Austin Ku


My Performer Website

  • May-Jun 2018: World Premiere of Soft Power, the new David Henry Hwang/Jeanine Tesori "play with a musical" (Bobby Bob/Ju Ming - supporting) for Center Theatre Group - Ahmanson Theatre, Los Angeles

"...terrific supporting work done by ... an especially snaps-worthy Ku's irresistible Bobby Bob"

--Stephen Stanley, STAGESCENE LA (05/16/2018), full review here 

Read Charles McNulty's great review ("Big, bold, overly complicated and spectacularly unique") for the LA TIMES (05/16/2018) here
Read Maureen Lee Lenker's lovely review ("a beautiful, provocative, profound, messy creation" : B+ rating) for ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY (05/17/2018) here
Read Jordan Reife's positive review ("
Soft Power might be the most creatively and intellectually ambitious musical of the year") for THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (05/17/2018) here


  • Apr-Jun 2017: Off-Broadway Revival of Pacific Overtures (The Boy in the Tree, British Admiral, Lead Sailor), directed by John Doyle, at Classic Stage Company - NYC - NY Times Critic's Pick!

"Most of all, the numbers astonish with their narrative nimbleness. In "Please Hello," the United States and four cartoon European powers clamor for trade rights, each in an apt musical style: a Gilbert and Sullivan patter song for Britain [Austin Ku], a cancan for France [Ann Harada]. In "Someone in a Tree," the fateful meeting between the Japanese and the Americans is recalled years later by a soldier [Kelvin Moon Loh] who lay under the floorboards of the treaty house (and could hear but not see what was going on) and a boy [also Austin Ku] looking down through the eaves (who could see but could not hear)."

--Jesse Green, NY TIMES (05/04/17), full review here - NY Times Critic's Pick!

"Standing out among the others are Thom Sesma, as the Lord and the Old Man (in the Tree); Steven Eng as Kayama; Austin Ku as the Boy (in the Tree) and one of the "Pretty Lady" serenaders; and Ann Harada as the Madam and the French Admiral."

--Steven Suskin, HUFFINGTON POST (05/04/17), full review here

"Still, there are some standouts. Like Thom Sesma as the old man and Austin Ku as the young boy who remember ("Someone in a Tree") spying on the historic moment when Admiral Perry landed on Japanese soil.

--Marilyn Stasio, VARIETY (05/04/17), full review here

* Made #5 on Variety's "10 Best New York Theater Productions of 2017" list!
* Made #10 on The Hollywood Reporter's "The Best New York Theater of 2017" list!
* Made Buzzfeed's "The 19 Best Plays and Musicals on 2017" list (alphabetical order)

"'Someone in a Tree' ... is thrillingly performed by Thom Sesma as the old man, Austin Ku as his younger self, and Kelvin Moon Loh as a warrior in hiding..."
"The liveliest, most traditional musical comedy moment in the show comes with 'Please, Hello'... Ku handles in nimble fashion the Gilbert and Sullivan-like patter of the Brit, while Ann Harada finds delicious comedy in playing the jaunty French admiral."

--Musical Theatre Review (05/07/17, 5 out of 5 stars), full review here

The show's perfect gem is 'Someone in a Tree', sung by a character referred to as Old Man (Thom Sesma) in a duet with his younger 10-year old self (Austin Ku)."

--Howard Miller, Talkin' Broadway (05/04/17), full review here

"Beautifully sung by the entire cast (though Kelvin Moon Loh and Austin Ku have some really standout solo moments)"

--Michael Hillyer, for (05/04/17, 4 out of 5 stars), full review here


"Ku wears an aura of serenity and dignity as his tragic story unfolds."

--Gail Obenreder, Delaware Online/The News Journal - Wilmington (01/26/2017), full review here

  • Fall 2016: The world premiere of new multimedia concept musical In My Body at the Prince Theater - Philadelphia, PA


"Austin Ku ... was an expert storyteller. He made me laugh and broke my heart"

--Madeline Marshall, DC Metro Theater Arts (11/11/2016), full review HERE

Read David Fox's lovely review (entertaining--until suddenly, it's more than that") for Philadelphia Magazine (11/10/2016) HERE
Read Toby Zinman's lovely review ("a lively, enjoyable evening") for Broad Street Review (11/11/2016) HERE
Check out some snippets from the show and a brief interview with the creatives on NBC Philadelphia by clicking HERE

  • Spring 2016 (nationwide theatrical release): Creative Control feature film (Teddy/supporting) - now on DVD & Streaming

Click HERE to read Shaina Moskowitz's coverage of the NYC Premiere March 3 for (03/06/16)
Click HERE to read Jordan Hoffman's excellent review (4 out of 5 stars) for The Guardian (03/10/16)

Creative Control makes Entertainment Weekly's "Top Ten Things We Love" for the week of March 11
(Read Chris Nashawaty's "B+" review for Entertainment Weekly HERE)

Creative Control
gets an overall "fresh" critical rating on, and a whopping 80% audience approval!

