Cooking at the Cookery
Drama Desk-nomination & Barrymore Award

 

New York Times review:

"Ms. Walton's energy, athleticism and gift for mimicry and caricature add up to an astonishing individual variety show. She takes on characters from the 8-year-old Alberta to the 80-year-old Barney Josephson; her rendering of a young, male record producer who gets Alberta to contribute to a 1961 anthology is so persuasive that when she stands up from behind a table it's startling to be reminded she's wearing a dress. And in one remarkable duet, ''When the Saints Go Marchin' In,'' performed with Ms. Duquesnay as Hunter in her 20's, Ms. Walton, carrying a trumpet and a towel and baring her teeth, hilariously holds her own as Louis Armstrong."

 
Boston Globe review:
"Debra Walton is a dynamo; a master of voices with a face that became a human mask that instantaneously changes from female to male characters."    
             
The New Yorker review:
"Walton transforms herself in voice and expression into Louis Armstrong. It's a preternatural accomplishment- Jane Horrocks meets Eddie Murphy."
TorontoStage.com review:
Show Business Weekly review:

"It's the talents of Debra Walton that maneuver the play to places it couldn't otherwise go. Walton's ability to transform from a vocally high young girl to a raspy voiced and physically twitchy nightclub owner is heavenly. When she impersonates Louis Armstrong can you see to what extremes she can take her gift for performance art

"Duquesnay's counterpart, Debra Walton, is equally successful in her role, or rather roles. As the show is designed for only two performers, Walton is presented with the challenge of playing a number of different characters including two versions of Alberta Hunter (child/adult), a record producer, an old club owner and a surprisingly accurate Louis Armstrong. Walton's impression of the guttural and resonant voice that is Armstrong's signature is spot on, and her duet with Duquesnay on "When The Saints Go Marching In" is one of the best numbers in the show and is sure to bring down the house every time. Every character she portrays has his or her own personality and physical characteristics whether it be a shaky walk, a texturized voice or a specific movement. This makes it easy to distinguish different characters and also shows off Walton's skill as a dancer, character actor, and physical performer."
With striking likness, Debra Walton impersonates Louis Armstrong in one of several challenging roles that she morphs with remarkable ease."
Debra Walton as Louis Armstrong stops the show
@ Ken Huth
Niagara Gazette review:
"Debra Walton's role takes skill and articulation that few stage actors posses. She, however has mastered it."
Cookin' shows off Walton's skill as a dancer, character actor, and physical performer
@ Ken Huth
Talking Broadway review
Wolf Entertainment review
"One early, life-defining moment between Walton and Duquesnay (as the young Alberta and her mother) is heartbreaking, while Walton - capable of changing her age, sex, and skin color on her slightest whim - gives a dead-on impersonation of Louis Armstrong for one of the evening's non-sung highlights"
"Walton is really something. She is funny portraying Josephson as old and feeble, not an accurate portrait of him at the time Hunter appeared at the Cookery, but nonetheless amusing. She is dazzling as Hunter as young woman or as her entertaining troops for the USO. Her impression of Louis Armstrong is a gem, absolutely dead on to the point where she even manages to look like Satchmo. What can't this performer do?"
NY Daily News review
Curtain Up review
"The playwright was lucky to find Debra Walton to take on these multiple personalities. As some performers have bodies like rubber, so it is with Walton's face. Her ability to do men turns into a tour-de-force when she impersonates Louis 'Satchmo' Armstrong. For Barney Josephson, Walton plays the old, white man without even getting out of her young Alberta dress."
"Delightful! Debra Walton shines in multiple roles. A polished singer, her humorous impersonations of such Hunter collaborators as Louis Armstrong keep Cookin' sizzling"
Associated Press review
New Yorker review:
"Superb! Brings down the house!"
"Electrifying! Exhilarating!"
Click to see 3 more faces of Cookin'
NJ Star-Ledger review
"Hot stuff! Delicious Entertainment! The big revelation, however, is Debra Walton, a relative newcomer who plays Hunter in her younger heyday plus a bunch of male and female characters. She does them all vividly, with her expressive face, voice and body. The show's highlight!"

NY1 TV On Stage review

"Terrific! A rare and thrilling experience in the theatre! And then there's Debra Walton with her own mesmerizing talents. There seems no end to this gorgeous chameleon's ability to impersonate anyone, from old white Jewish men to this amazing turn as the great Satchmo. "
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