photo by Allen Weeks
Jesse Howard
Penumbra Theatre

“Jon-Michael Reese is flat-out spectacular as Jesse. Reese delivers Rivers’ rhythmic barbs with aplomb. (When Neil says, “You’re twisting my words,” Jesse counters, “This is a fight. We are fighting. Of course I’m twisting your words.”) But Jesse is no I-laugh-to-keep-from-crying cliché because Reese smoothly finesses the play’s tricky shifts of scene and mood.”
Chris Hewitt, Star Tribune

“Fanshaw and Reese constitute the play’s entire cast, and they’re onstage together for almost the entire 90-minute running time. Their trust and intimacy is central to the play, all the more so given that their characters’ partnership is rife with conflict. Reese has a perfect bead on Jesse, whose sharp sarcasm comes with just enough smile to soften the blow—when he wants to.”
Jay Gabler, City Pages

“When words fail, the two men find one another again through physical intimacy. The acting throughout is amazing. Through Rivers’ writing, Neil and Jesse come across as fully realized individuals whose lives, emotions, and attachments seem more real than our own.”

“Rivers' script presents characters who speak thoughtfully and disagree articulately, whether about the value of public protests or about issues facing their relationship. Fanshaw plays the more openly demonstrative Neil with a great deal of sweetness and earnestness. Playwright Jesse is more self-contained, and Reese deftly indicates the simmering resentment behind Jesse's flippant manner. The two actors create an achingly real relationship with highs and lows that brought me to tears.” 
Jules, MN Theater Love

“There are only two actors to carry this show, and they are perfectly cast. Jon-Michael Reese is simultaneously complex and layered as Jesse. His role equally explores diversity in racial advocacy - not all black people agree with or are involved in BLM, and they certainly don't need to be admonished on the experience of living as people of color under American racism. Reese's deft navigation of this conversation, which is subtle and hard and vital, completes a complex picture of this relationship. Above all, Fanshaw and Reese share a tenacious chemistry that is the cornerstone of all long-lived interracial relationships. I was floored by their impactful performances. There's a lot for anyone to learn here, and I thoroughly appreciate their refined acting.”
Becki Iverson, Compendium MPLS


Thomas Edison
Adirondak Theatre Festival

“As the dramatic duels between rivals — Thomas Edison, brilliantly played by Jon-Michael Reese, and Nikola Tesla, intimately played by Isaac Powell — explode in “Nikola Tesla Drops the Beat,” these inventors breathe.”
Kathleen Phalen-Tomaselli, PostStar

“Also excellent is Jon-Michael Reese as he creates a super cool street smart and ruthless Edison.  Reese radiates confidence and sleaze simultaneously and is captivating in every scene.”
Bob Goepfert, WAMC Northeast Public Radio

“Reese’s Edison is not your textbook Edison, but Edison as seen through the lens of a millennial – a showboat, a rockstar of his era, and a dangerous man to cross. Reese’s energy and physicality were unparalleled.”
Amy Durant, TheAlt


Theatre Latté Da

“Jon-Michael Reese offers a standout performance, playing an understanding and long-suffering padre with grace and humor. He also makes the lilting, haunting song “To Each His Dulcinea,” a small gem of discovered truths.”
Dominic Papatola, Pioneer Press

“Jon-Michael Reese provides some much-needed comedic relief as the Padre, hilariously mediating a scene at the confessional and showing empathy for Don Quixote's plight when others are only ready to laugh.”
Becki Iverson, Compendium MPLS 

“Jon-Michael Reese’s facial expressions as the Padre are priceless.”
Bev Wolfe, Twin Cities Arts

“It’s not all gloom in La Mancha, though, thanks to on-point character acting by the entire ensemble—notably Jon-Michael Reese as an amusingly reluctant Padre. With Reese flanked by McKinnley Aitchison’s Antonia and Sara Ochs’ Housekeeper, “I’m Only Thinking of Him” is so entertaining that you can almost miss the pristine quality of the trio’s singing.”
Jay Gabler, City Pages

“The cast, as a whole, are marvelous. In a fantastically strong cast, Jon-Michael Reese (as Paco/The Padre) is a standout. His voice is clear and beautiful, and I hope to see him in many more productions.”
Jules, MN Theater Love


Edward Adu
Village Theatre

“As Efua, Claudine Mboligikpelani Nako is natural and she carries the heavy load on this production. She is ably matched by Jon-Michael Reese, as the clumsy but endearing and funny Edward Adu. The pair mesh idyllically as a couple.”
David-Edward Hughes, Queer Space Magazine

“Jon-Michael Reese practically steals the show as Efua's intended, Edward, with his killer voice and hilarious comedic timing and expressions.”
Jay Irwin, BroadwayWorld


Seaweed Stubbs
Drury Lane

“All of the other familiar comic characters are executed with verve ... Jon-Michael Reese's Seaweed is stellar.”
Chris Jones, Chicago Tribune

“A charismatic and triple threat performer, Jon-Michael Reese nails "Run and Tell That," and The New York based recent graduate of Carnegie Mellon University has a real sexual energy as well in his scenes with the talented Chicago comic actress Rebecca Pink as Penny.”
John Olson, Talkin’ Broadway

“Jon-Michael Reese sings and dances up a storm as Seaweed.”
Dan Zeff, Stage and Cinema

“Tracy bonds with her fellow students in detention hall: among them the super-charged dancer Seaweed J. Stubbs (the droll, marvelously elastic Jon-Michael Reese).”
Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times

“When it comes to the dancing, hands down (and feet to the floor) it's Jon-Michael Reese as Seaweed J. Stubbs who rates both as a dancer and also as a natural acting talent.”
Philip Potempa, NWI Times


when last we flew
Lucille Lortel

“The seven-person cast, under Colette Robert's superb direction, could not be bettered. Jon-Michael Reese is an impossibly appealing Paul.”
Erik Haagensen, Backstage

“The young cast does generally excellent work: Jon-Michael Reese as a black Kansan teenager obsessed with Kushner's epic,..”
Adam Feldman, Time Out

“Paul has sequestered himself in the safety of his bathroom to read, have sexual fantasies, masturbate and ruminate on his angst ridden life. Mr. Reese gives a believable, honest and compassionate performance.”
Oscar E Moore,