Scroll down to March 2015 for more press and reviews of Creative Control from SXSW Film Festival 2015, from which the film was acquired by Amazon Studios!


  • Fall 2015 (nationwide theatrical release): Sleeping With Other People feature film (Pho Grand Waiter/principal) - now on DVD & Streaming

Here is the Entertainment Weekly review (09/08/2015, "a smart, flawed movie about smart, flawed people") 
Here is the Rolling Stone review (09/09/2015, "hits the sweet spot between hot and hilarious")
Here is a review from Awards Circuit (09/09/2015, "in my Top Ten for the year right now")
Scroll down for more reviews of Sleeping With Other People from Sundance Film Festival 2015, Tribeca Film Festival 2015, etc.

  • September-October 2015: Iphigenia in Aulis (Greek Chorus, soloist) at Classic Stage Company - Off-Broadway, NYC

Here is a lovely review (4 out of 5 stars) from The Guardian (09/17/15)


"The higher-voiced romantic Austin Ku as Dumain [sic] nicely matches the playful Kristen Kittel as Katherine"

--Ronni Reich, The NJ Star-Ledger (06/30/15), full review here

Read the wonderful NY Times review ("an exceptional production ... I highly recommend") here (07/03/15)
Read the wonderful BroadwayWorld review ("a delight ... pure pleasure") here
Read more wonderful reviews from the (6/26), NJ Arts (6/26), TAPintoWarren (07/01), and (07/08)


Exciting news: IFC Films has acquired Sleeping With Other People! Read the news in Variety (02/05/15), and other news sources -- will be playing in theaters Fall 2015!

SWOP was listed as one of the Phoenix New Times' 10 must-see movies of the Phoenix Film Festival
SWOP was listed as one of Business Insider's 8 movies you need to see at the Tribeca Film Festival
SWOP was listed as one of TimeOut's 15 best movies to see at the Tribeca Film Festival
SWOP was runner-up for the Audience Award for Narrative Feature at the Tribeca Film Festival!

Here's a lovely review of the SWOP Tribeca showing in Forbes (4/22); and here's another one on Den of Geeks (4/22)

Creative Control won one of the top awards at SXSW 2015, the Special Jury Prize for Visual Excellence! (03/17/15), and was picked up for international sales by the Coproduction Office (Paris).

UPDATE October 2015: Creative Control has been acquired for theatrical and video release by Amazon!
Check out the press releases on Variety and Indiewire!

Check out some great press for Creative Control at SXSW (03/13/15-03/18/15): Indiewire review ("A" rating!),  Variety review, MxDwn review, FilmPulse review ("this one isn't to be missed"), Austin Chronicle review, Austin360 review, and Austin indie blog Screen Spirit review ("8 out of 10" rating)

Creative Control made several "must-see" lists for SXSW: Indiewire's "10 Must-See Films" (03/09/15), Rolling Stone's "15 Must-See Movies" (03/09/15), Vogue's "Ten Things You Shouldn't Miss" (03/11/15), TimeOut New York's "15 Must-See Movies" (03/11/15), and FlavorWire's "15 Movies We Can't Wait to See" (03/13/15)!

  • January 2015: Sleeping With Other People feature film (Pho Grand Waiter/principal) at Sundance Film Festival - Park City, UT


Exciting news: IFC Films has acquired Sleeping With Other People! Read the news in Variety (02/05/15), and other news sources -- playing in theaters Fall 2015!

Read some great reviews of Sleeping With Other People (01/25/15): IndieWire review (B+), Collider review (B; "romantic comedy with an edge that will leave you laughing very, very hard"), and The Hollywood Reporter review, and the Crave review (9 out of 10)


"Rarely have we seen the force of nature that is mother protecting child so well portrayed as when Kim fights for Tam — against the powerful Thuy [Austin Ku], the conniving Engineer and even Chris's wife, Ellen."

