Barkhimer and Plum achieve something remarkable: they manage to show us this couple’s love and passion for each other, twisted and buried as it is beneath the rubble of so much contempt.
"As Willy Loman, Ken Baltin in the opening scene shuffles wearily into the kitchen, a man zero-to-the-bone, dropping his suitcases if they were blocks of cement. But it is Paula Plum’s Linda who supplies the startling complimentary image. After she bucks Willy up he leaves the bedroom and, in this moment of solitude, the actress’ face sinks and sags, her soul drooping out of sheer fatigue. Her reaction is a reminder that Miller’s play is not only about how much futile energy it takes to dream away a life as a salesman …it is also about how much life is drained from others to make a man who is no longer (perhaps never was) well liked feel well liked.
That brilliantly nuanced moment from Plum provides the key to the strengths and the weaknesses of the production, which is firmly anchored in two powerful performances.
Plum’s Linda is no wilting helpmate, but tigerish when she needs to be, as when she orders sons Happy and Biff out of the house after they have abandoned their father. You sense that she is torn apart, but Plum suggests that Linda also finds release in the confrontation – she revels in a rare moment of telling the truth and acting on her repugnance. Linda’s final speech over Willy’s grave is filled with a wondering tone that not only questions why her husband committed suicide, but seems to ask, wistfully, what 'free and clear' means in a society whose brutal wheels are greased by false promises and endless competition. Men and women encouraged to dream big but forced to settle for so little."
"Rudnick runs right to the goalpost with this spoof and Paula Plum scores a ninety-nine yard touchdown as the self-proclaimed 'best mother' in the world."
"The opening sequence with Helene is bright and blatant as the Jewish Mom from Massapequa dishes with the best of them. Rudnick has written what could almost be called a stand-up routine. It's very tight, and thanks to Paula Plum's talents, it's expertly delivered, beautifully paced, and laugh-out-loud funny. And it's a great way to start the evening."
“Beloved local diva Paula Plum brings both vulnerability and a prizefighter’s punch to... the badgering but at least outraged and humane Abby.”
“For more than a decade, Plum has been one of Boston’s most versatile and hardest-working actresses and this is one of the best performances she has given. Plum’s performance as the 40-ish coolly analytical, icily ironic and sexually torrid Abby is a masterly example of making the difficult look easy.”
“Plum is one of the most accomplished actresses in Boston, and she brings real pain and a haggard decency to Abby…”
“Plum shows she’s a resourceful actress with a command for the withering one-liner.”
“Amanda is played by one of Boston’s best actresses, Paula Plum.”
“Plum sparkles in devilish comedy... Plum balances breezy with brittle and the sweetly sentimental with the smart and sharp. Whether her Amanda is peering up innocently to deliver a saucy retort, waving her swanlike arms to make a point or going full tilt in an argument with Elyot, Plum dominates the stage.”
“This Private Lives… includes ... a side-splitting turn from the amazing Paula Plum.”
“Solo Plum: Powerful, Funny, and Touching - What makes Plum so successful is than not only is she able to become totally different characters, but that she is able to bring across the humanity in each of them.”
“Paula Plum is a Boston Treasure.”
“...there is palpable greatness at work here, and her name is Paula Plum ...touches the fires of creation.”
“The proof is in the tasty ‘Plum Pudding’ - The final piece, ‘Sidekick’ gives us Plum’s most breathtaking transformation… she plays a male teenager… But Plum goes beyond our astonishment at how well she impersonates a guy... she creates an eccentric and endearing character.”
“Plum’s performance sharpens WIT - Paula Plum is perfect for this part and from her first moment on stage, she’s got us.”
“Plum gives stunning performance in WIT - what makes this production so moving is Plum’s beautifully modulated performance.”
“Paula Plum has turned in so many rightly acclaimed performances over the years that it’s become a commonplace to call her one of Boston’s best actors… With ‘Memorial’, a haunting one-woman show ... she proves she’s a top-rate writer as well. ...As both writer and actor, Plum shows remarkable range…”
-Anne Marie Donahue
“A sold-out house on Saturday night held its collective breath at Paula Plum’s tour de force portrayal of all the roles in the her Holocaust vignette, ‘Memorial’ ...Plum adds convincing skill as a writer to her reputation as Boston theater’s leading lady.”
“Faith Healer: A beautiful cast of Paul O’Brien, Paula Plum and Will LeBow footed Brian Friel’s modern-day Rashomon.”