Press

Cayman in Jacques Brel at ACT. Photo by Mark Kitaoka.

Cayman in Jacques Brel at ACT. Photo by Mark Kitaoka.

Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris

David Armstrong's graceful staging features a capable five-piece combo backing a quintet of Seattle's finest actor-singers, who pour their hearts into Brel's timeless musical ruminations on l'amour, la vie, le mort, and la guerre... There is the enduring "Sons Of...," a paean to the individual humanity of the war dead... performed with piercing, waltztime anguish by Cayman Ilika... Ilika applies her silky alto and potent expressiveness to "No Love, You're Not Alone," a haunting entreaty to a lover on the edge... - Misha Berson, The Seattle Times

 

And speaking of the singers, a finer ensemble they could not have assembled but what do you expect when you get some of the finest performers who have repeatedly graced the stages of the 5th Avenue and Village Theatre.  Eric Ankrim, Louis Hobson... Cayman Ilika, Kendra Kassebaum, and Timothy McCuen Piggee turned in near flawless performances and owned every inch of that stage.  Each one managed to take their moments to shine in their solos and still kept a tight ensemble in the group numbers... But it was the ladies who really blew me away.  Ilika's haunting "Timid Frieda" as well as "Sons Of..." showed off what a stunning singer and actor she is. - Jay Irwin, BroadwayWorld

 

Cayman Ilika brought enormous beauty, elegance, and musical finish to every number she did.  I especially liked "No Love, You're Not Alone" because of its richness, sweetness, and maurity. - Jerry Kraft, SeattleActor.com

 

Kendra Kassebaum, Louis Hobson, Eric Ankrim, Cayman Ilika, and Timothy McCuen Pigee are all comsummate performers of the highest order, and they can crack open Brel's musical jewels, each practically a self-contained play, with ease... Some songs stand out - Ilika's tender "The Old Folks" and transformational "Timid Freida..." - Gemma Wilson, City Arts

 

Cayman Ilika has appeared numerous times on the 5th Avenue (Oliver!, Candide) and ACT (Vanities - A New Musical) stages.  Her voice is pure and clear and a powerful instrument.  While we have to wait until almost the end of Act 1 for her solo, when she delivers, she delivers!  Her pride, power and anguish can be felt in the songs "Sons of" in the First Act, and "No Love, You're Not Alone" in the Second Act. - Eric Andrews-Katz, Seattle Gay News...

 
Cayman as Mary Poppins at Village Theatre. Photo by Mark Kitaoka.

Cayman as Mary Poppins at Village Theatre. Photo by Mark Kitaoka.

Mary Poppins

It's Ilika and Allen who have to carry the show, and they do so with grace and aplomb.  Ilika feels like she could have stepped right off the pages of Travers' books with her spit spot attitude and her voice utterly shines in the role. - Jay Irwin, BroadwayWorld

 

The primly magical uber-nanny invented by write P.L. Travers has logged a lot of flying miles and adds more to the odometer in Village Theatre's staging of the hit Broadway musical 'Mary Poppins.' Yes, Mary does alight here - most satisfyingly at the end, when she soars above the audience to enthusiastic applause.  Wired for flight, in sparkling voice and trim suits of different hues, Cayman Ilika is fetchingly unflappable as Ms. Poppins.  - Misha Berson, The Seattle Times

 

Like Julie Andrews, Cayman Ilika wisely tones down the arrogant aspects of Mary's personality in favor of subtle humor and clever reverse psychology.  She is alternately enigmatic, brusque, beguiling, and practically perfect.  For a final breathtaking thrill, Cayman Ilika flies out and over the audience to the balcony and disappears.  In moments like these, the magic of theatre becomes something that is truly beyond wonderous and awe-inspiring. -Dewey Mee, Daily Reporter

 

Cayman Ilika gives Mary Poppins an authority coupled with a smile that makes you want to do whatever she asks, and wow, can she sing. - Nancy Worssam, Arts Stage Seattle Rage blog

 

As Mary, Ilika is unflappably perfect, with the right touches of warmth, firmness and humor, and incredible vocals. - Elisa Murray, Parent Map

 

In a previous interview with the Reporter, Ilika said she wasn't Julie Andrews, and while she may not be, she embodies Mary Poppins and is 'Practically Perfect in every way,' capturing the audience's attention from the first snap of her fingers. - Josh Stilits, Reporter Newspapers

