2000's
(and going strong!)

HELD UP (2000, Feature Film)

"The Sip & Zip is owned and operated by the acerbic Jack (John Cullum)...[Jamie] Foxx is so likable and funny, and he's so well-supported by a substantial cast...that the film should probably slide by its more static moments on good will. "Held Up" is a pleasant diversion, and its makers have been smart enough to keep it unpretentious." - Kevin Thomas, Los Angeles Times, 5/11/00

MR. PETER'S CONNECTIONS (2000, London's West End & Tour of Great Britain)

"One is left admiring John Cullum's craggy, intransigent selfhood as this latterday Prospero..." Michael Billington, The Guardian, 7/28/00

"Director Michael Blakemore and a terrific cast led by a suitably rumpled John Cullum as Mr. Peters, have a darned good shot at bringing coherence to this 80-minute memoryscape. It's bleakly funny too." Roger Foss, What's On, 8/2/00

"At the age of 84, [Arthur] Miller has been writing plays longer than any other dramatist left alive. He began in 1936, and he is not finished yet... Miller is still hale and hearty, and the American actor John Cullum, who plays his alter ego, has a virile presence. The character, and therefore author, are all the more alive because if their proximity to death." Robert Hewison, The Sunday Times, 7/30/00

"Mr. Peters is played by John Cullum, a New York actor whose work is unfamiliar on the London stage. His performance should be used in evidence against the stitch-up by actors' unions on both sides of the Atlantic which prevents the completely free movement of actors between the West End and Broadway. His hair is thinning, there are bags under his eyes; though he has a stoop, he can rise to his full height to emphasize a point. The voice ranges from irritation to bewilderment. Cullum inhabits Mr. Peters' body." Stephen Fay, Independent on Sunday, 7/30/00

OLD MONEY (2000, Off-Broadway -- Lincoln Center)

"Mr. Cullum actually looks the roles he is playing: that of the shabbily genteel Vivian and the dandyish architect who originally designed the house. He also provides a low-key, ingrained authority that gives the evening a much-needed rudder." Ben Brantley, NY Times, 12/8/00

"John Cullum is funny and moving as Tobias Vivan Pfeiffer 3rd, the central figure who provides the impetus for bringing the ghosts of the past to mingle with the events of the present. Pfeiffer is an ailing, elderly New York historian and little read midlist novelist ("I'm read only by ladies in Buffalo when there isn't an Auchincloss they haven't read"). He's been invited to hobnob with the glitterati by the co-host , young Ovid Bernstein -- another likeable character, touchingly portrayed by Charlie Hofheimer. Cullum and Hofheimer also do well by their 1917 roles, Cullum as the mansion's architect and Hofheimer as son of the original robber baron who, instead of becoming the artist he wants to be, becomes an art patron." - Elyse Sommer, www.CurtainUp.com, 12/01

URINETOWN (2001, Off-Broadway, Broadway and Original Cast Album)

"I must single out the consummate artistry of John Cullum as the evil Cladwell, who seems to have sprung top-hatted and complete from a Monopoly game board." -  Clive Barnes, NY Post, 9/21/01

"Further, with John Cullum as Caldwell B. Cladwell, the jaunty personification of avarice and brutality; Nancy Opel as a sellout to the forces of evil whose brassy manner hides a broken heart, Hunter Foster as Bobby Strong, the handsome leader of the revolution; Jennifer Laura Thompson as Hope Cladwell, the innocent lass torn by loyalties to her father and Bobby; Jeff McCarthy as Officer Lockstock, a charming but corrupt cop; and Spencer Kayden as Little Sally, a street urchin wise beyond her years, Urinetown is populated by actors who have pitched their skills and ideas to a uniform hyperbole that at almost every moment risks childishness but somehow never succumbs." -  Bruce Weber, New York Times, 9/21/01

"John Cullum could not be better as the villain.  His classic song-and-dance-man talents are put to excellent use." - Howard Kissel, NY Daily News, 9/21/01

