SAM COOKE: FOREVER MR. SOUL
Lawrence Stallings makes a magical Cooke. He's tall, handsome and earnest, but most importantly captures Cooke's distinctive velvety tones with conviction. Stallings' performance is more than a tribute or an impression; he presents a genuine soul, whose talent and tragedies make us want to read Peter Guralnick's biography Dream Boogie: The Triumph of Sam Cooke (Ramsey's inspiration) and listen to Cooke's recordings.
-Mark Cofta / Philadelphia City Paper
A mark of the late Cooke's singing was its natural quality; his vocals seemed effortless. Stallings, who has a lot of energy and a full complement of stage personality, sounds much like Cooke when he sings.
“As soon as Stallings steps on the stage we’re hooked, and for 90 minutes he delights us with his varied tunes, his smooth movements, his humor, and his soul. This man is charismatic… he moves about the stage with grace, energy, and rhythm…he is as fun to look at as listen to…as one woman said upon leaving ‘I can’t find a single thing wrong with this guy he was something else!’, I agree”
-Julie McHale / TimeOut Theater
“…And the actor playing the legendary performer, Lawrence Stallings, skillfully embodies the emotion and honey smooth tones of the singer…has a natural easy style and flow to his performance and we quickly believe him as the character of Sam Cooke, whether it’s the angelic crooning of ‘Teenage Sonata’ or the sexual overtones of ‘Little Red Rooster’. He has all the moves down and ‘dirty’ at the appropriate moments."
-Harry Cherkinian /Shephard Express
“Stalling creates a warm, likeable, multidimensional character in the role of Cooke…Stallings finds the emotional depth in the stirring songs…he delivers all of them with the polish and dignity that were part of Cooke’s style…the material sits comfortably in Stallings’ vocal and stylistic range.”
-Elaine Schmidt /The Journal Sentinal
FROM MY HOMETOWN
"The three leads dazzle, especially Lawrence Stallings's Detroit, whose rich Falsetto and well earned cockiness kept Jolting me back to attention. All three [leads] sing and dance well, but only Stallings has grit in the spirit of the original songs."
" While the three-part vocals produce the most excitement, each actor gets a few solo shots. My personal favorite is Lawrence Stallings' riveting delivery of 'Oh Girl'...and Lawrence Stallings plays Detroit's puffed-up swagger with just enough exaggeration to earn some laughs without cheapening the material."
-The Kansas City Star