Professional Reviews

Calligraphy

By Velina Hasu Houston
March 8-April 2, 2017

TheatreWorks, Palo Alto CA

Natsuko is manipulative, bigoted, unpleasant and downright cruel…Yet Houston’s script gives her many humorous lines, and Jeanne Sakata’s performance lights up the stage, showing the hurt and vulnerability behind her bitterness, and the sparks of joy she gets from activities done in secret.
MOUNTAIN VIEW VOICE, MARCH 2017

The fourth piece of this family puzzle is Natsuko…She is also the character most difficult to like or for whom to find much sympathy. But Ms. Sakata knows how to keep us coming back for more as we try and figure out just who this Natsuko really is. Before the end of the play, the talented actress reveals sides of her character that show there is a heart doing more than just sustaining the life of this hardened-by-time-and-tradition woman she plays.
TALKIN’ BROADWAY, MARCH 2017

Jeanne Sakata in "A Single Shard"

A Single Shard

By Linda Sue Park
Adapted by Robert Schenkkan, Directed by Seema Sueko, April 27-May 29, 2016

People’s Light, Malvern, PA

Jeanne Sakata is invigorating as Min’s Wife both in her stalwart honesty and her comedic timing.
DC METRO ARTS

Sakata gives an incredible performance…gentle and compassionate.
THEATRE SENSATION

…Min the potter’s wife, cleverly played by Jeanne Sakata.
PHINDIE

Jeanne Sakata as Marceline in Figaro

Figaro

By Charles Morey
Freely adapted from Le Mariage de Figaro by Beaumarchais

A Noise Within, Pasadena, California 2015

Local treasure Jeanne Sakata makes mincemeat of Marceline, especially riotous at the tribunal to stake her claim on Figaro…a knee-slapping blast.
LOS ANGELES TIMES CRITIC’S CHOICE REVIEW, MARCH 2015

Sakata’s booming-voiced Marceline reveals the L.A. treasure’s comic gifts as never before.
STAGESCENE LA, APRIL 2015

Jeanne Sakata Vibrates with frustrated passion as Marceline…a delightful romp.
SAN GABRIEL VALLEY TRIBUNE, MARCH 2014

Chock full of FUN.
EXAMINER

Jeanne in "The Language Archive"

The Language Archive

East West Players, Los Angeles 2011

Veteran scene-stealers Jeanne Sakata and Nelson Mashita command the stage for every scene they’re in for the Los Angeles premiere of Julia Cho’s “The Language Archive”….This delightful couple wonderfully essayed by Mashita and Sakata have and make the most fun on stage as they expressively bicker and needle one another while obviously still very much in love.
CULTURE SPOT

Sakata and Mashita have the great good fortune to play the bickering spouses of untraceable geographic origin. The veteran stage and screen duo earn laughs galore when bickering in English, then prove every bit as touching as they’ve been hilarious.
STAGESCENE LA

Mashita and Jeanne Sakata devour these universal Bickersons to uproarious and touching effect.
BACKSTAGE WEST

Po Boy Tango

Northlight Theatre & East West Players, Los Angeles 2009

Talk about “iron chefs.” Just take a peek at the sensational actress Jeanne Sakata in the role of Po Mama. A petite lady with an elegant silvery chignon, she dresses in traditional Chinese silk sheaths and is the essence of genteel femininity. But she wields a meat cleaver as if she were operating a guillotine.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

Sakata is slender, elegant and totally engaging as Po Mama….Sakata’s skill almost makes it appear as if she is creating and tasting the wonderful broth that eludes her son.
EVANSTON REVIEW

Jeanne Sakata is perfection.
STEADSTYLE CHICAGO

A marvelous, no-nonsense portrayal by Jeanne Sakata.
LAKE COUNTY JOURNALS

Po Mama’s cooking videos—performed live by the masterful Sakata…..sweet comic homage to both stomachs and hearts.
LOS ANGELES TIMES

On the opposite end stands Sakata, who also shined in the East West revival of MASTER CLASS. Lin’s most poetic and expressive material is saved for Po Mama, and Sakata magnifies his words through a humorous and exuberant portrayal…..She is completely believable as an independent woman who found fame by combining old world cooking techniques with a home attitude. She’s the Taiwanese version of TV chef Paula Deen…..The scenes with Po Mama are too few and fly by too quickly.
LA DOWNTOWN NEWS

Master Class

East West Players, Los Angeles 2007

Starring Jeanne Sakata
as Maria Callas

BEST OF 2006-2007, STAGE SCENE LA
OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE BY AN ACTRESS–DRAMA

Truly amazing…..thanks to the unearthly collaboration of Aaron and Sakata, this Master Class is one of the most significant highlights of the season in LA…..in the gifted hands of this director and his courageous leading lady, artists, wannabe artists, and their admirers alike will be swept away by the unearthly spirit of a true survivor…..