--Bill Moss, Henderson Lightning (07/27/14), full review

"Thuy [Austin Ku] is a powerful commissar"

--Katie Winkler, Henderson Times-News online (07/28/14), full review HERE

  • June-July 2014: My Fair Lady (Lord Boxington/ensemble, dance captain) at Flat Rock Playhouse - Flat Rock, NC

" of the most entertaining numbers of the evening, the rollicking, “I’m Getting Married in the Morning,” with its clever beer mug line dance choreographed by long-time vagabond Amy Jones and led by dance captain Austin Ku."

--Katie Winkler,
Hendersonville Times-News online (06/16/14), full review HERE


  • January-February 2013: the Los Angeles area sit-down as part of the International Broadway Tour of David Henry Hwang's new play Chinglish (Translator Bing, Judge Geming), at South Coast Repertory Theatre - Costa Mesa, CA - Austin was a 2012 StageSceneLA AWARD RECIPIENT - BEST LEADING ENSEMBLE, VISITING/TOURING PRODUCTION!

* Watch the trailer/commercial below (or view full-size on Youtube HERE) - Austin is featured in clips 1 & 3! *

"At South Coast Repertory, Leigh Silverman, who also directed the show on Broadway, has fielded an outstanding cast and a superb production team.... Critic's Score: A+"

--ERIC MARCHESE, BACKSTAGE (02/03/13), full rave review HERE

"The play, which had a modest run on Broadway last season and is now at South Coast Repertory in a tiptop co-production with Berkeley Repertory Theatre, was underappreciated in New York. "Chinglish" gleams with witty intelligence.... Inevitably, the funniest moments are when the translators [Ku, Den and Chiu] allow themselves liberties with what has been spoken, often to the amazement of the speaker who is confounded by the knuckleball reply."

--CHARLES MCNULTY, LOS ANGELES TIMES (02/05/13), full rave review HERE

"...persistently funny and discomfortingly timely... the actors display impeccable timing."

--MYRON MEISEL, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER (02/05/13), full rave review HERE

"Austin Ku is a hoot as a particularly inept twink translator with family connections, and an all-business Judge (who like just about everyone else may surprise you with his own family ties). ...Take, for instance, the Chinese characters' [Ku and Den] reaction to the Enron scandal (I won't give away why this topic arises) in a scene that is one of the play's funniest--and most edifying."

--Steven Stanley, StageSceneLA (02/05/13), full rave review here - Winner, StageSceneLA Award for Best Leading Ensemble, Touring/Visiting Production

"all performers demonstrate good sense of dramatic and meticulous comedic timing, as well as emotional authenticity - including Austin Ku as Bing and as Judge Geming."

--Ben Miles, (02/2013), full rave review here

 "Daniel's once-secretive Enron affiliation comes in for some special attention late in the play as his Chinese hosts [Ku and Den] clamor for more details on the American scandal. It's both one of the funniest moments in the show and a turning point in the story."

--Tom Titus, Laguna Beach Coastline Pilot (02/13/13), full rave review here

Check out all 14 opening weekend rave reviews ("Chinglish (South Coast Rep): 100% - sweet"), at LA Bitter Lemons (02/05/13), here
And here's Larry Taylor's rave ("hilarious, sometimes serious... a fine production") for the Garden Grove Journal (02/10/13) here
Jean Towerison's lovely review for the San Diego Gay & Lesbian News (02/18/13) is here, and here is Eve Weston's lovely blog post (02/10/13)


  • August-October 2012: SF Bay Area sit-down as part of the international tour of Chinglish (Translator Bing/Judge Geming), at Berkeley Repertory Theatre - Berkeley, CA

"Zhang, Celeste Den, Austin Ku and Vivian Chu fill the tale with brightly depicted Chinese officials, translators and functionaries."

--ROBERT HURWITT, SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE (08/31/12), full "Wild Applause" (Little Man jumping on his chair) review

"Celeste Den as Miss Qian and Austin Ku (returning to a Bay Area Stage after a five year absence) as both Bing and Judge Geming give spotless performances."

--Richard Connema, (09/01/12), full review ("A Smart Comic Production") here

"...And this wasn’t during a scene change, but a hotel guest in athletic gear [Austin Ku] boogying into that elevator in the background of one scene nearly steals the show.... Celeste Den, Austin Ku, and Vivian Chiu play the different translators Daniel’s government contacts cycle through, each with a pricelessly idiosyncratic way of getting what he said completely wrong. Den and Ku also have a hilarious scene as two government officials starstruck by figures of international scandal."

