10 years after a horrific shooting, Rena speaks with the NY POST:
Rena's New 1-Woman Show 'Rena's BRA Mitzvah!'
Rena Strober's Bra Mitzvah is as hilarious as it is personal. A truly lovely evening from a very gifted person.
I’ve never seen anything like them! I mean IT! THE SHOW! I’ve never seen anything like the show!!
M Levine - VP at Revolution Films
I love Rena Strober! Not only is she a wonderful singer and comedienne, she's got great tits! What's not to love? In fact, I went out and bought a new pair myself following her wonderful show.
Coco Peru (Famous Drag Queen)
Loved her highly entertaining and original show and the way she does my song, "At This Moment." Rena's far more than just a pretty face and killer shape! Don't miss her!!
Billy Vera (Grammy winner & Writer of ‘At This Moment’)
Rena Strober in White's Lies
Rena Strober is a standout as a funny parade of women in Joe's life: a perky conquest
The Multi-tasking Strober!
- NY Times
Fanny Brice-Bea Lillie-Carol Burnett funny!
- Comedian Bob Greenberg
Strober is a natural as all the women, slithering here and there.
- Cabaret Exchange NY
Rena Strober as an assortment of lovers; they get the evening’s big laughs. (It is worth going to see Strober collapse drunkenly against a glass door.)
- Time Out NY
No one more adept on the stage than the vivacious sultry Rena Strober. A fantastically funny fireball. She grabs your attention with every entrance and exit, of which she has numerous opportunities with this highly professional cast. Ms. Strober is physically reminiscent of Botticelli's Venus, since she is in and out of sexy outfits and wigs the entire show. Her ability to go from sexy and subtle to over the top comedy is amazing. Pay close attention to the bathroom door in the strip club, I almost fell out of my chair laughing. Be on the positive look out for this one amazingly talented actress.
- Comedy Concepts
A saucy Rena Strober
- Associated Press
Rena Strober proves memorable as all of Joe's jilted one-night stands. Her work enlivens Andron's script.
Changing almost as quickly is Rena Strober, who plays to humorous satisfaction various women White has taken advantage of in his past.
Rena receives Craig Noel Award for ZHIVAGO
Rena Strober is honored with a Craig Noel Award in San Diego for her performance in ZHIVAGO at the La Jolla Playhouse.
San Diego Theatre Critics CircleOn Jan. 29, 2007, the San Diego Theatre Critics Circle presented the fifth annual Craig Noel Awards for Excellence in Theatre, honoring the outstanding achievements on San Diego stages in 2006.
Outstanding Featured Performance in a Musical, Female
Rena Strober, Zhivago, La Jolla Playhouse
Rena Strober in Fiddler on the Roof
...Rena Strober, breaks the heart as she begs Papa for her freedom
Rena Strober delivers a standout performance as Tzeitel, anchoring “Matchmaker,” and serving as a catalyst for the action that tests whether or some dreams can come true. Strober’s tenacity and sweet voice matches up well with Erik Liberman, the whiny Motel the Tailor.
- Blueprint Magazine, NYC
Rena Strober caught the warmth and spirit of the eldest daughter, Tzeitel, and sang prettily.
- Baltimore Post
Tzeitel (Rena Strober) gave a spirited and delightfully fresh shine to "Matchmaker, Matchmaker," turning danced with string mops into dreaded fantasy husbands hand picked by the intrusive Yente (a happily overbearing Mary Stout).
Sharing great chemistry and singing voices are Rena Strober and Erik Liberman as eldest daughter Tzeitel and her intended, Motel the timid tailor. Strober was last seen in San Diego in La Jolla Playhouse's "Zhivago," a role that earned her a 2004 San Diego Theatre Critics Circle Award, and it's nice to see her back in town again.
- North Counry Times-San Diego
Rena Strober in Beauty and The Beast
Rena Strober is a strong, spunky Belle who touches your heart, brings on the tears, and uplifts the spirit with her articulated, up-and-down-the-scale mastery of Belle’s reach-inside-and-make-you-feel songs : Home (We Are Where We Shall be Forever) with Maurice (her father), and the splendid song that delivers the essence of falling in love, A Change in Me. Read more...
Rena Strober in Spaghetti & Matzo Balls
Spaghetti and Matzo Balls is co-written by Rena Strober and her brother Dean, with the musical direction of William Hindin. Strober discusses her life growing up in Middletown, NY, singing at popular Italian Restaurant Rao's, as well as collaborating with Italian tenor Michael Amante. Accompanied on bass and fiddle, Rena performs a mesmerizing version of the Italian operatic pop classic "Con te Partiro."
Other remarkable musical numbers in her set include Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," and a rendition of the Italian national anthem, which Strober delivers after discussing her experiences in the Ms. Italian-American pageant. Rena also talks about meeting former president Bill Clinton, and her grandmother, Sunny Strober.
Strober opens her heart to the audience and discusses how she overcame one of the biggest events in her life: surviving a shooting at Rao's. She delivers a poignant rendition of Joni Mitchell's "Both Sides Now" in response to the traumatic event. Through great personal strength, as well as the love and support of her family, Strober is living proof of a person who was able to triumph over serious obstacles. Her finale performances of "I Don't Want to Live on the Moon" from the Sesame Street soundtrack, as well as a Yiddish version of Frank Sinatra's "My Way," are real treats for the audience.
