-Gambit Weekly, November 2016
Cecile Monteyne is at the center of every scene. An admitted admirer of “big” acting – bravura, over-the-top, call it what you will – it’s taken me awhile to appreciate what the NOLA Project’s de facto leading lady does: Accrete size, and force, by layering one carefully chosen and subtle choice atop another, until the effect is the same as if she’d just let ‘er rip. (Even in her “mad scene” solo Monteyne doesn’t let it rip, delivering most of her lines to herself rather than to the room.) It’s an acting style that on paper sounds more suited for film, but it’s been powerful every time I’ve seen it. Let me put it more simply. No actor has ever aged twenty years before my eyes more believably.
Cecile Monteyne's performance in the title role takes on an unexpected depth. A fine comic actress, she enlivens the role as the flighty party girl with a giggly verve. Exuding a sense of entitlement, Monteyne's Marie also slowly reveals that bored ennui, not able to realize her unspoken desire to have a more purposeful life. The most striking aspect of "Marie Antoinette" is watching Monteyne's transformation to the more mature queen, recognizing the life-threatening danger that she and her family face as the revolutionary fervor grows. Monteyne especially captures the character's frustration – she's no dummy but has never been given the tools to realize any potential. Monteyne gives this more thoughtful Marie an interior dignity, recognizing that she was built for this role as a pretty butterfly, a trite mannequin caged in by her own celebrity and the public's image of her, whether true or not.
In an excellent performance, Monteyne delivers a slow burn, going from a seemingly vapid teen queen to a humiliated but resilient figure. There's a hypnotic quality to Monteyne's presence as she transforms from out-of-touch queen to a vulnerable woman who can no longer control her life.
Wonderful work by Monteyne.
Best Actress in a Play, honorable mention
CAT ON A HOT TIN ROOF
At the centerpiece is a brilliant performance by Cecile Monteyne as Maggie, who is struggling to save her marriage (not to mention her security) to Brick, the former college football star now more infatuated with the bottle than her body. A lithe beauty, Monteyne sleekly earns her title as Maggie the Cat with every graceful feline move she makes. She’s a Southern woman who is such an inherent flirt that she exudes sultriness, along with a playful sense of humor, even in fits of anger. Monteyne also conveys the fact that Maggie was once a poor girl. Having married well, her determination to hold on to what’s hers is fierce.
As Maggie, Monteyne delivered a commanding performance, exuding sensuality, humor and some craziness. It was a joy to watch Monteyne work through Maggie's range of emotions.
Actress Cecile Monteyne is the perfect, desperate embodiment of Maggie.
Best Actress in a Play, winner
Best Actress in a Drama, nominated
Cecile Monteyne handles the most difficult transformation of the play with an effective performance as Olivia. She goes from the coldly aloof object of Orsino’s pursuit, to the flirtatiously aggressive girl wooing Viola, under the guise of Cesario. Monteyne also elicits more direct laughs herself than we usually see from Olivia.
Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy, nominated.
Margot is played with heartaching precision by Cecile Monteyne. While she begins as the leader, and is wary of Jake as being a “poser,” she soon softens to him, and perhaps even to herself. In a nicely layered performance, Monteyne reveals that Margot’s own fears and desires are what lead her to putting on her mask.
As grunge kids, Monteyne and Neher are pitch-perfect. Monteyne is the epitome of a diehard Nirvana fan. Her comedic timing is impressive and she’s able to balance wild-eyed teen exuberance and acerbic delivery. Margot’s boldness is mostly a facade, however, and some of Monteyne’s best moments come when Margot’s vulnerability emerges.
Inside the Arts: NOLA Project's Shiner
Song of a Man Coming Through
As the paralegal assisting the two lawyers, Cecile Monteyne serves as the bridge into this legal world for the audience, both as technical guide and representative of our emotional reaction to the case. She is uncertain of how close she dare allow herself to get, before the realization of just how all-encompassing such a struggle can be. Monteyne deeply expresses the life-changing affects of such an ordeal.
Best Ensemble, winner.
- NOLA.com Theater Awards, 2015
La Concierge Solitaire
"La Concierge Solitaire” is set in a hotel and features a wide-ranging cast: Cecile Monteyne, Cecile Monteyne, Cecile Monteyne and Cecile Monteyne. “La Concierge Solitaire” is a one-woman show that soars in its flights of fancy through Monteyne’s graceful performance — or, more correctly, her multitude of performances. In her portrayal of the concierge — and subsequent development of all the other characters moving through the hotel — Monteyne brings both a sense of mystery and screwball comedy to the stage, along with the wry sentiment of a Preston Sturges tale. She becomes a majordomo, a keeper of secrets, a procurer, a co-conspirator, a confessor — fulfilling whatever role with nervous efficiency and a watchful twinkle in her eye.With Monteyne’s captivating charm and crackerjack performance, audiences will certainly enjoy an evening’s lodgings under the care of this concierge.
Monteyne is a comedic force who seamlessly transforms from the hotel owner’s extravagant and out-of-touch wife to an explorer just returned from an archeological dig in Mexico. In one moment, she’s a French actress, and in the next a maid from New Jersey. The characters have conversations with each other, and Monteyne fills the stage with life and energy. With a raised eyebrow here and some linguistic flourishes there, she carries the one-person show brilliantly.
Cecile Monteyne, continues her high-caliber work in New Orleans, including the recent work of the improv duo machine A. Her precision in physical technique becomes the necessary cornerstone for a show that demands over seven characters from one performer. Monteyne beautifully manages the cast with a distinct vocalization and physicality for her characters, and merges conversations between and among them with a choreography that pleases and impresses.
You Don't Know the Half of It
Cecile Monteyne is so talented, she can make New Orleans laugh without saying a word. How? By getting others to fake it. For four years, Monteyne — arguably the Crescent City’s most versatile actress — has been the driving force behind the bizarro sketch comedy show “You Don’t Know the Half of It.”
Top 5 TV comedy shows that inspired New Orleans actor Cecile Monteyne, host of 'You Don't Know the Half of It'
Inside The Arts: 'You Don’t Know The Half Of It' Serves Up Belly Laughs At Le Petit.