--Sam Hurwitt, The (09/04/12), full rave review here

Read Pat Craig's glowing review for the Contra Costa Times and Mercury News (08/30/12)
here and here
Read Clinton Stark's "Smashing" (4 of 5 stars) review for (08/30/12) here

  • Feburary 2012: the new musical Tokio Confidential (Akira) Off-Broadway (with Jill Paice) - NYC
* Watch the trailer/commercial below (or view full-size on Youtube HERE) *


"Schorr is a talented composer, and he is aided by Johanna McKeon's sensitive direction and a capable cast, that includes Manna Nichols as Horiyoshi's lover and Austin Ku as Ernest's devoted friend."

full review here

There are interesting performances by Austin Ku as Akira and [Manna] Nichols as the geisha purchased by Horiyoshi to run his household. They know they're only pawns in a larger story, and Schorr gives them a pair of intertwined numbers, "The Jurisdiction of Affection" and "Looking-back Willow," that suggest what Tokio Confidential might have been like if its violence and sexuality were fully evoked in tension with the story's placid, well-mannered surface."

--David Barbour, Lighting and Sound America (02/13/12), full review

"Austin Ku and Manna Nichols emphasize a watchful wariness as Akira and Sachiko, who fear losing their respective lovers."

--Erik Haagensen, BackStage (02/12/12), full review

"Kready and Ku are convincingly dastardly as the devious pair Ernest and Akira."

--Simon Saltzman, Curtain Up! (02/10/12), full review here


  • November 2011-January 2012: The King and I (Lun Tha) at Walnut Street Theatre (with Rachel York) - Philadelphia, PA - Austin was a 2012 BARRYMORE AWARD NOMINEE - BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL! 

* Watch Austin's interviews on CBS' "Talk Philly" and Philly NBC's "The 10" morning shows below, or via YouTube HERE and HERE*


"Standout performances are offered by the ill fated lovers Tuptim (Manna Nichols) and Lun Tha (Austin Ku), whose touching drama breaks hearts and flawless voices blend beautifully in lovely renditions of "We Kiss in a Shadow", and "I Have Dreamed".

--PATI BUEHLER, BROADWAYWORLD.COM (11/21/11), full review here

"...Manna Nichols' Burmese slave girl Tuptim sings a downright heartbreaking 'We Kiss in a Shadow' with Austin Ku's Lun Tha."

--WENDY ROSENFIELD, PHILADELPHIA INQUIRER (11/17/11), full review here

"However, there is much love in this production. Manna Nichols is heartbreaking as the slave girl Tuptim, and along with Austin Ku's excellent Lun Tha, their rendition of "I Have Dreamed" had all the passion and chemistry that was otherwise missing from the production (consequently, it received the biggest cheer of the night)."

--Jeremy Gable, EDGE Boston (11/22/11), full review here

"At the periphery of the story of Anna and King, are two young lovers- Tuptim, a princess from Burma, and Lun Tha, her secret lover. Their romantic journey, which has an impact on the King’s relationship with Anna and his views on the place of women, is well-played out on the Walnut Street Theatre stage. Manna Nichols and Austin Ku, respectively, make the audience feel for their plight and their two musical numbers, “We Kiss in a Shadow” and “I Have Dreamed” are sung with great emotion."

--Elliot Lanes and Jennifer Perry, MD Theatre Guide (01/02/12), full review

"Additional notice must also be given to
Austin Ku and Manna Nichols who play young lovers Lun Tha and Tuptim, respectively. Their voices, like Angelica-Lee Aspiras (Lady Thiang) are simply magnificent."

--Aaron Mettey, The Philly Post (12/02/11), full review

"...and there are strong vocal turns by Angelica-Lee Aspiras as the most senior of the king's many wives, and by Austin Ku and Manna Nichols as the young lovers."

--Tim Dunleavy, Talkin' Broadway (12/05/11), full review here

"Then there are the star-crossed lovers, [Tuptim] (Manna Nichols) and Lun Tha (Austin Ku) who sing us a truly emotionally wrenching "We Kiss In the Shadows [sic]."

