The Hero’s Wife
“Mr. Sykes turns in a powerful, moving performance. When he admits, ‘I don’t know how to be in the world,’ and especially when he almost breaks down as he realizes what he has done to his wife, it’s a visceral, heartbreaking moment.” —Manning Harris, Atlanta INTOWN
“Sykes’ powerful physical presence is softened by Cameron’s desire to leave behind the roughness from his military career…. This play leaves no room for awkward or disingenuous connections; Robles and Sykes deliver authenticity.” —Susan Angeline, ATSATL
Angels in America
“A resourceful ensemble of eight actors, each playing several roles, excels…. (Joe Sykes is) … outstanding: Besides truly registering as the tortured Joe, Sykes offers fleeting kicks, too, as the incarnation of a prior Prior Walter, and even a mechanical diorama mannequin.”— Bert Osborne, Atlanta Journal Constitution
In the world premiere of Steve Yockey’s Wolves at Actor’s Express, Joe plays Wolf, who’s pulled into Ben (Clifton Guberman) and Jack’s (Brian Crawford) distructive relationship.
“Sykes affectingly captures the stranger as a lonely guy who feels disillusioned with the singles scene and is reluctant to become part of the roommates’ drama. In a surprisingly brief period, Sykes captures an original, three-dimensional personality, where least expected.” — Curt Holman, Creative Loafing
“A kind of alchemy occurs whenever actor Joe Sykes appears in the work of playwright Steve Yockey. Over nearly a decade of collaboration, Sykes reliably discovers the deepest levels of meaning and implication in Yockey’s scripts, from a cheerful, gay shopkeeper in Dad’s Garage’s Large Animal Games to a swaggering, lethally cool character appropriately called “Rockstar” in Out of Hand Theater’s Cartoon. That old black magic returns with Wolves….” — Curt Holman, Creative Loafing
“…Wolves’ stark simplicity can cut viewers to the quick, but its personalities could support a deeper exploration. Sykes and company would certainly be up for the challenge.” — Curt Holman, Creative Loafing
In the Aurora Theatre production of Bruce Noris’ Clybourne Park, Joe plays the button-down racist Karl and, 50 years later, Steve, a white homebuyer bent on moving into a now trendy black neighborhood.
“This is a fine, award-winning cast. Every actor … is accomplished and at the top of his/her game. For example, this is the best work I’ve ever seen from Joe Sykes; he’s always good, but he takes advantage of this super script and flies.” — Manning Harris, Atlanta INTOWN
The Geller Girls
In the Alliance Theatre production of Janece Shaffer’s The Geller Girls, Joe plays New Yorker Charles Heyman, a handsome provocateur.
“…Sykes is able, particularly in the second act as his involvement with the Gellers grows, to engender understanding for a character that could have been far less interesting in less capable hands than his.” — Evans Donnell ARTS/NASH
In the Actor’s Express production of Next Fall, Joe plays Luke, a wide-eyed innocent with a fundamentalist Christian background.
“Sykes brings out the attractive, easygoing simplicity of Luke — he’s perfectly convincing as he prays over a sandwich. Luke is certain he’s on his way to heaven, so nothing frightens him and he doesn’t sweat the small stuff.
“It’s a credit to both actors (Sykes and Mitchell Anderson as Adam) that we’re able to accept such different characters as a couple at all. Luke is a bit of a dippy hunk, while Adam is a middle-aged nebbish neurotic with a sharp wit. In less capable hands, it would be hard to imagine these two agreeing on a movie to see together, let alone making a relationship work for five years. Anderson and Sykes make the couple natural and believable.” — Andrew Alexander, ARTS/ATL
In Steve Yockey’s disturbing play Pluto at Actor’s Express: “ ‘I am the physical manifestation of death,’ says Death itself, played by Joe Sykes, who actually is the most comforting, assured character in the play.”— Manning Harris, Atlanta INTOWN
“…Pluto has a lot of questions; and you must provide your own answers. In this we are assisted mightily by Director Melissa Foulger and her sensitivity. We are especially in debt to the actors—what a superb cast. Wyatt Fenner (on loan from L.A.) and Kathleen Wattis are so good it hurts. Stephanie Friedman, Joe Sykes, and Alison Hastings are flawless.” — Manning Harris, Atlanta INTOWN
“…as for the coolly mysterious character played by Sykes, a man who speaks in the ministering Orson Welles-like tones of a golden age television personality, let’s just call him the Suave Reaper.” — Wendell Brock, Atlanta Journal-Constitution