Strober's talents are not limited to vocals; she's a true entertainer. She has the presence needed to command the stage and believes in what she is says, making eye contact with the audience, which inevitably loves her in return. Strober's use of sincere storytelling and mellifluous vocals will make you laugh, sing along, and at times, Strober even breaks your heart. Throughout the musical, the theme of her play is always conveyed, illustrating the importance of family values, and although Rena may be a part of two families, she only has one home.
– The Knight News
Blessed with a clear and powerful voice that needs no amplification (and gets none- she fills the Triad with an all-natural sound), Strober sings opera, pop, jazz, showtunes and folksongs in Yiddish, Hebrew and Italian with equal skill, weaving the songs into the narrative gracefully-- and, best of all, to good dramatic effect..With her quick wit, the uptempo songs are bright and lively, and with her dramatic strengths, the ballads are powerfully poignant. Dean Strober's direction keeps the energy and humor up, and never lets the show become too serious for its own good. William Hindin's music direction sets the mood for each moment, and nicely underscores the emotional arc of the story.
Rena Strober In the La Jolla production of ZHIVAGO
Strober commands the delicate role. Her duet with Burrows, 'It Comes as No Surprise' is an emotional highlight of the production.
– Total Theatre.com
Strong support is given by Tom Hewitt as the villainous, smitten Komarovsky and Rena Strober as Yuri's stalwart wife, Tonya.
Rena Strober is warm and natural as Tonya.
– North County Times
– Buzz Magazine
Rena Strober is beautiful and another strong voice added to the mix.
– SD Jewish Times
The very strongest scene comes in the second act, when the two women, Zhivago's wife (solid Rena Strober) and Lara come face to face at last, and just they can't manage to hate each other ("It Comes As No Surprise").
– KPBS Radio/San Diego Theatre Scene
Rena Strober Sings At New York Friars Club Roast, NY Hilton Ballroom
NEW YORK, (October 27th, 2005) — Rena Strober sang "God Bless America" to 1,500 attendees of the New York Friar's Club annual Roast. Before Donald Trump led the roast of Don King in this year's comedy slugfest, the scrumptious songbird Strober brought the house down with her spirited rendition of Irving Berlin's paean to our land.
Rena Strober Performs One-Woman Show at Helen’s Hideaway Room
Monday, September 19th @ 8pm
NEW YORK, (August 19th, 2005) — Rena Strober, a name made infamous by the New York Post for being “The Songbird from Rao’s” during the unfortunate shooting in December of 2003 at the famed eatery, returned to the stage last fall to tell her story in Spaghetti & Matzo Balls. Originally scheduled for three nights only, Ms. Strober extended her run at Don’t Tell Mama due to its popularity.
Strober’s voice has carried her from the barricades of Les Miserables on Broadway, to duets with Italian virtuoso Michael Amante at Lincoln Center, to 114th St. and Pleasant Avenue at one of the ten tables at Rao’s. Rena is finally telling the tale of how her Jewish roots developed into Italian vines — and showing the voice that made it all happen.
Incorporating the works of Irving Berlin, Billy Joel, Lerner & Lowe, Tom Waits and her grandma Sunny’s Yiddish songbook, “Spaghetti and Matzo Balls” is an evening of narrative cabaret as Strober recounts her exposure to the world of Italian ways and how her Jewish roots eventually led her back home.
Directed by Dean Strober with musical direction by William Hindin. Helen’s is located at 169 Eight Avenue in Chelsea. Tickets are $25 with a $15 food minimum. All proceeds to directly to BCEFA. Reservations can be made by calling 212-206-0609. For press tickets please call 212-252-6995 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Rena made her Broadway debut 4 years ago in Les Miserables and went on to perform leading roles on stage at Playwrights Horizons, The Goodspeed Opera House, Portland Center Stage, Sacramento Music Circus, and most recently originated the role of Tonya is Lucy Simon and Des McNuff’s new musical ZHIVAGO at the LaJolla Playhouse. She has also been seen onstage at Lincoln Center, Town Hall and Westbury Music Fair.
Playbill News Article on Rena Strober's Appearance in Zhivago
(June 27, 2005) Chris Hoch, Jessica Burrows, Rena Strober and Tony Award winner Anthony Crivello will star in the upcoming La Jolla Playhouse musical adaptation of the Russian-set love story Zhivago...(more)
AM NewYork's Article on Rena Strober's Appearance at the Friars' Frolic
BroadwayWorld.com: Rena Strober at Don't Tell Mama - A Solo Act Worth Catching...
(October 1, 2004) - I'm happy to without hesitation put in the 'highly recommended department,' the solo debut of the fabulous Rena Strober at Don't Tell Mama.·Rena's got a talent that's part Sarah Brightman, part Madeline Kahn, and the rest wonderfully all her own. If you're looking for a good hours entertainment with lots of laughs, and the occasional tearjerker from one of today's bright young talents, I'd recommend putting this one on your 'to see' list. (more...)
New York Magazine Interview: Bullets Off B'way
(September 21, 2004) - In her new cabaret act, singer Rena Strober talks about life after the Rao's shooting. (more...)