--Sally Friedman, The Central Record (12/29/11), not available on-line

Read Lydia Hryshchyshyn's lovely review ("Her side story with her Burmese lover [Austin Ku] is heartbreaking, and both actors are captivating.") for the Drexel Triangle (12/02/11) here

  • September-October 2011: Miss Saigon (Thuy) at Ogunquit Playhouse (with Jennifer Paz & Raul Aranas) - Ogunquit, ME - Austin was a 2012 IRNE AWARD NOMINEE - BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR IN A MUSICAL, LARGE THEATER! 

* You may watch the trailer for the show on YouTube HERE (but unfortunately Austin's scenes are not in the trailer) *

"Ku infuses his rejected lover with the cold-blooded power that has made his Thuy a fast-rising and dangerous army officer. Even as a ghost in "Kim's Nightmare (Part 1)," he sings with frightening authority."

--JAN NARGI, BROADWAYWORLD.COM (10/14/11), full review here

Austin Ku delivered a potent performance as Thuy, Kim's jilted betrothed."

--APRIL BOYLE, PORTLAND PRESS HERALD (09/25/11), full review here

"Austin Ku is equally commanding as Kim's rejected family-arranged suitor, Thuy, who tries desperately to recapture her from Chris. Later, as a commander in the Viet Cong, and he finds Kim living in a hovel, he is enraged when she says she had an illegitimate son with Chris. He must kill Tam, he screams, because he is a symbol of her shame and broken promise to her deceased parents. As the first act closes, the drama ratchets sky-high as Kim, clinging to her hope that Chris will return for her, kills Thuy, and must flee."

--Sheila Barth, Theatre Mirror (09/29/11), full review here

"Austin Ku combines menace with an element of pathos as Thuy, the young man to whom Kim was promised by her father, who tries to separate her from Chris in the first act and returns as a communist leader in the second."

--Jennifer Brewer, Tourist News (09/29/11), review not available online

"Thuy is played by Austin Ku who has a magnificent baritone."

--Morton Gold, Journal Tribune, review not available online

"Kudos also go to Nik Walker as a fellow marine, Austin Ku as an evil Vietcong officer and Amanda Rose as the third point of the romantic triangle that ultimately results in the show's tragic denouement."

--Scott Andrews, The Forecaster (09/27/11), full review here

"Other excellent performances are given by Nik Walker, Austin Ku and Amanda Rose."

--Scott Andrews, The Weekly Sentinel (09/30/11), review not available online

  • August-September 2011: The Rocky Horror Show (Frank'n'Furter) at Hangar Theatre (with Kevin Greene from TV's "You're the One that I Want") - Ithaca, NY - Made critic Tony Curulla's "List of the Best in Central New York theater for 2011"
 * Watch the Hangar Theatre's TV spot for the show on Youtube HERE (see some of Austin's Dr. Frank-n-Furter at 0:45-1:00) *


"That man of little morals ... and some persuasion," as Dr. Scott judges him, is actually a "sweet transvestite from Transylvania" (the planet, not the country), and Austin Ku plays him dominantly with a touch of needy vulnerability. Seducing his guests and grotesquely destroying those who disappoint him, he pouts, "It's not easy having a good time." Ku's vocals alone are commanding, and his transsexual costumes divine."

--BARBARA ADAMS, ITHACA JOURNAL (08/26/11), full review here

When h
e cast
Austin Ku in the role of Dr. Frank-N-Furter, director and choreographer Devanand Janki must have been mindful of having a very different central character than the expected “Curry archetype” that is presented in most productions. Ku's Asian suavity and handsomeness struck me as an effective, interesting alternative, much the way Gary Oldman’s title character did in the filmed remake of “Dracula” several years ago. Without the expected hard edges, Ku's often-gowned-in finery transvestite is somehow less threatening, more approachable, and ultimately, more feminine. However, his creditable vocal treatments and obvious musicality (he exudes much pathos while handily playing the violin), are avenues to enrich and deepen the character.”

--Tony Curulla, (08/20/11), full review here

(Made "Critic Tony Curulla's list of the best in Central New York theater for 2011": "it was as fresh (literally and figuratively) as it ought to be... director and choreographer Devanand Janki offered us an alternative Dr. Frank-N-Furter by casting Austin Ku in the lead role." --(01/01/12), article here)

"Austin Ku's Frank-n-furter has all the petulance and froideur we have come to expect of the transsexual master of the house... his farewell ("I'm Going Home") is a moment of sheer brilliance."

