Chicago Tribune 12/24/14:  Christopher Borrelli's article on Theater Wit's production of Mr. Burns: a post electric-play  and Chris Jones' review of HMS Pinafore

Press Quotes

"Top 10 best theater in Chicago 2021"

--Chicago Tribune on Songs for Nobodies, 2021

"...passionately performed and artfully sung..."

"...with stellar music direction from Andra Velis Simon..."

--Chris Jones, CBS Chicago and Chicago Tribune, on Always, Patsy Cline, 2019

"In the hands of a superb cast and a knockout offstage band (led by Andra Velis Simon), Tesori's... score leaps from playful to profound to haunting to hilarious with an abandon matched only by its precision."

--Time Out Chicago, on Caroline, or Change, 2018

“ ... gifted music director, Andra Velis Simon ...  subtly re-orchestrated the show ...  so that it comes with much more of a bluegrass flavor...  What a killer idea.” 

--Chicago Tribune, on 9 to 5, 2018

“…the balance struck by music director Andra Velis Simon is praiseworthy.” 

--L.A. Times, on Pirates of Penzance, 2018

“NYT Critic’s Pick… The music director, Andra Velis Simon, ensures that you never miss the presence of an orchestra.”

--New York Times, on Pirates of Penzance, 2017

“Applause, too, for the sensational musical direction of conductor/keyboardist Andra Velis Simon… and the all-female band… that rocks it to the rafters…” 

--Chicago Sun-Times, on LIZZIE, 2017

“Andra Velis Simon gave us a gloriously goofy, unapologetically feminist take on a stale, sexist fairytale.” 

--Chicago Magazine’s Best of Chicago Theater, on Cinderella at the Theater of Potatoes, 2016

“Musically there is a lot of ingenuity… Andra Velis Simon’s musical direction makes the troubadour style look deceptively simple.” 

--Washington Post, on Pirates of Penzance and The Mikado, 2016

“The organic way in which the actors become musicians (and vice-versa) makes the efforts of John Doyle… seem tentative by comparison.” 

--Chicago Tribune, on American Idiot, 2015

“… all the actors do double duty as a rather remarkably proficient “orchestra,” under Andra Velis Simon’s inventive music direction… top 5 musicals of the year” 

--San Francisco Chronicle, on Pirates of Penzance, 2015

"Andra Velis Simon’s brilliant adaptation of the score… sounds like a late-night folk festival jam session...”

--LEO Weekly, on Pirates of Penzance at Actors Theatre of Louisville, 2014

“…incorporates many of [Tennessee] Williams’ charming musical suggestions… songs and the singing are lovely…”

--The New Yorker, on Camino Real, 2012

“Tesori’s score is exceptionally well sung… under the musical direction of Andra Velis Simon.” 

--Chicago Tribune, on Violet, 2011

“The deceptively complex score… impeccably realized by music [director] Andra Velis Simon…”   

--Time Out Chicago, on Boojum!, 2010

 “Thanks to Andra Velis Simon's confident musical direction, the songs stay as strong as the story…” 

--Chicago Reader, on 1776, 2008

“Also deserving kudos… music director and pianist Andra Velis Simon for the extraordinary range of moods she is able to evoke.”   

--Newcity, on Songs for a New World, 2007

“…Andra Velis Simon, smoking up the keyboard.”   

--Chicago Free Press, on Songs for a New World, 2007