"Petite aerialist Ayana Strutz, as Charlotte, enters in a plunge from the catwalk on silks, drawing gasps from all ages. She makes cartwheels look as easy as walking, and her gravity-defying performance embodies the beauty as well as the innate creep factor of a spider benefactor (especially when she scuttles around on her hands and feet with her spine bent backwards, chin and tummy in the air). Strutz’s fluid, well-rounded performance gives welcome contemporary color to Charlotte’s musing that if she can fool a bug, she can certainly fool a man."
- Alaina Johns (Broad Street Review)
"Ayana Strutz's sleek movements on the ground and from the silks are nothing short of spectacular... The most impressive transformation comes from Ayana Strutz as Charlotte. Strutz uses her acrobatic skills—descending on aerial silks and scurrying across the floor in a back walkover—to move like a spider, but her poise and dignified manner make her truly arachnid."
- Rebecca Rendell (Talkin' Broadway)
"And when Ayana Strutz, the true star of this show as Charlotte the spider, makes her entrance, descending on gymnastic silks and doing a reverse, inverted crab-walk around Wilbur’s pen, the awed crowd applauded." "Charlotte does not touch Wilbur; she’s no hugger. Strutz plays her with a tensile braid of the automatic and the empathetic: She gazes at him, takes him in, and decides, matter-of-factly, to rescue him."
- John Timpane (Philadelphia Inquirer)
"One of the most exciting parts of this production is Ayana Strutz, the actress playing Charlotte. Strutz is an acrobat and contortionist, perfect for embodying a spider. She descends from the ceiling in silks, and uses the set as her personal jungle-gym. After the show, she disclosed to the curious kids in the audience that she has only been training as an acrobat for two year after having grown up as a dancer."
- Amber Kusching (BroadwayWorld)
"The spider Charlotte is always a key role and this time the role is played by Ayana Strutz, an actress who is also an acrobat trained in circus arts. She uses those arts impressively, doing tumbling, contortions, cartwheels, twisting, and all sorts of acrobatics to portray Charlotte the spider."
- Ruth Rovner (Daily Times)
"The Arden production doesn’t deck out the actors in a pink pig suit or spider costume. It doesn’t have to. Adam Howard and Ayana Strutz are so convincing, he crawling and snorting in the pig pen, she, sliding up and down black silks extended from above. When either of them move across or above the stage, the audience, filled with children of all ages, goes silent. Strutz, a contortionist, is reason enough to go."
- Frank Burd (Montgomery Media)
Charlotte's Web - Arden Theatre Company
"Ayana Strutz does a number that is worth the price of the ticket- she is sensational."
- Alan Bresloff (Around The Town Chicago)
"I will never forget the performance of Ayana Strutz as Cynthia, an entertainer with special skills. Strutz is hilarious and
nearly steals the show with some athletic moves, comic lines, and juggling. You may not be able to look at a ping pong ball
as just a ball again."
- Kathy D. Hey (Third Coast Review)
"Ayana Strutz, a phenomenal dancer-acrobat- brings the house down."
- Hedy Weiss (WTTW News)
Priscilla, Queen of the Desert - Mercury Theatre Chicago
"Highly Recommended- Ayana Strutz is terrific in the ensemble, but simply unbelievable as rubber-limbed Cynthia, Bob’s flaming
and flashy wife, who demonstrates her special trick while dancing and entertaining in the local bar. She makes the 1979 hit,
Pop Muzik” take on a whole new meaning."- Colin Douglas (Chicago Theatre Review)
" And nod out to showstopper Ayana Strutz for her fierce “Pop Muzik”. Splits, cartwheels, ping pong balls…
her physicality is unforgettable!"
- The Fourth Walsh
Ayana Strutz, as the Girl in the Water and a circus performer, is as striking as Ariana DeBose
in the original cast of Hamilton— taking a tiny role and turning it into a showy one."
- Karen Topham (Chicago On Stage)
"Ayana Strutz as a mermaid and circus artist is a graceful strong shimmering Hawaiian Princess."
- Susan Lillis (Splash Magazine Chicago)
"The ensemble is a force to be reckoned all its own, top drawer Chicago talent all worthy of
mention- Strutz does some nifty aerial work."