"The performances are strongly etched caricatures that poke fun at the snarling villains and dewy young innocents of melodrama.  They are, across the board, vivid and stylish, from the grand guignol excesses of Nancy Opel's Penelope Pennywise and John Cullum's suavely rapacious Caldwell B. Cladwell to the pitch perfect wholesomeness of Jennifer Laura Thompson and Hunter Foster as the class-crossing young lovers Hope and Bobby.."  - Charles Isherwood, Variety, 9/21/01

"The cast is uniformly terrific, with star turns from veteran John Cullum as the corporate villain and newcomer Spencer Kayden as the irresistible wise-child called Little Sally."  - Linda Winer, Newsday, 9/21/01

"Urinetown's secret, as it were, and biggest success is its leading men, John Cullum (Caldwell B. Cladwell) and Hunter Foster (Bobby Strong).  John Cullum is, to put it simply, one of Broadway'
s greatest musical leads, and his return to the Broadway stage after far too long an absence is a personal triumph.  In his commanding but deceptively understated performance style, Cullum can do more with an arched eyebrow or an evil grin than most other actors can do with the help of an entire chorus line." - Thomas Burke, TalkinBroadway.com, 9/20/01

"And then the incomparable John Cullum, as evil magnate Caldwell B. Cladwell,launched into "Don't Be the Bunny".  This masterful actor turned this wry anthem to mercilessness into a showstopper, one of the many fine moments in one of the most delicious, over-the-top roles in his long career." - John Kenrick, Musicals101.com, 9/21/01

"John Cullum is everything a villain should be.  Though his most recent roles have been in dramas he remains a consummate song and dance man." - Elyse Sommer CurtainUp.com, 5/4/01

 "This is wildly slashing satire, and very funny, and the cast includes people like John Cullum, Jeff McCarthy, Nancy Opel, and Ken Jennings. (Cullum is the funniest I've seen him since ON THE TWENTIETH CENTURY, especially in a song about killing bunny rabbits)."  -  Steven Suskin, On The Record, Playbill.com, 4/22/01

"John Cullum...gives the tycoon an enchanting mix of diffidence and monomania."
Michael Feingold, Village Voice, 5/15/01

"John Cullum...as head of the voracious corporation is a gracefully sinister villain." - Bruce Weber, New York Times, 5/7/01

"The seriousness and Broadway experience that John Cullum brings to his role as Cladwell, makes the character even funnier, though he never seems to be onstage often enough." - Matthew Murray, TalkinBroadway.com

"The cast is flawless. It was almost unnecessary to secure as distinguished a presence as Cullum to play the villainous corporate chief, but it’s delightful to see him once again chewing scenery in his extravagant Oscar Jaffee/On the 20th Century mode, still wily, sharp, and vocally distinguished." - Ken Mandelbaum, Broadway.com, 5/7/01

"Cullum gives a magnificently evil performance as the ultimate villain." - Barbara & Scott Siegel, TheaterMania.com, 5/7/01

"Two-time Tony winner John Cullum has taken on the role of Caldwell B. Cladwell, the evil head of UGC, and he delivered a performance of delightfully suave malevolence." - Doug DeVita, The Off-Off-Broadway Review, 5/20/01

"All public facilities are in the hands of the Urine Good Company monopoly, run by the delightfully ruthless Caldwell B. Cladwell (played with dapper, devilish glee by John Cullum). ... The superb ensemble overflows with bright performances, from many deft turns in the chorus to Cullum's charmingly corrupt menace as the toilet czar and a brassy Nancy Opel as the    Peachum-esque rest-room operator Penelope Pennywise." - Robert Hurwitt, San Francisco Chronicle, 5/30/01

"Broadway veteran John Cullum is deliciously malevolent as conniving capitalist Caldwell B. Caldwell." - Palm Beach Post, 6/9/02

"The hard-working ensemble cast sings and dances up a storm, with the final bow going to John Cullum, a Broadway veteran (Shenandoah, On the Twentieth Century) well known for his TV turn on Northern Exposure. His vocal chops are intact and the twinkle in his eye makes the dastardly cartoon villain Caldwell B. Cladwell a joy to behold in action; this well-written character allows Cullum to exude charm in his every moment on stage." - Greg Bauer, TheaterMania.com, 9/21/01