 

Anticipation for Village Theatre's production of 'Mary Poppins' ran high, especially after casting was announced of Cayman Ilika as Mary Poppins and Greg McCormick Allen as Bert.  Both have every attribute you would want for those roles, and each is as professional a pro can be in delivering the goods!  And so it is no surprise at all that they do so in spades! - Miryam Gordon, Miryam's Theater Musings

 

...It was a big parasol that Village Theatre's Cayman Ilika had to wield.  Previously heard in Village Theatre's 'Show Boat' and 'The Gypsy King,' Ilika's voice was powerful and intimate, providing the emotional center to the story.  I've attended many an opening performance at Village Theatre.  Few productions have left the audience more enthusiastic at the end for a well-deserved standing ovation. - David Hayes, Issaquah Press

 

As for the title character, Mary Poppins has to balance being firm with and undercurrent of kindness, which can't be an easy task for any actress.  Cayman Ilika leans more to the stern side, but plays Mary with unquestionable grace.  Her incredible singing voice rings loud and clear across the theater. -Kelly Knox, Seattle's Child

 
Cayman as Kathy in Vanities at ACT. Photo by Chris Bennion.

Cayman as Kathy in Vanities at ACT. Photo by Chris Bennion.

 
Cayman as Julie LaVerne in Show Boat at Village Theatre.  Photo by Jay Koh.

Cayman as Julie LaVerne in Show Boat at Village Theatre.  Photo by Jay Koh.

 
 
Cayman as Patsy Cline in Always.. Patsy Cline at Centerstage. Photo by Michelle Smith Lewis.

Cayman as Patsy Cline in Always.. Patsy Cline at Centerstage. Photo by Michelle Smith Lewis.

 
Cayman as June Carter in Ring of Fire. Photo by Danielle Barnum.

Cayman as June Carter in Ring of Fire. Photo by Danielle Barnum.

 
Cayman as Maria in The Sound of Music with Lyric Light Opera. Photo by Stage Images.

Cayman as Maria in The Sound of Music with Lyric Light Opera. Photo by Stage Images.

 
Cayman as Nellie in South Pacific with Lyric Light Opera.  Photo by Stage Images.

Cayman as Nellie in South Pacific with Lyric Light Opera.  Photo by Stage Images.

 
Cayman as Kate in The Pirates of Penzance at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Photo by Tracy Martin.

Cayman as Kate in The Pirates of Penzance at the 5th Avenue Theatre. Photo by Tracy Martin.

 
Cayman singing in her solo cabaret show. Photo by Danielle Barnum.

Cayman singing in her solo cabaret show. Photo by Danielle Barnum.

Vanities - A New Musical

Cayman Ilika is fascinating as the enigmatic Kathy, and employs her rich, lower vocal tones with a near hypnotic skill. - David-Edward Hughes, Talkin' Broadway

Cayman Ilika is Kathy, head cheerleader and control freak of the trio; her gorgeous voice soars in the plaintive “Cute Boys with Short Haircuts”. - Miya Cohen-Sieg, Queen Anne News

Ilika (Kathy) outdoes herself with a rich and melodic voice that she seems to project effortlessly. - Safaa D., TeenTix

 

Show Boat

...when Ilika pours heart, soul and that rich, amber voice into the plaintive ballad "Bill," she pierces your heart. One hopes to see much more of her after this. - Misha Berson, The Seattle Times

 

Cayman Ilika... scores in the juiciest role, Julie—the center of the script's unprecedentedly hard-hitting miscegenation subplot—thanks to a voice that's startlingly beautiful just where it counts, the torchy bottom fifth. - Gavin Borchet, Seattle Weekly

 

Lovely Cayman Ilika’s Julie, the boat’s leading lady ruined by the revelation of her half-black heritage, delivers a dreamy “Can’t Help Lovin’ Dat Man” then in Act Two caresses a low, lustrous “Bill” that will knock you right out of your chair. - Steve Wiecking, Seattle Met

 

...The sultry, smoky voice of Cayman Ilika, who plays Julie LaVerne. She can make you feel heartbreak deep in your soul. - The Issaquah Press 

 

