Mrs. Allonby in Oscar Wilde's A Woman of No Importance
On the Razzle, TheatreWorks, Palo Alto
"Best of all, though, is Leyla Modir as Leah. The young actress making her Chicago debut is like an Ellis Island photograph come to life. She lights up the stage with a truth and vibrance that instantly encapsulate the American Dream." Hedy Weiss, Chicago Sun Times "The Immigrant" at Wisdom Bridge Theatre
"Leyla Modir, looking a bit like Carol Kane in Hester Street, is instantly endearing, her Leah both bashful and forthright, resourceful and idealistic." Windy City Times "The Immigrant"
"Leyla Modir's Leah is pixie-like with her huge eyes and with her slightly embarrassed/utterly trusting manner it's Carol Kane she recalls." The Reader "The Immigrant"
"Leyla Modir is a winner as the immigrant wife." Chicago Tribune
Some of my favorite shows happened at Seattle's Group Theatre. When I was 27 years old, I had the opportunity to play 15 year old Angela in Roosters. In La Bete, I played a mono-syllabic maid named Dorine (one of my all time favorite parts). And in Undesirable Elements, I met Ping Chong with whom I would collaborate for many years to come.
"Hector's sister Angela practically steals the show...played by a very talented, completely believable and supremely comical Leyla Modirzadeh." Russ Abel, Queen Anne Times, Seattle "Roosters" at the Group Theatre
"Leyla Modirzadeh skillfully adds humor as the 15 year old daughter." The Stranger, Seattle "Roosters"
"Actress Leyla Modirzadeh captures Angela's calloused piety perfectly." Seattle Times "Roosters"
"Leyla Modirzadeh plays Angela with a knowing innocence as an entirely appealing eccentric." Tacoma News Tribune "Roosters"
"Angela, played here very skillfully by Leyla Modirzadeh." Seattle Weekly "Roosters"
Undesirable Elements, below, directed by Ping Chong
"Still, the production had its shining moments. A Persian song by Leyla Modirzadeh arrested our attention. Though the audience couldn't discern the words, we understood the feeling. Modirzadeh has spent her life shuffling to and from places like Durham, N.C., Montpellier, France, Tehran, Iran, and San Jose, California - in that order. She is a product of Russian, Irish, and Iranian blood. As she sang, her face took on a faraway look. It was as if her body had dispossessed itself and was roaming the earth in search of a home. Her voice transmitted a yearning a sweetness that is hard to put into words. If 'Undesirable Elements' only had more moments like this, when culture was manifest in its truest and purest form, the production would have fulfilled its promise." Seattle Examiner, "Undesirable Elements"
Film still from Long Journey Home