"John Cullum brings his veteran Broadway star power to the role of Cladwell, which he works beautifully as he villainously chews the scenery. His two big numbers—the introductory “Mr. Cladwell,” and “Don’t Be the Bunny,” in which he warns Hope about the dangers of being a pushover—have a panache that brings down the house." - Michael Criscuolo, nytheatre.com 9/24/01

"Two-time Tony winner John Cullum's animated take as Caldwell B. Cladwell simply oozes with slime." - Russell Bouthiller, Broadwaybeat.com, 9/27/01

"Among the robustly talented cast, Cullum and Opel turn in hilarious performances laced with references to villains past – she’s a downtrodden Cruella DeVil, he’s an old Batman nemesis that never made it to print." - John Rowell, Show Business Weekly 12/19/01

"Caldwell B. Cladwell is a nasty, greedy and selfish man, and John Cullum looks to be enjoying every minute of it, which makes the character that much more enjoyable for the audience as well! His song-and-dance numbers are among the best parts of the show, and he's wonderful at being mean as well." - Stacy McInnis, Stacy's Musical Village

"It's hard to pick a favorite among the show's great numbers. "Too Much Exposition," spoken/sung by Jeff McCarthy as Officer Lockstock, is less a song than the play's first three minutes of twisty plot--and although (as the officer cautions) "nothing kills a play like too much exposition," here it helps cock our ears for the humor in lyrics-to-come. And come they do, in the vicious ditty "Don't Be the Bunny," sung by the velvet-voiced John Cullum as corporate magnate Caldwell B. Cladwell, who considers the advantages of being privileged through the unlikely metaphor of rabbit stew." - Lenora Inez Brown

"Two-time Tony winner John Cullum brings roguish charm to the show's most inventive number, "Don't Be the Bunny." Most other songs aren't so memorable, but the whole cast shares in his appealingly gleeful abandon." - Chip Deffaa, reviewing the original cast album for Entertainment Weekly, 8/10/01

"Cullum is the last (apparently) in a line of musical comedy leading men going back to Alfred Drake, John Raitt, and Richard Kiley. He has always known how to deliver a song, and he is at his comic best here, Simon Legree mixed with Snively Whiplash."  - Steven Suskin ON THE RECORD, reviewing the original cast album for  Playbill.com, 8/12/01

THE MAN IN THE BLACK SUIT by Stephen King (2002, Audiobook)

 "The first story, narrated by John Cullum (perhaps best known as Holling Vincoeur on "Northern Exposure"), shares its title with that of the collection: "The Man In The Black Suit." Gary, a man in his 90s, tells of an event that happened when he was a nine-year-old in the summer of 1914 in western Maine. ...Cullum portrays Gary adeptly. His gravelly voice captures the character as well as that of the Devil. Cullum's utterance of two words in particular . . ."Biiiiiggggggggg fiiiiissssshhhhhh," is enough to trigger goose bumps."  - Barbara Sullivan, Audiobooks Today, 1/31/02

ROSE'S DILEMMA (2003, Off-Broadway)

"John Cullum is dapper and likeable even as a ghost." - Elyse Sommer, www.curtainup.com, 12/03

THE DRESSER (2004, Knoxville)

“John Cullum does not disappoint as Sir. He's wonderful to watch, a craftsman making the difficult look simple.” – Doug Mason, Knoxville News-Sentinel, 8/28/04

SIN (A CARDINAL DEPOSED) (2004, Off-Broadway)

“Mr. Cullum gives a performance of great delicacy and skill, and admirable objectivity. He takes his cues from the testimony itself, and resists imposing on his presentation any pre-determined assessment of culpability.” – Charles Isherwood, NY Times, 10/27/04

”Sparked by the electrifying perf of veteran thesp John Cullum, searing docudrama "Sin (A Cardinal Deposed)" looks at the scandalous child sex-abuse crimes that rocked the archdiocese of Boston and sent shockwaves through the Catholic Church in 2002. … But it is Cullum's iron-willed cardinal who really nails this thing to the ground. With his handsome, hawkish nose thrust firmly in the air and a faint sneer on his thin lips, thesp gracefully conveys the magisterial manner of this tainted prince of the church.

