From the 2017 Hollywood Fringe Festival
"This play tells the story of angelic guidance received by a small group of Hungarians during the horrors of World War II. The narrator and main character, Gita Mallasz, was recognized in 2011 by Yad Vashem as Righteous Among the Nations for having rescued over 100 Jewish women and children from almost certain death. Her portrayal by Shelley Mitchell was spellbinding and in itself an act of courage. As a consummate actor, whether Shelley played one of the four who received these instructions or one of the angels who gave them, her voice rang true.
It is heartening in these unquiet times to be reminded that every one of us can take a stand for good. There’s a saying that we have an army of angels at our command if we but ask, and the message of this play is that for this group of four, that saying bore fruit. If it happened once, who’s to say it can’t happen again? Whether or not you believe in angels, this is a compelling insight into Holocaust history not to be missed."
-Eileen Weiner, Certified Festival Reviewer
Shelley Mitchell is a tour de force marvel as she seamlessly transitions back and forth between Gitta Mallasz (the narrator) and the Beings who channel through Gitta’s friend Hannah
This is an important play given the backdrop of our own political landscape. The intersection of the divine and human and the profoundness of the messages speak to both the power of the light and the collective darkness and the consequences of what we choose to embody and extend. In a city where every other person claims to have the archangels on speed-dial, this play offers us something genuinely transfiguring — the opportunity to bear witness to the immense bravery of a group of friends, who in the horrors of the Holocaust chose and embodied the Light in the service of others. COLLEEN PASSARD
Shelly Mitchell’s performance brought me to tears more than once. Her ability to embody all the different and complex characters – worldly and other worldly – was wonderful. Shelley’s voice, her gestures, her nuances drew me in and kept me riveted. The story itself is both exquisitely painful and transcendent. It is one of the most fascinating takes I’ve seen on the human desire to connect with something greater than ourselves while dealing with overwhelming circumstances. This play should have a long, long run. It is more than a piece of theater – it is a masterful teaching. So much to ponder, so much to contemplate. Shelley Mitchell has gifted us with a precious piece of art. Brava!
"Talking With Angels” is powerful, thought-provoking, beautifully conceived and acted. I can’t stop thinking about the show and the performance. It should have a permanent run in Los Angeles.
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Mitchell’s performance is superb. She switches between Mallasz and her heavenly tutors with effortless physical ease. A slight change in posture and a subtle vocal transformation is all she needs to make the changes utterly believable. She makes it look easy but her technique is honed with pinpoint precision. She is an enigmatic presence and her characters crackle with spiritual life. BROADWAY BABY
A simple story, with a lot of depth. ...During the performance she transforms back and forth, in seconds, from Mallasz to the angels. Without leaving the stage. She does this with such conviction, that the spectator forgets that there is only one woman on stage! ...Mitchell has no need of gimicks or devices to constantly change from a twenty [thirty-‐five] year old woman into a supernatural being.
CULTUURPERS DUTCH THEATRE FESTIVAL
"Shelley Mitchell takes us behind the veil. Her angels are invisible and believable."
ROBERT MC DERMOTT
Prof. of Philosophy
California Institute of Integral studies
...Shelley has such an alchemical gift for performance that one would have to reach back in time, and to the medium of film- to Joanne Woodward in "The Three Faces of Eve," or John Barrymore in the 1920 silent "Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde"- to find a parallel for this actor's ability to transform from one character to another. ...If it is relatively rare to come away from theater genuinely moved, it is even rarer to emerge from a play with the sense of having experieinced a spiritual infusion. Yet that is the effect of this play and this performance.
JOHN BEEBE, MD
Past Pres., C.G. Jung Institute of S.F.
In "Talking With Angels", Shelley Mitchell uses her remarkable talent as an actor to take us to another time and another place, while at the same time inviting us to look deeply at who we are. It is a rare evening in the theater.
