BACK STAGE
Roy Sander 13 November 1998

When I reviewed Raven Snook's show last year, I praised it for being highly singular, very entertaining, and as funny and likable as the lady herself; however I criticized her bombastic singing. I'm delighted to report that her recent show at Don't Tell Mama had all the good qualities of her earlier offering, but her singing was controlled, modulated, and much more effective. Though she should continue to work on her instrument, the biggest issue is whether she should continue doing explicitly autobiographical shows, or whether she should move on, allowing her background and persona to inform her choices and interpretation, but not making them the central theme.

The New York Post
Chip Deffaa ( The BAD Review )

Sometime I'd like to give Raven Snook another chance. She's got a decent voice, intriguing song selections, and personality. But when I went to see her the other night, she ultimately lost me. Her act began promisingly. She successfully mixed material by songwriters from both contemporary popular music (Janis Ian's "At Seventeen", Lou Reed's "Walk on the Wild Side") and musical theatre (Jule Styne, Betty Comden and Adolph Green's "If", William Finn's "Love Me For What I Am"). She speaks in a breezy, flippant, mildly amusing manner. (Think John Cameron Mitchell as Hedwig -- but without the essential, razor-sharp edge which that compelling performer has.) After feeling like an outcast growing up, she finally found acceptance among drag queens. She calls herself "a drag queen trapped in a woman's body." Good enough. But then she casually mentioned how one friend died of an overdose, another succumbed to AIDS, another committed suicide. She used their deaths as a springboard into her next, strongly rendered song, Bill Russell's "Angels, Punks and Raging Queens." That could have been a moment of real drama, but I felt offended by the glibness with which she went from banter to dropping names of friends who'd died. Their deaths seemed cheapened by being used seemingly as props to set up a song. We were supposed to feel moved; I felt manipulated. Snook may well be sincere. But the moment did not feel right. I admired some of her singing. She handled the demanding "Rose's Turn" with surprising aplomb for a twentysomething. (I also like her unusual, generous policy of reducing the $10 cover to $6 for any self-proclaimed "starving artist.") But if she's thinking of referring to friends who've died, she can't do it in a shallow, superficial manner; that turned me off. Either make us really see those people and feel for their loss, or keep their deaths private and out of the act.

Time Out New York
29 October 1998

Raven Snook, a nice Jewish girl, finally found herself in the high-glam world of drag queens. Snook was the first biological female to sing at Lucky Cheng's. Now the self-described Empress of Glamour takes to the stage to explain her life as "a drag queen trapped in a woman's body." She's got the attitude and look, a powerful presence and strong voice.

Cabaret Hotline
28 June 1998

The Continuing Saga of a Drag Queen Trapped in a Woman's Body. Raven is a child of the 80's and was a regular on the downtown scene of that era - "The Rocky Horror Picture Show" at the 8th Street Playhouse, Max's Kansas City, The Pyramid Club, and other East Village hangouts, etc. I was living on St. Marks place in the Village at that time, and her show brought back all of those memories of a wild and yet somehow innocent time. After the show I had a chance to chat with her about the Village in the 80's, and the recollection was refreshing, yet sad. So many of my friends of that era are no longer with us. This was the first time I had seen this performer, although I had met her several times without the makeup and backup singers. Believe me, she is as delightful on stage as off.

NEXT Magazine
12 December 1997

How I Became a Drag Queen Trapped in a Woman's Body - Along with real breasts, a uterus, and a free lifetime's supply of estrogen, Raven Snook has a few other advantages over the run-of-the-mill drag queen. What are they? Well wouldn't you like to know... 19 June 1998 The Continuing Saga of a Drag Queen Trapped in a Woman's Body - Raven Snook is back in her all-new autobiographical extravaganza. In addition to crooning familiar Styne and Sondheim tunes, Ms. Snook also sings songs by Adam and the Ants, the B52s and the Clash.

BACK STAGE
Roy Sander 7 November 1997

Before I saw Raven Snook's show "Divalution" at Don't Tell Mama, I thought that its sub-title, "How I Became a Drag Queen Trapped in a Woman's Body," was probably a contrivance aimed at attracting an audience. But on the contrary, it was an honest description of her persona: a woman who has spent much of her young life in the company of people who march to unconventional drummers, and who has fashioned herself into who she feels comfortable being. As a result, this autobiographical show, which was directed by Leonard Jacobs and musical-directed by Fran Minarik, was highly singular, very entertaining and as funny and likable as the lady, herself The problems lay in Snook's vocal approach. Song after song was blasted, as though she mistook volume for passion, and explosiveness for drama-thereby defeating any chance of poignancy, nuance, or emotion. What's more, this made her voice uncomfortably shrill and off pitch. How much better it was when at the end of the evening she did a quiet, heartfelt rendition of "Bein' Green."

WRTN 93.5FM
10 October 1997

This week I can direct our listeners to a number of quality acts. Starting off on an outre note, Don't Tell Mama welcomes back Raven Snook...her real name I'll have you know. Raven is presenting a new version of her show "How I Became A Drag Queen Trapped in a Woman's Body." She's got solid blues-influenced vocals to match her anarchic wit and she can work a boa like nobody's business.

WVOX 1460AM
13 June 1997

And I've got a new name to popularize with our listeners: Raven Snook, you ought to be able to remember that one, and you should. This is a sharp, fresh, rudely imaginative talent. Her show is entitled "Divalution" which she describes as the saga of a drag queen trapped in a woman's body. I'll let you all ponder the potential there. Imagine Bette Midler without the self-congratulatory B.S. and you've got a good picture of this performer. Her voice is a gem too.

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