What the Critics Say…

Cat on a Hot Tin Roof

Kate Donadio MacQueen as Maggie and Joe Sykes as Brick in ‘Cat on a Hot Tin Roof’ at GET. Photo by Dan Carmody

“…the ideal casting of two of Atlanta’s brightest actors in the pivotal roles of Maggie and Brick: Kate Donadio MacQueen and Joe Sykes. And what a difference their terrific performances make in the grand scheme of such well-worn material.

“Whenever MacQueen and Sykes are on stage, this ‘Cat’ sizzles. They work off one another exceedingly well, with a sexual tension that’s palpable and a genuine chemistry….

“Thankfully for the Georgia Ensemble show, great acting is great acting, and Sykes and MacQueen pull it off with a transcending conviction.— Bert Osborne, Atlanta Journal Constitution

Joe Sykes and John Maxwell, Cat on a Hot Tin Roof. Photo by Dan Carmody

“Sykes as Brick does a superior job of making the hopelessly alcoholic Brick a sympathetic character, one who is tortured by the betrayal of both his best friend (for dying – one may presume suicide) and his wife for sleeping with him (if only once).”— Hatcher Hurd, Forsyth Herald.

The Hero’s Wife

Rebeca Robles and Joe Sykes in The Hero’s Wife at Synchronicity Theatrea joint world Premiere with Chicago’s 16th Street Theater. An intimate look at the disturbing effects of war and PTSD, told from a wife’s point of view. By Aline Lathrop; Atlanta production directed by Rachel May. Photos by Jerry Siegel.

“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

In Tony Kushner’s award-winning  Angels in America at Actor’s Express, Joe plays Joe Pitt, a closeted gay man who is Mormon, married and deeply conflicted. Here with Louis Greggory who plays Louis. (Below with Cara Mantella who plays Harper.) Photos by Casey Gardner

“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


Wolves. Photo by BreeAnne Clowdus

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. Photos by BreeAnne Clowdus.

“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

Clybourne Park

Clybourne Park. Photo by Chris Bartelski

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

Joe Sykes as Charles Heyman with Ann Marie Gideon as Lousia Geller. Below with Mark Cabus. Photos by Jeff Roffman.

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

Next Fall

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

unspecified-17…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