"The band is led by vocalist Leah Isabel Tirado...  Her soulful voice helps the Big Payback navigate their ambitious R&B sound." -Rich Albertoni, The Isthmus

"Only Leah Isabel Tirado really grasped the spirit of the thing. Her Roberta is a flamboyant, engaging monstrosity." -Tony Adler, The Chicago Reader

"Fronted by the spicy soulful vocals of Leah Isabel Tirado, TBP is compromised of highly experienced and profoundly innovative artists whose collective sound has earned them award after award after award." -RØkker, Maximum Ink

"Exit plays out these scenarios honestly and subtly; it’s hard not to get affected by it.

This emotion carries the show. Even if you don’t walk out of the theatre with a better understanding of bipolar disorder, you should come away with a better awareness of it and more empathy for those who seem to behave erratically and pull away. 

it grabs your attention from start to finish. This is an audacious and successful beginning for ICU Ensemble, and I look forward to watching them thrive in the Chicago theatre scene." -Keith Glab, Chicago Theatre Beat

"Tirado’s strong and sultry pipes (the best one, the heartbreaker “Romeo Knows,” has the serious potential to send both genders sobbing into their Spotted Cows)."

-Aaron R. Conklin, Isthmus

"This cast puts out. They perform the hell out of Richard O’Brien’s sexy, sci-fi, monster musical. Mere moments into “Science Fiction/Double Feature,” the three saucy Usherettes (Miki Byrne, Jillian Mayer, and Brittany Shock) led by the electric Magenta (Leah Isabel Tirado) entice us like cyberpunk Sirens into the world of Rocky Horror... Riff Raff (Chad Michael) and his sister Magenta’s (Tirado) chemistry throughout the show pulses with such mischief and curious sexuality that I wished there existed a B-story of their relationship."

-Elizabeth Schmeski, Reviews You Can Iews

"In terms of performances, Tirado stands out as alluringly no-nonsense and sultry Victoria St. John. she has a second act number, “You Get Used to It” that is cynically and sexily sold by Tirado."

-Scott C. Morgan, Windy City Times

"The best performance of the evening is, unfortunately, the shortest. Leah Tirado as Van's sister (that's the fuss-budget Lucy) is head and shoulders above the rest. Currently serving time in a mental institution for setting fire to "that little red-headed girl's hair", she does the same thing to the play, bursting into life with a thoroughly manic quality that sets the place alight."

-Bruce G. Bradley, Isthmus

"Tirado wowed me. Somehow both hopeful and hopeless. Fully present but trapped by the past. A masterful study in brokenness. #Fierce. I'm so proud to have her talents and inspiration guiding this production. Her heart and passion make our Civic family stronger."
-Aaron Nichols,
Executive Director at South Bend Civic Theatre

"The most captivating performance comes from Leah Tirado, who shows up in the second half of the show as Van's pyromaniac sister, offering an open ear and keen advice to CB from behind the familiar "Doctor Is In" stand.

Tirado nails her role with a persuasive and seductive charm that would have made Lucy proud. She's comfortable enough to focus on interacting with other characters rather than just performing to the audience."

-Rena Archwamety, 77 Square

"There are good shows, there are great shows, and then there is South Bend Civic Theatre’s “In the Heights, ”  A show that sets the bar for any future production done under the theater’s banner, it already has sold out the entirety of its run.

 

Once the opening song began, it didn’t take long to realize that anyone who didn’t get a ticket for the show’s run, will miss out on something special. 

Anyone who has ever uttered the phrase "it’s just community theater," underestimates what community theater can do and how good it can be.

With “In the Heights,” Civic has set a very high bar for future productions, not just at Civic, but throughout the area."

-Becky Malewitz, South Bend Tribune

"From the opening number I was entranced! Leah Isabel Tirado, the creative genius of this production, is so deserving of the accolades she has received and, I know, will continue to receive. She has created a neighborhood so real and true that I was transported out of South Bend for an amazing 2 hours.

Leah impressively plays and sings the pivotal role of Abuela Claudia. it was Jorge [Rivera-Herrans] and Leah that had me spellbound! Leah's voice was warm and powerful and her touching performance as Abuela Claudia was inspired. Leah embodied the beloved and self-sacrificing elderly matriarch so many of us have in our families. Her relationship with Jorge was so genuine on stage, their bond so obvious to those of us in the audience." 

-Meghan Beard, South Bend Civic Theatre