"The Wiz" - Ford's Theater (2018)
"...Today, it’s still Charlie Smalls’ R&B-influenced score that’s the draw. Currently playing at Ford’s Theatre, the Kent Gash-directed production serves mostly as a vehicle for stellar renditions of the often reprised “Ease on Down the Road,” “Everybody Rejoice,” Glinda’s glorious number, and Dorothy’s show closer “Home,” all sung by talented performers accompanied by a superb pit orchestra led by music director Darius Smith."
"...Now, with regard to the music, Darius Smith leads a red hot funkadelic eight-piece ensemble and his orchestra reduction lovingly pays homage to Harold Wheeler's original 20-piece orchestration, keeping much of Timothy Graphenreed's original dance music intact.
The band is so good they deserve to be mentioned by name. We have Darius Smith (Conductor/Keyboard 1), Victor Simonson (Keyboard 2), Ben Bokor on reeds (Sax, Clarinet and Flute), Kieron Irvine (Trumpet/Fluglehorn), Greg Boyer (Trombone) Yuesf Chisholm (Electric Bass/Tuba), Gerry Kunkel (Guitar/Banjo), and Danny Villanueva (Drums/Percussion)."
"Nina Simone: Four Women" - Arena Stage (2017)
"...When Foy sings and performs the African-influenced dances by choreographer Lady Dane Figueroa Edidi, she sometimes doubles over as though she’s channeling centuries of agony. It’s not just that the voice rises in hot sweeping passion, although it does, especially as catapulted by the piano accompaniment by music director Darius Smith. The notable thing about this performance is the way Foy captures Simone’s dry-eyed venom."
"When it sings, Nina Simone: Four Women, now in the Kreeger Theater at Washington's Arena Stage, soars .... given constant support by music director and offstage pianist Darius Smith. The songs and dances convey all the soul and emotion an audience could hope for..."
"...And oh, how they sing, move, dance and shout, all gorgeously accompanied by music director, Darius Smith."
-DC Metro Theatre Arts