“Only rarely does this carefully articulated perf allow for a down-turned eye movement or a nervous hand gesture to indicate the churchman's misgivings about the choices he made in this sordid business. By showing such restraint, after hearing a long list of priests who had been allowed to continue their parish duties after parental charges of sexual abuse, all Cullum needs is two words -- "All right" -- to indicate Law's admission of complicity.

“For, as it turns out, this powerful prelate is no monster, but a consummate administrator, a CEO doing his honorable best for the company, down to its lowliest employees. Once it is fully revealed, his tragic flaw proves to be not an absence of intelligence or feeling about the grave events that happened on his watch -- but the misdirection of them.

“As read aloud in Cullum's mellifluous voice, the cardinal's personal letters of condolence to members of his suffering flock speak of genuine compassion and pastoral concern. They just happen to be addressed to the pederast priests who were finally apprehended and sent to prison -- not to the young victims and their families. -- Marilyn Stasio,Variety, 10/25/04

Cullum, shrewdly playing with no histrionics whatsoever, does a beautiful job of conveying the banality of evil.” – Jacques Le Sourd, The Journal News (Westchester), 10/28/24

“…the remarkable John Cullum…”  “At the center is Law, embodied by Cullum as a pale, self-assured, birdlike eminence, with hooded reptilian eyes, an unyielding buzz in his voice and a way of picking at the overwhelming evidence against his priests like a fussy chicken picking at corn.” – Linda Winer, Newsday, 11/1/04

“The production gains immeasurably from Cullum's superb performance as the central figure in this drama. Using his stentorian voice to great effect, he skillfully conveys the obliviousness with which Law handled these horrific events.” – Frank Scheck, NY Post, 11/1/04

“Cullum, who played Urinetown magnate Caldwell B. Cladwell with such gleeful villainy, portrays the Cardinal's moral turpitude with finely calibrated understatement. Anyone who appreciates good acting will want to see Cullum's bit-by-bit mood shifts -- from somewhat aloof and self-assured ennui to sarcasm and barely repressed irritation, then to defensiveness, and, eventually, to speechless defeat. This actor can speak reams with no more than a slightly raised eyebrow.” -- Elyse Sommer, CurtainUp.com, 10/04

“Director Carl Forsman has assembled an outstanding cast for the New Group production. The veteran Cullum--best known for roles in musicals like Urinetown, On the Twentieth Century and Shenandoah--shows here that he is a superb serious actor as well as a musical-comedy star. As Law, he is in turn proud, smart, evasive, defensive, indignant and defeated. Cullum's subtle facial expressions speak just as loudly as the Cardinal's testimony.” -- William Stevenson, Broadway.com, 10/04

[John Cullum’s] “stricken silences speak monumentally” – Michael Feingold, Village Voice, 10/26/04

“Cullum is excellent, demonstrating a keen intelligence as Cardinal Law. He maintains a dignified presence even when Law is forced to admit that every single priest accused of child molestation within the archdiocese was returned to active duty in a parish.” – Dan Balcalzo, Theatermania.com, 10/27/04

“Clad in clerical black with a silver cross around his neck, John Cullum masterfully portrays Law as a grave figure of dignity and authority. As the ugly story comes out, Cullum appears more uncomfortable in manner -- in the end regretful, perhaps, but not really repentant for his actions.” – Michael Sommers, Star-Ledger, 10/27/04

