May 20, 2016




Hope Street is exactly the type of solo show I like to see. It’s my exact favorite type of performance. It’s filled with a kind of earnest love and admiration for the characters, and easy-going humor that is both totally genuine and happily universal. Chris Rich is a terrific actress, and her story-telling is second to none. You get to know several characters in Hope Street- and each one is nutty, endearing, and larger-than-life the way her folks must have been! It’s such an authentic experience, honest show, hilarious and on-point, and I do remember shedding a tear or two out of gratitude, enjoyment, heartbreak. I cannot recommend highly enough- Hope Street is a wonderful evening of story-telling from a truly talented voice- and it’s the funniest collection of family stories I think I’ve ever heard. Two enthusiastic thumbs up!!!

Syreeta Combs-Cannaday    
Director, BTE’s Women’s Solo Performance Festival
Tough, tender, and knee-slappingly funny, Chris Rich’s Hope Street features huge-hearted story-telling, deft characterization, and pitch-perfect timing that goes from gut-wrenching to gut-splitting and back. Anyone with crazy relatives–or whose relatives have driven them crazy—will find these stories of Chris’s Irish immigrant ancestors deeply resonant and touching. You’ll come out of this solo show feeling as if you’ve been the guest at a sprawling holiday dinner with a houseful of quirky, feisty, unforgettable people who all want—and command—your ear. A word of caution: Chris is a word-wizard with a corresponding flair for physical comedy. Wear your astronaut pants.

Resident writer for Tempest Productions, Inc.,    
Senior Lecturer of English at UPenn,    
Author of La Scaffetta: The Foundling Drawer and Accidents of Being    
Bloomsberg  |  The Voice

Bloomsberg Review-Chris Rich-pdf (1)-01The Bloomsburg Theatre Ensemble proudly hosted the Second Annual Women’s Solo Performance Festival this past weekend (Sept 11-14) at the Alvina Krause Theatre in downtown Bloomsburg. Four women delivered four unique performances over 2 days, ranging in distinction from musical to poetic as part of BTE’s 37th season. Performers included Ann Bonner, Vivian Nesbitt, Chris Rich and Kali Quinn.

Saturday evening’s performance featured Chris Rich, an award-winning and internationally acclaimed comedian, writer and speaker. She has been featured on numerous television shows including Comedy Central, MTV, and Lifetime Networks.  She has also opened for popular comedians such as Roseanne and Jerry Seinfeld.

Rich’s lively and good humored personality was apparent from the very moment she stepped onto the stage.

Born into an Irish family rich with stories, it was obvious that comedy was an inherent language for this naturally-talented red head.

Her act, performed for the first time, centered on Hope Street, a narrow suburban street lined with Irish house-holds and the backdrop for many of Riche’s family stories.  Focusing her act around the past experiences of her grandfather and distant relatives, the audience watched as each new character was brought to life in the spotlight of the Alvina Krause Theatre.

The audience watched as Rich’s grandfather and his best buddies ran to New York City for a moment of blissful freedom, laughed when Eddie went on yet another three-day adventure, and felt the serenity of the dance floor when her grandparents first joined hands.

With each of these tales, a different character appeared on stage, breathing life and spirit into the talented Rich. Although a comedic act, each story offered a unique combination of emotions ranging from humor that left Rich doubled over to the most beautiful moments of sadness that left both comedian and audience teary-eyed.  The clarity of each character and each moment, was a testament to the theatrical skills of Rich and kept her audience alert and wanting more.

For Rich, these family members remain a source of unfaltering respect. Amongst their daily struggles and responsibilities, they continuously managed to muster a smile and crack a joke.  They were able to raise her with the notion that life is good.

Rich ended the performance with a single message: that life has changed. No longer do we live in close proximity to our surrounding and our neighbors.   No longer do we rely on a small living room and family members to keep us entertained. And no longer do we come into direct contact with daily life the way our relatives did in a developing America. And for that, we envy them.

As the applause came to momentary end and Rich began answering audience questions, I found myself looking down at an empty lap.  Long before the moment, I had ticked my notepad into my bag, an unnecessary accessory to this performance.  Notes weren’t needed for a powerful life lesion, or should I say punch line, like the one delivered by the genuinely comedic, Chris Rich.