"Rachel McPhee gives a remarkable and transcendent performance as Mary Shanley, completely embodying the brash and no-frills gutsy woman who defied the norm to become one of the most famous female law enforcement employees. McPhee was born to play this role; she holds nothing back, she is bare and honest and completely captivating to watch. A wonderful actress with superior control and ownership of her stage, she tenderly brings to the forefront a real insight into Shanley's upbringing and childhood hardships, and what it was like to be a strong, rough-around-the-edges, brave woman in the 1930's.The script, written by Robert K. Benson, is both thoughtful and relevant."
--Stage Buddy, full review here
"The ebb and flow of Detective Shanley's emotional crisis is well rendered in the imaginative script by Robert Benson, and commendably delivered in a very skilled performance by veteran actor Rachel McPhee. The theater is small and cramped, but this hardly distracts from a profoundly absorbing and stimulating experience. I highly recommend Dead Shot Mary, particularly for those capable of grappling with some of life's harshest realities."
--Plays to See, full review here
"While the play feels unstructured at first, the story slowly knits together until we find ourselves waiting with bated breath to find out how it ends.That effect is the result of an extraordinary performance by Rachel McPhee, whose remarkable vulnerability onstage excuses every one of Mary's imperfections. At first in her recital, Mary exhibits some defensiveness about why she wanted to be a cop, citing better wages and other flippant excuses, but that quickly peels away as we learn how she came to be the way she is. And while there are a few segments about her childhood, the play resists the impulse to explain away why Mary became Mary with some sort of clever anecdote."
--Chargedfm.com, full review here
"Dead Shot Mary is a special show. When you find an actress who can embody the real person, it's as if you've struck gold. Rachel McPhee was that. McPhee captured the essence of the women with a tough exterior but a heart of gold."
--Theater in the Now, full review here. Interview here
"Attention Acting Aficionados: Hie yourselves to The Bridge Theatre at Shetler Studios to see 'Dead Shot Mary.' Rachel McPhee's bravura performance as Mary is not to be missed…The innovative play was written by Robert K. Benson; the skillful director is Stephen Kaliski."
--Theater Pizazz, full review here
"The playwright has done a splendid job of capturing her life, and Ms. McPhee's performance is spot-on, including the perfectly intoned New York City working class speech patterns and rhythms she uses. Under Stephen Kaliski's direction, she is constantly in motion, taking us with her as she reenacts some of her exploits…All of the elements come together to paint a perfect portrait of this ordinary and yet remarkable woman."
--Talkin' Broadway, full review here
"The captivating and must-see life story of a New York hero you've never heard of…Performed with finespun gusto by Rachel McPhee… McPhee's performance is so delightful minor faults are easy to forgive…Kaliski makes wonderful use of the stage and of Kyu Shin's set design…'Dead Shot Mary' is a must-see for history buffs and gender studies experts alike."
--Theatre is Easy (Best Bet), full review here
"Rachel McPhee delivers a captivating and heartfelt performance."
--Thearescene.net, full review here
"...Minerva, played with integrity and crusading fury by Rachel McPhee..."
—Mitch Montgomery, Backstage Critic's Pick .
"...played with divine poise by Rachel McPhee..."
—Will Fulton, NYTheatre.com
"As Minerva, Rachel McPhee is striking and benevolent, with a grace and presence befitting the goddess of wisdom."
—NY Theatre Review
"The second half of the evening really comes to life with Over Here, driven by the absolutely fantastic performances of Rachel McPhee as Nora and Cyrilla Baer as Patty. McPhee, from the moment she takes the stage is present and engaging, and her performance only gets better once Baer joins her. The air in the theatre crackles with the contempt these characters have for each other and my hat's off to these two for creating a relationship so complex and familiar."
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
"Rachel McPhee’s Titania is a delightful standout, her every word and gesture alive and solidly engaged. She’s ethereal, grand, sexy and silly—everything a Titania should be. The characterization is a study in sensuality and arch intensity, and McPhee lifts the tide whenever she’s onstage." —Michael Kostroff, PlayShakespeare
"What's most surprising is that for a play which stresses the line between what's real and what's not, so much of the acting seems real ... Baker and McPhee spend a wonderful scene together."
—Aaron Riccio, That Sounds Cool Blog
"...Rachel McPhee (Alexa) [is] spot-on as well."
"...Alexa (Rachel McPhee), the most sympathetic of this... group..."
—The New York Times
"...Rachel McPhee... steals the show"
—Time Out NY
"...Woodhull's sister Tennessee, played brilliantly by Rachel McPhee"