- Ed Tracy (Picks In Six)
Big Fish, the Musical - Marriott Theatre
Broadway's The SpongeBob Musical - First National Tour
"A sea of joy!... Director Tina Landau and her collaborators, including scenic and costume design genius David Zinn and ace choreographer Christopher Gattelli, unspool a host of entertaining production numbers within a world that is an iridescent riot of pinks, purples, greens, blues, yellows, and polka dots." - Don Aucoin (Boston Globe)
NBC's Frogger - Peacock TV
‘Frogger’ Arcade Game Leaps Into Television With
Competition Series Ordered At Peacock
Filming in Australia, contestants will power through 12 massive obstacle courses modeled after various levels of the retro title. Staying faithful to the original gameplay, contestants will be dodging treacherous traffic and leaping over snapping gators and hungry hippos to conquer the course.
Pippin - Skylight Music Theatre
"While the dances and movements are entrancing on the whole,
contortionist Ayana Strutz deserves a special mention:
she's so crazy-good, it's hard to take your eyes off her."
- Kelsey Lawler (BroadwayWorld)
"Chicago resident and Hawaii-born Ayana Strutz is excellent in
her Skylight debut as Theo, the young son of the widow Catherine."
- Matthew Perta (Showbiz Chicago)
"Director Ray Jivoff adds a grace note of this aesthetic to this production with Ayana Strutz, an aerialist and contortionist who twists, bends and juggles through most of the play, adding amazement to the already kinetic show." - Gwen Rice (On Milwaukee)
The Music Man - Goodman Theatre
"Dancing in this ever changing landscape of silhouettes to BRIGHT! is the talented cast. Some are dancing quite literally, with choreography and performance like the lightest of whipped cream. There are a lot of partner dancing moves where the female dancers seamlessly float above their partners heads. There are cartwheels galore, as Zimmerman’s trademark of blurring gymnastics and dance find new roots on Iowa terrain." - Amy Munice (Picture This Post)
"Zimmerman puts her trust in a who’s-who of Chicagoland musical theatre
stars teaming with a detasseling cadre of nationally- and regionally-credited
triple threats to present one of the best singing/dancing stage ensembles
of the year. Simply said, you’ve got to give this Iowa a try.
If you don’t, it’s your loss." - Barry Reszel (Chicagoland Musical Theatre)
The Who's Tommy - Goodman Theatre
"If you don't see it, you will long regret having missed one of the finest productions to ever grace a stage in Chicago, or anywhere else."
– WGN’s Behind the Curtain
“The Goodman's new production of Tommy is indeed a sensation!”
– Broadway World
⭐⭐⭐⭐(OUT OF 4) “Tommy dazzles at every turn."
– Chicago Sun-Times
A Chorus Line - Porchlight Music Theatre
"But this depth also comes from this brilliant cast and their brilliant performances brilliantly directed by Brenda Didier. Of course, the talent is youthful and top-notch, as it must be for such a classic show... Ayana Strutz’s Connie Wong confidently struts and fills the stage despite her diminutive stature."
- CJ Burroughs (Buzz Center Stage)
“Another triumph for Porchlight. Porchlight Music Theatre’s singularly
sensational production remains true to the script.
The Porchlight production is full of radiant personalities (and tireless dancer-singer-actors)
including... the upbeat attitude of the too short but eternally girlish Chinese-American
dancer played by Ayana Strutz, and a slew of others, all distinctive and talented.”
- Hedy Weiss (WTTW News: Theatre Reviews)
The King and I - Drury Lane Theatre
"Highly Recommended- Everything about this sublime production deserves a standing ovation.. in the musical’s balletic showpiece, “The Small House of Uncle Thomas.” narrated by Tuptim, and uniquely introduced with marionette puppets, much credit must go to the show’s exquisitely talented dancers."
- Colin Douglas (Chicago Theatre Review)
Holiday Inn - Drury Lane Theatre
"Highly Recommended- The Drury Lane cast is stellar.
This old-fashioned musical features a few topnotch leading actors, but relies heavily on a chorus of gifted, graceful triple-threats. This multitalented ensemble, who seem to effortlessly sing, dance and turn into new characters at the drop of a hat, is alone worth the price of admission."
- Colin Douglas (Chicago Theatre Review)