Press

PRIVATE LIVES at Hartford Stage

“It is clear that Mr. Barnett has been perfectly cast from the moment Sybil asks Elyot is he is happy—this is the first day of their marriage and their honeymoon—and he replies, “Tremendously happy,” with absolutely no expression at all.”—Anita Gates for New York Times

“Barnett and Pickup are well matched and play well with each other as they hit the verbal shuttlecock back and forth. They’re also quite sexy and physical: no androgynous pair here, their libidos are as raging as they are callous.”—Frank Rizzo for the Hartford Courant

“Barnett is dapper without seeming effeminate, contained, cool, dry, wearing a tuxedo as if he’s always lived in one.”—Donald Brown for New Haven Register

“Ken Barnett is suitably cool, sophisticated, foppish and acid-tongued as Elyot.”—Steve Gifford for OnStage

“Ken Barnett maintains a believable gentlemanly British accent while maneuvering his body into appropriately suave positions even while lounging in nothing more than a small smoking jacket and underwear.”—Andrew Beck for Hartford Arts Examiner

FORTRESS OF SOLITUDE

“Ken Barnett finds the presence in emotional absence”—Ben Brantley from The New York Times

“Ken Barnett is terrifically ambiguous as the distracted artist father”—Linda Winer from Newsday

“Good, too, is Ken Barnett singing “Painting,” perhaps the strongest song in the score”—David Hurst from New York Arts Review

“Ken Barnett is nicely understated as Dylan’s father, an avant garde filmmaker”—Bob Hofler from The Wrap

A GENTLEMAN’S GUIDE TO LOVE AND MURDER

“Mr. Barnett finds just the right blend of perky propriety and gimlet-eyed opportunism as the jolly killer at the center of the show.”
—Charles Isherwood from The New York Times

“This is Monty’s story, and Barnett is always in command of the center: sympathetic, charming and just wicked enough, never losing the aud’s interest or affection. That he sings like a dream also helps, and his solo “Sibella” is a haunting standout.”
—Frank Rizzo for Variety

“It wouldn’t work half as well as it does without the innocence of Ken Barnett, a tall, handsome Monty you can’t help but love. The simplicity of his mannerisms and sincerity in his narration make him a charming leading man and a perfect counterpoint to [Jefferson] Mays and his physically quirkier characters. Los Angeles theatregoers will recognize Barnett from his 2011 work in Next Fall at The Geffen and The Taper’s production of Burn This.”
—Ellen Dostal for Broadwayworld.com

“Barnett is tall, sallow, and a bit vampiric, largely playing things straight, despite a wicked gleam in his eye, while surrounded by high comic mayhem. He possesses a strong and nimble voice; Tresnjak has chosen his leading man wisely.”
—Evan Henerson for Backstage

“Is there anything Barnett can’t do, including playing ten roles himself in a 99-seat L.A. production of La Ronde back in 2009 and more recently a man attempting to reconcile being both Christian and gay in Next Fall at the Geffen? And as both of those were straight plays, Barnett’s Broadway-ready pipes may come as a surprise to some, though not to this reviewer, who discovered golden-voiced Barnett in Atlanta The Musical in 2007. Long story short, if Mays is A Gentleman’s Guide To Love And Murder’s dazzling star, Barnett is its secret weapon.”
—Steven Stanley for Stage Scene LA

“Ken Barnett makes Monty the Dorian Gray of musical comedy. If the actor playing him didn’t have Barnett’s elegant Edwardian style, impish appeal, and remarkable voice, at once relaxed and rocket-like, gendarmes would empty the house seats in short shrift. Imagine the Emcee of Cabaret as a whimsical young lad out for a jolly, albeit murderous lark. I can’t either, though Barnett just might pull it off.
—Jeff Smith for the San Diego Reader

“[Mays’] foil is the appealing Ken Barnett, who plays Monty with a cunning blend of the underhanded and the sweetly sincere. For the macabre comedy of “Gentleman’s Guide” to work, Monty has to win sympathy, and Barnett brings it.”
—James Hebert for the San Diego Union-Tribune

“Standouts include Ken Barnett as Monty Navarro, the most lovable murderer you’ll ever meet.”
—Kimberly Cunningham for San Diego Magazine

“The center of the work is Barnett’s delicately balanced Monty. Barnett, who was so fine in last season’s “February House” at Long Wharf Theater, brings a dashing drollness, impeccable comic timing and a beautiful voice to the score, whether he is wooing in “Sibella,” or getting every quick, bright lyric in the many patter songs.”
—Frank Rizzo for the Hartford Courant

WONDERFUL TOWN at the Hirschfeld Theatre on Broadway

“From the rich supporting cast, I choose Ken Barnett (who plays a tour guide, a magazine staffer, a cop and several other roles) as my star of the future; he’s got lots of character personality and the ingratiating comic sense of a young John Astin.”
—Richard Corliss in Time Magazine

TRUE WEST at the Pittsburgh Public Theater

“Preppy Austin, an Ivy League-educated screenwriter, is played to priggy perfection by Ken Barnett.”
—Sally Quinn in Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