JILL EIKENBERRY, Golden Globe Winner
My family has seen Shelley Mitchell's brilliant theatrical adaptation of Talking with Angels...a true and valiant rescue story that took place in the darkest period of the Holocaust in my native Hungary. Her bold rendition of this depraved time confronts the unspeakable consequences of man’s inhumanity to man and is at the same time uniquely uplifting and hopeful.
[This] timely message of personal responsibility enriches our social fabric.
US CONGRESSMAN TOM LANTOS
TALKING WITH ANGELS is a profound experience for the audience. Shelley Mitchell creates a partnership and a collaborative experience unlike any other. I find the work that she does as an actress to be in the realm of social and personal transformation and am thrilled and delighted that she has taken her discipline so much farther than most people would ever consider. TALKING WITH ANGELS is a very special theater experience and one that should be seen by as many audiences as possible. LYNNE TWIST
"Extraordinary light emerges from the dark in Shelley Mitchell's brilliantly realized production of Talking WIth Angels: the astonishingstory of revelation and redemption in the midst of the Holocaust." MICHAEL MURPHY
FOUNDER OF ESALEN INSTITUTE
Shelley Mitchell, a sublime actress -- radiant, beautiful, soulful--performed a tour de force adaptation of an important human document.
NEW YORK THEATRE WIRE
..mystical true-life tale...
SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
The play is truly riveting...a performance with rich vocabulary of movement, speech and gesture.
TALKING WITH ANGELS is a powerful and moving experience... relevant, soul-stirring. and thought provoking.
JEAN SHINODA BOLEN, M.D.,
JUNGIAN ANALYST AND AUTHOR
...honest simplicity and openness...neither overly reverential nor didactic; in fact, this is a gripping theatrical experience that will keep you on the edge of your seat throughout...
MARIN INDEPENDENT JOURNAL
Shelley Mitchell gives a virtuoso performance of a remarkable story... S.F. BAY GUARDIAN
...A flawless performance, Mitchell is an amazing talent! SAN FRANCISCO EXAMINER
Shelley Mitchell es una mujer prodigiosa, con este tema tan apropiado sobretodo en la época difícil en que vivimos, ella deleita con una historia increíble de salvación, bondad y divinidad.
SAN FRANCISCO TRIBUNE
Mitchell switches seamlessly between the aged Mallasz and the grace of the seraphs, interspersing ethereal matters with the more earthly concern of the ever-increasing danger of living in Nazi-occupied Hungary... Mitchell's consummate skill as a performer illuminates this thoughtful combination of human bravery and the divine.
IRISH THEATRE MAGAZINE
This riveting piece speaks of life, death and faith through a talented actor who deftly brings alive a remarkable figure. SF GATE
DIARY OF RESCUE- Talking With Angels': Shelley Mitchell got her hands on this Holocaust memoir in 1982 and, moved by its spiritualism, she resurrected it. SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE
The portrait of Mallasz is a tour de force (more)
SAN FRANCISCO WEEKLY
Talking with Angels is a tour de force by Shelley Mitchell. Solo on a bare stage with just mind, body, imagination and chutzpa to sustain her, she morphs herself through different characters and creates a marvelous ensemble drama out of thin air. Its a wonder to behold.
CARROLL BALLARD, FILMMAKER
...A portrayal with such leisurely, lifelike timing,...Mitchell transforms into something between a dancer and a shaman. ..Its excruciating beauty derives from its simplicity, its purity and the veracity of its harrowing stories.
STEVEN LEIGH MORRIS, LA WEEKLY
FACED WITH THE apocalyptic tone and terror of the Reagan era, Tony Kushner famously imagined angels helping us mortals to rise to our full stature and potential. Since the Bush era, far from retreating from those dark times, has only improved on them, the spiritual-political project Kushner envisioned might seem more vital than ever. Certainly, Shelley Mitchell's skillfully honed one-woman stage adaptation, Talking with Angels, will convince you of that. SAN FRANCISCO BAY GUARDIAN