“Anita” in West Side Story Stratford Shakespeare Festival
"Special mention should also go to Jennifer Rias, whose sultry Anita brims with an appropriate sexiness that makes you almost forget Karen Olivo's fiery, Tony-winning interpretation of the role, the best thing about the New York revival."
- Michael Kuchwara,
"...It was Anita, played by Jennifer Rias, that held the audience captive, as she seemed to embody Rita Moreno’s film performance with a sultry twist of Lena Horne thrown in for good measure. Rias was an ideal Anita as she poured out sensuality in songs like “America” like the bit of honey that sweetly escaped the honey pot. "
- Kindah Mardam Bey,
AnE Vibe, Toronto
"The production has another star in Jennifer Rias as Anita. She’s a sultry firecracker who ignites every scene she is in."
- Rob Reid,, The Record
"And for all their ensemble impact, these dance numbers also showcase individual brilliance, no more so than when the amazing Jennifer Rias — in the role of a gang leader's girlfriend — kicks up her heels with a mesmerizing rendition of America."
- Jamie Portman, Global News
"The statuesque Jennifer Rias is a gently wry Anita, and the Jets and Sharks come in assorted shapes and sizes, with varying personalities to match. "
- Charles Isherwood, New York Times
"Jennifer Rias was a spectacular Anita, combining sultriness and practicality early on and packing a huge emotional punch at Bernardo's death and in the rape scene. "
- Susan de Guardiola, Rixosous
"West Side Story – worthy of the lavish press it has received ... and gasp Jennifer Rias almost stealing the show away as Anita."
- Urban Toronto
"The young men and women sing well and strongly – though only Maria and Anita sound as lovely as opera stars; but they sing to express feelings with unmistakable drive."
- Herbert Simpson, Total Theatre
"Also noteable is the performance of newcomer Jennifer Rias, who brings a perfect blend of sass and sexy to the role of Anita. "
- Bonnie Gropp, North Huron
"Jennifer Rias, besides being the sexiest Anita in memory, also knows how to get the most drama out of her scenes..."
- Richard Ouzounian, Toronto Star
"Certainly Jennifer Rias was wonderfully good as the spirited Anita, girlfriend of Bernardo, and confidante of Maria. She is vivacious and so vibrant as she moves about the stage, creating one of the internal sparks for the production..."
- John Gardiner, CK Times