In the sections where the controversial diva drifts into fantasy…..Sakata is mesmerizing. And when she falls into a one-person dialogue between her challenging character and Maria’s boorish paramour Ari Onassis, she is uncanny in the delineation between the two—and as heartbreaking as a Piaf song in her reactions to the conversations. Sakata also seamlessly intertwines the rise and fall of this great artist’s infamous braggadocio with intense moments of unbearably sad emotional fragility.
ENTERTAINMENT TODAY

Master Class remains a remarkable construct, and it gives Jeanne Sakata a rich opportunity….Sakata meets the measure of the role’s demands….Sakata’s timing, presence and emotional resources are imposing.
LOS ANGELES TIMES

Sakata brings out the complexities of Callas’ troubled later years…..her strong strides, powerful two-finger pointing, and confident demeanor define a woman who knows what she’s accomplished…Sakata juxtaposes that confidence with cracks in Callas’ veneer.
BACKSTAGE WEST

 

Summertime

Theatre @ Boston Court, 2004

Mimi’s thrill-seeking abandoned lover…the amazing Jeanne Sakata.
BACKSTAGE, JUNE 2004

Sakata supplies a hell-raising turn as the sexually voracious Natalie.
VARIETY, JUNE 2004

RED

East West Players, Los Angeles 2002

Jeanne Sakata

LOS ANGELES OVATION AWARD
BEST LEAD ACTRESS

Jeanne Sakata’s Ovation Award for her amazing performance in RED was applauded by me with special enthusiasm. Sakata’s triumph in what seemed an impossibly demanding role was an age-and-gender-bender. Her portrayal of an aging male Chinese opera star playing a female was triply wonderful.
BACKSTAGE WEST, “RANDOM SIGHTINGS”

As Hua, Jeanne Sakata gives an awe-inspiring portrayal of a proud practitioner of a dying, outlawed art…giving Hua a severe exterior, Sakata teaches us what it means to equate one’s life and art entirely, yet releases Hua’s buried humanity gracefully in his most desperate moments…..a finely-tuned, inspired work, RED simply could not be in better hands.
BACKSTAGE WEST, CRITIC’S CHOICE

In an inspired bit of cross-gender casting, Sakata is superb throughout.
LOS ANGELES TIMES, CRITIC’S CHOICE

Playing against type, Jeanne Sakata turns in a brilliant performance as Hua Wai Mun, world famous for his female impersonations in the ancient Chinese opera.
LONG BEACH PRESS-TELEGRAM

The impressively wide-ranging Jeanne Sakata plays Hua, in the most successful portrayal of a man by a woman I’ve seen since Linda Hunt portrayed Billy Kwan in THE YEAR OF LIVING DANGEROUSLY. It’s a deeply moving performance, and Sakata has all of the moves—from the nettled pique of a prima donna to the gentle delicacy of a court dancer to the poignant sadness of a deposed monarch.
LOS ANGELES NEW TIMES

Transcendent…..Sakata is simply magnificent as the monumentally self-righteous artist who is determined to preserve the traditions of this past even though he knows it will mean his destruction.
LOS ANGELES DAILY NEWS

Yew’s light directorial touch and the cast’s sheer intensity make for a provocative night of theater.
LA WEEKLY, THEATER PICK OF THE WEEK

 

A Winter People

Theatre @Boston Court
Pasadena, California

There is a stunningly bittersweet turn from Jeanne Sakata as Qing, the dottery, lovable old servant left behind when the family leaves for a new life.
ENTERTAINMENT TODAY

Jeanne Sakata gives a brilliant performance as the aging servant Qing.
BACKSTAGE.COM

Sakata’s old Qing, with her snowy mane and unnerving voice, is a melancholy apparition who seems to have limped out of a Lu Hsun short story.
LA WEEKLY

Jeanne Sakata, as the ancient servant who is caught in the middle by the changes of her world, moves the plot and the characters forward by sheer energy.
PASADENA STAR NEWS

 

Tea

Syracuse Stage
Syracuse, New York

Jeanne Sakata’s Himiko remains a vivid, painful incandescent presence in the mind and spirit of the viewer for many days.