl around the stage during the song, “Fang Tango.”

Anne Siegel

Shepherd Express

[...] and the always magnificent Elyse Edelman (the only adult ) plays everything from Nate’s Mom to Annie’s dog, Fang does an amazing tango with both Nate and Annie.

Dave Begel

davebegelontheater.com

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Elyse Edelman as Fang in NATE THE GREAT
Directed by Niffer Clarke
First Stage, Milwaukee WI
Photo by Paul Ruffolo