“Ken Barnett’s Austin is appropriately passive and even mousy at times throughout the first act until events transpire to turn him into a version of his own brother.  In the second act, Barnett’s character takes off and his performance really shines.  He turns the simple act of making toast into a hilarious art.  He maintains a finely tuned performance throughout.”
—Chris Bondi in The Herald-Standard

MANON/SANDRA at NY Fringe Festival

“The play receives an invaluable boost from the sensational Barnett, who frames Sandra in spectacle but paints her interior with quiet longing and anguish.”
—Stephen Kaliski in nytheatre.com

LA RONDE at HERE/NY Fringe Festival

“You have to give credit to Allyson Weaver (the woman) and Ken Barnett (the man) for pulling off every single character in the play. Yes! That’s right! All ten characters in the play are played by two of the most brilliant actors around. These are dynamic, potent, nonstop, give them Tony nominations, I don’t care if they don’t qualify performances. Barnett is just joy-inducing as he attacks every role, and his “Young Gentleman” and “Poet” are absolute revelations. But when he slows down, as the “Husband”, and uses that lower register of his voice, there is really nothing you could deny him.”
—Montserrat Mendez in nytheatre.com

Only two actors are in the cast, but ten relationships are examined. Alyson Weaver and Ken Barnett flow seamlessly in and out of their roles, with only minor changes of costume to indicate the shifts. With their vocal changes, varied physicality and a strong command of language, these two make a volatile set of lovers no matter what circumstance.
—Katelyn Manfre, Time Out New York

LA RONDE at Zephyr Theatre, LA

“Barnett is convincing as the selfish Soldier and the smooth Count, but he is more fun and hilarious as the Young Gentleman, endlessly primping and trying to seem masterful, and the Poet, desperately seeking praise. He’s a talented comedian, and his high physical energy adds dynamically to the show.”
—Terry Morgan in VARIETY

THE WHORE OF SHERIDAN SQUARE at La Mama

“The cast is nothing short of brilliant, including the scene-stealing Ken Barnett as Jane Evers.”
—Martin Denton in nytheatre.com

“Ken Barnett chews even more scenery as Norma’s devoted servant, Jane Evers, a dead ringer for Jane Twisden from Ludlam’s most popular play, “The Mystery of Irma Vep.”
—Jason Zinoman in New York Times

THE ID AND BOB at the Lillian Theatre

“The highly appealing Barnett makes the most of the lead role as a comic neurotic—sort of a gentile Woody Allen with a preppy flair.”
—Les Spindle in Backstage LA

GLASS MENAGERIE at Delaware Theatre Company

“Ken Barnett speaks the part of Tom with eloquence, especially the poetic narration, and has strong stage presence.”
—Douglas J. Keating in Philadelphia Inquirer

MERRILY WE ROLL ALONG at the Guthrie

“As the composer, Franklin Shepard, the striking Ken Barnett telegraphs unrelenting ambition, with only a flicker of doubt, in singing and acting that are earnestly steadfast.”
—Rohan Preston in Star Tribune

MYTHS + HYMNS at Prince Music Theatre

“Ken Barnett and Maree Johnson make Matthew and Emily’s relationship an affecting one. There is a real feeling of connection between the two and they sing extremely well.”
—Douglas J. Keating in The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Guettel’s melodies are soaring and beautiful but difficult to sing, and they are performed very well, especially by Ken Barnett.”
—Steve Cohen in Philadelphia City Paper

MAME at Paper Mill Playhouse

“The elder Patrick is smoothly defined by Ken Barnett, who brings a brandy-flavored baritone to “My Best Girl.”
—Robert L. Daniels in Variety

HANS CHRISTIAN ANDERSEN at Maine State Music Theatre

“Ken Barnett, as Andersen, deftly communicates both delightful humor and tender disappointment. His acting and his singing are endearing and versatile. He is pure delight, a masterful storyteller, and his vocal talent shines.”
—Maryli Tiemann in The Times Record

“Ken Barnett, known to Maine State Music Theatre audiences from “Little Shop of Horrors” and “Blood Brothers,” is Hans Christian Andersen reincarnate. Lanky and adept on his feet, Barnett is the consummate charmer, whether telling stories to eager children or pining for love. His voice has never been stronger and he’s obviously spreading his wings in the excitement of being in a Maury Yeston world premiere.”
—Dan Marois in The Sun Journal

FUNNY THING HAPPENED…FORUM at Pittsburgh Public Theatre

“As Philia’s lover, Hero, Ken Barnett serves the joke of his repressed upbringing, and he shows a deft hand at playing off the ringside audience.”
—Christopher Rawson in Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

NEXT FALL at the Geffen Playhouse

“Ken Barnett brings intelligence and mystery to the role of a Bible-wielding friend from Luke’s more distant past.”
—Bob Verini in VARIETY

“Betsy Brandt, Ken Barnett, and Lesley Ann Warren portray characters that are somewhat shallow throughout the first act, but as the roles open emotionally during Act II, their true talents surface revealing different shades of compassion and understanding despite fragility.”
—Mia Bonadonna from LAist