 John Cullum plays the Cardinal with not so much with an oiliness, but rather a certain cagey, self-protectiveness that makes Law’s evasiveness rankle. Often his eyes will dart at his attorney in a sideways glance as if to glean some clue as to the next sidestep he should take. As Cullum speaks, one hears a slight "click" as he enunciates his answers carefully and methodically. For this reviewer (not predisposed to liking Law himself), Cullum’s choice makes the cardinal appear to be even more evil.” -- Andy Propst, AmericanTheaterWeb.com, 10/27/04

“John Cullum plays Cardinal Law with an air of perfect superiority. Intentionally or not, he sometimes finishes an answer with a grim, Rumsfeldian smile. If you only listen to Mr. Cullum's words, and don't look at his priest's black attire, or bishop's ring, he could be any powerful figure in American life today. Any figure, that is, who has been led away from the path of service, and corrupted by the presumptions of power.” – Jeremy McCarter, NY Sun, 10/27/04

Cullum, shrewdly playing with no histrionics whatsoever, does a beautiful job of conveying the banality of evil.” – Jacques Le Sourd, The Journal News (Westchester), 10/28/24

“…the remarkable John Cullum…”  “At the center is Law, embodied by Cullum as a pale, self-assured, birdlike eminence, with hooded reptilian eyes, an unyielding buzz in his voice and a way of picking at the overwhelming evidence against his priests like a fussy chicken picking at corn.” – Linda Winer, Newsday, 11/1/04

The production gains immeasurably from Cullum's superb performance as the central figure in this drama. Using his stentorian voice to great effect, he skillfully conveys the obliviousness with which Law handled these horrific events.” – Frank Scheck, NY Post, 11/1/04

 

CANDIDE (2005, New York City Opera, Lincoln Center)

“It's this production's good fortune that Voltaire (as well as Candide's teacher, Dr. Pangloss, and a host of other characters) is played by Broadway veteran John Cullum, whose robust baritone and off-handed sense of humor help him gracefully carry scenes that would leave professional bodybuilders quaking with trepidation. …he's a strong central presence around whom the rest of the cast can revolve.”  Matthew Murray, TalkinBroadway.com, 3/10/05

“Early on you sense that this Paquette realizes that Dr. Pangloss, with his "Best of All Possible Worlds" bromides, is a dirty old phony. But you can't help going soft for Mr. Cullum, both as Dr. Pangloss, who mentors and manipulates the young people like some lovably irascible W. C. Fields, and the smooth-talking Voltaire.” -- Anthony Tommasini, NY Times, 3/10/05

 

THE OTHER SIDE (2005, Off-Broadway)

“…Mr. Cullum's spry turn as the pessimistic Atom” – Charles Isherwood, NY Times, 12/14/05

“Atom, who was born in the city and still longs for his civilized old life, is full of complaints about the boring countryside and the endless war. But Cullum goes beneath that gruff crust, showing us a romantic gentleman whose devotion to his wife is the only thing keeping him sane in an insane world.” -- Marilyn Stasio, Variety, 12/13/05

There's no doubt about it. The pairing of Rosemary Harris and John Cullum onstage is delectable. Her feisty charm matches his sweet curmudgeonly presence beautifully. The opportunity to watch their wonderfully complementary presences and their sense of craftsmanship when it comes to character truly is an early holiday gift. … Theatergoers will savor Harris and Cullum's performances as they enter into these minor skirmishes… -- Andy Propst,    Cullum and Harris Invigorate The Other Side. American Theater Web, 12/14/05

“The cast, lead by Rosemary Harris and John Cullum, is top-notch. The seasoned stage veterans do surprisingly well with the bipolar script. Director Blanka Zizka is lucky to have them. … If you are a fan of Harris or Cullum, The Other Side may prove to be a worthwhile and provocative outing.” – Ron Lasko, Broadway.com, 12/14/05

THE NIGHT LISTENER (2006, Feature Film)

“A scene with Gabriel’s [Robin William’s] bluff, Southern father (John Cullum) is intriguing…” – A.O. Smith, NY Times, 8/4/06

“Sandra Oh, as Gabriel’s bookkeeper, and Cullum, as his dad, are so good in brief scenes, we wish for more.” – Omaha World-Herald, 8/5/06


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