--Ross Haarstad, Tompkins Weekly (08/29/11), full review available via full issue download here

"And Austin Ku (Frank-n-Furter) gives a performance that would make Tim Curry proud."

-- (08/19/11), full blog post here

Read Bryan VanCampen's lovely review for the Ithaca Times (08/24/11)
here ("...and Austin Ku are flat-out fantastic... Austin Ku's ab-fab wardrobe.")

  • February 2011: The world premiere of the new musical Sunfish (Storyteller/The Magic Monk, dance captain) at Stoneham Theatre - Stoneham, MA - Austin was a 2011 BROADWAYWORLD BOSTON AWARD NOMINEE - BEST ACTOR IN A MUSICAL, MEDIUM THEATER

"Austin Ku, a handsome willow, is the sole Asian-American; when Mr. Ku's Monk looks sideways and slyly smiles, his instant stylization highlights the others' blandness."

--Carl A. Rossi, (02/12/2011), full review here


  • October-November 2010: The King and I (Lun Tha) at Alhambra Theatre and Dining - Jacksonville, FL

"You will be impressed with the voices of those in the major supporting roles: Ya Han Chang as Lady Thaing [sic], Leanne Cabrera as Tumtin [sic], and Austin Ku as Lun Tha."

--Dick Kerekes and Leisla Sansom, EU Jacksonville (10/20/2010), full review here

"Romeo & Juliette [sic] were no match for Austin Ku (Lun Tha) and Leanne Cabrera (Tuptim). They sang like two 'young lovers'."

--Victoria Poller, Jacksonville (10/19/2010), full review here

"Master entertainers Alex Agard, Janna Cardia, Austin Ku, and Amy Wallace brought laughter and tears to the opening night audience. Director Ricarda O'Connor had the cast moving, singing, hugging, attracting and repelling each other in a wonderfully charged choreographic display. I won't single out any one performer in particular as the cast worked as an exquisite, well rehearsed ensemble, supporting each others enormous efforts. Truly a privilege to see them perform in the wonderful playhouse."

--Larry Litt, (08/13-15/2010), available here

Read Lissa Harris' lovely review for the Watershed Post here

"The living residents of Jackson Heights also have a thematic communion with with residents long dead.  The use of ghosts in a theatrical production can be a disaster.  Yet, here, the device is used to great effect, as when a pair of them, one white and one black, haunt a young interracial couple [Austin Ku and Arlene Chico-Lugo] whose lives reflect those of the ghosts' children, in love in a bigoted society some 40 years earlier. ... Due in no small part to to consistently first-rate writing, acting and direction, this production's tasty concoction, against all odds, manages to work much like the neighborhood it lovingly chronicles."

--William Coyle, (05/07/2010), available here

Read the lovely review "167 Tongues Strikes Theatrical Gold" on (05/07/2010) here
Read the lovely feature article "Capturing the Vitality of Jackson Heights and Putting It on Stage" in THE NEW YORK TIMES here


"Starlight Theatre has mounted a lively production of the classic Depression-era musical "Anything Goes." ... Director Eliot Wasserman and his design team have served up a handsome show, with a fair share of delights....  Starlight [has staged] the 1987 version, but even so the show descends into some regrettable stereotyping before it's all said and done, [but] the problem isn't in the performance of Vi Tran [and] Austin Ku as Chinese characters who have supposedly converted to Christianity but who really want to fleece the passengers with games of chance."

--Robert Trussel, Kansas City Star (07/15/2009) [full review no longer available on-line]


  • October 2008: Gutenberg! The Musical! (Doug, dance captain) with New Repertory Theatre - Watertown, MA

"Brendan McNab and Austin Ku, who've both demonstrated serious singing gifts elsewhere, here also draw on their great talents for comedy. ...Ku makes book writer Doug's thinly veiled crush on Bud feel like more than the running gag it's written as. ... As for their musical performances, Ku is delightfully, wackily sincere as Gutenberg and hysterically hysterical in his turn as the lovelorn Helvetica. ... And don't let the silliness fool you: These guys have to do some real singing here, and their ridiculous performances would not be half so funny if they weren't also highly skilled."

--LOUISE KENNEDY, BOSTON GLOBE (10/08/2008); full review here

"Gutenberg! is a charmer and garners likeability from the two leading men, Brendan McNab as Bud and Austin Ku as Doug...  McNab and Ku have worked together before and it shows in their onstage chemistry.  Their comic timing is spot on...  Both men are also gifted with wonderful singing voices and make some of the songs better than they are."

--NANCY GROSSMAN, BROADWAYWORLD.COM (10/08/2008); full review here

"actors Austin Ku as Doug and Brendan McNab as Bud are an energetic delight. ...when Ku exclaims the musical's title with jazzy "Just Jack!" hands, it's a hoot." 

--Jennifer Brubriski, EDGE Boston (10/09/2008); full review here

Read Jenna Scherer's review ("Brendan McNab and 
Austin Ku [are] gosh-darn cute as Bud and Doug") for the Boston Herald (10/07/2008) here
Read Carolyn Clay's review ("As enthusiastically and ingenuously embodied by paradoxically excellent singers Austin Ku and Brendan McNab, the two collaborators appear...") for The Boston Phoenix (10/08/2008) here
Read Beverly Creasey's review ("Ku and Brendan [McNab] are wildly inventive ... portraying all forty one roles with gusto") for (10/2008) here

  • May-June 2008: Soloist in the Bernstein Tribute with the Boston Pops Orchestra (Pangloss in "Best of All Possible Worlds" from Candide, and other selections) - Boston, MA

"'The Best of All Worlds' from Candide follows, receiving sprightly treatment by the Pops as well as from Austin Ku as Dr. Pangloss and David Vogel, Lindsey St. Onge, Caitlin Doonan and Joseph Kamay as his classroom of eager students."

--JAN NARGI, BROADWAYWORLD.COM (05/16/08); full review here

  • January-February 2008: Christopher Durang and Peter Melnick's new musical Adrift in Macao (Tempura - principal) at The Lyric Stage - Boston, MA 

"And then there's Rick's henchman Tempura - so named, as he mincingly explains, "because I have been battered by life."  Boston Conservatory student Austin Ku delivers that line, along with a nonstop battery of exaggerated ethnic stereotypes, with an expert mix of knowingness and innocence.  He's the funniest thing onstage, even before the big revelation near the end that takes the showbiz satire to a new level."

--LOUISE KENNEDY, BOSTON GLOBE (01/16/2008); full review here

"It is Austin Ku as the always smiling Tempura, however, who steals the show from his self-absorbed American interlopers.  The seeming model of congeniality and subservience, Ku unleashes a devilishly sinister and gleeful laugh when least expected, suggesting that there's more beneath his impenetrable facade than meets the eye."

--JAN NARGI, BROADWAYWORLD.COM (01/20/2008); full review here

"But the biggest hit of the night is Ku, in a role that feels like it was written for him. Not only will his performance make you laugh in all the wrong places, but his big finish will keep you singing the ridiculously likable “Ticky Tocky Tock” all the way home"

--Nick Dussault, Boston Metro (01/18/2008); full review not available on-line

"The scene-stealer turns out to be Austin Ku, whose Tempura is an affectionate and quite funny send-up on Hollywood Asian stereotypes.  He's also priceless in drag."

--Robert Nesti, EDGE Boston (01/16/2008); full review here

"Of particular interest, however, is one performer new to the area - a rubber-faced, sweet-singing comedian named Austin Ku - and one number he delivers late in the line-up about certain of his talents....  And that brings us to Austin Ku, whose credits include a long list of roles in San Francisco Bay area theaters. He is currently studying for a master’s degree in musical theater at the Boston Conservatory, a lucky find for this show. As Tempura, Ku embodies the old vaudeville actor who made a career out of transforming into many characters on stage in front of the audience. Ku does so with glee and sharp-edged turns of motive, despite his ‘‘chewing of the scenery’’ - a stage term for too, too, too much mugging. His big number at the end is performed with breathtaking skill and is one marvelous moment of the show, along with his final appearance, which is knock-out."

--Iris Fanger, The Patriot Ledger (01/15/2008); full review not available on-line

"... which brings me to my favorite character in Macao.  It's about time someone held Hollywood's bound feet to the fire. Austin Ku is nothing short of hilarious as the "inscrutable" houseboy, groveling to his boss and cursing behind his back.  When his real identity is revealed, in joyous song, of course, he brings down the house, or rather, J. Michael Griggs' wonderfully seedy bar."

--Beverly Creasy, (01/13/2008); full review here

Read Carolyn Clay's review ("the excellent Austin Ku") for The Boston Phoenix (01/16/2008) here

2007 and prior (SF Bay Area) - archived

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