Cayman Ilika is a dream vocal match for the role of Julie, displaying one of the most potent, full-bodied alto voices heard on local stages in some time on both of her songs, and keeping a strong, forceful presence throughout her character's downward spiral. - David-Edward Hughes, Talkin' Broadway

 

...a wondrous performance of Julie LaVerne by Cayman Ilika - who is fast becoming a major Northwest musical theater artist. - Miryam Gordon, Seattle Gay News

 

Cayman, of course, is truly excellent as Julie. Cayman's voice is mostly smoke, amber, and velvet. She could sing "Happy Birthday" and retire on the tips. - Steve Matlock, There's No Place Like Home 

 

The role of Julie LaVerne goes to Cayman Ilika. She creates a breakout performance in her Village Theatre debut. She has a voice that makes you want to cry. - Merideth Pechta, Mukilteo Beacon

 

Always... Patsy Cline

Ilika has a beautiful voice and... just charmed and softened the crowd, so that by the end of each song, we were all honorary rednecks. And half of us were in love. - Prost Amerika

 

Cayman Ilika is phenomenal as Patsy Cline, mimicking the rich emotion of one of country's first great female stars.... Ilika is commanding and confident in the role and takes on even Cline's most challenging songs without a fault or falter. -Tacoma Weekly

   

This show is all about the performance – Cayman Ilika’s marvelous voice and winning stage presence on those great songs, and [Kate] Jaeger’s comic take on a lovable and somewhat crazy country music fan in 1961. Ilika is marvelous. She manages to capture the essence of Cline’s voice and style... And, she does something here I have never seen a singer in musical theater do. She opens Act 2 standing in one spot with a single spotlight, singing three songs in a row, and she holds the audience completely spellbound. -Alec Clayton, The News Tribune 

  

Ilika sings her heart out with a bold voice that expresses passion and yearning. She has a powerful stage presence and her performance is exuberant and heartfelt.- Deborah Stone, Woodinville Weekly 

 

Ring of Fire

...Jared Michael Brown and Cayman Ilika are terrific. ...Ilika is a chameleon of a singer, with a voice that's crystalline and substantial all at once. She's been Mary Poppins and Marian the Librarian, Patsy Cline and now June Carter Cash... and shines in all of them.  - Roger B.A. Klorese, Sex... and Longing (And Theatre)

 

Ilika, the only woman, doesn't shy away from the spotlight; her June Carter is ready to spar with the best of them. While her vocals soar on every number, the true testament to her musicianship are the diction and phrasing she uses on crowd favorite "I've Been Everywhere." - Leslie Youngblood, Dresdner's Theatre Reviews

 

Cayman Ilika, whose vocal range is one for the books, has the emotional skills to caress a song like 'All Over Again,' then turn around and spit out fast patter lyrics, worthy of Sondheim in the crowd-rousing "I've Been Everywhere." - David Edward Hughes, Jetspace Magazine

 

[Jared Michael Brown and Cayman Ilika] ...are both terrific singers and actors who pull the audience in, making even a fairly large house feel tiny and intimate... Neither tries to imitate Johnny and June, but interpret their songs in their own style, and sing with power. - Alec Clayton, South Sound Arts, etc.

 

The Sound of Music

Ilika’s voice was absolutely stunning, a well-trained instrument that often produced goose bumps. Her spunk and chemistry with the talented Matthew Posner as the captain was spot on and their tender moment certainly touched a chord during "Something Good"  - Theresa Goffredo, The Everett Herald

 

South Pacific

As "knucklehead" Nellie Forbush... rising Seattle star Cayman Ilika sings her hit-laden share of the score... with robust brilliance, and is able to bring out Nellie's harsher side when rejecting the romantic attention of Emile, due to his having parented two children with his late Polynesian wife.  -David-Edward Hughes, Talkin' Broadway

 

The Pirates of Penzance

Billie Wildrick, Cayman Ilika, and Jenny Shotwell twinkle as three prominently featured daughters of the Major General.  -David-Edward Hughes, Talkin' Broadway

 

I must mention Cayman Ilika, Jenny Shotwell, and Billie Wildrick for taking on the three spotlighted supporting sisters and making more than just expository voices out of them with their thoughtful and engaging characterizations and antics.  -Jay Irwin, Broadwayworld

 

Cayman Ilika - Sitting on Top of the World

Rising Seattle musical theatre star Cayman Ilika has a reason to be "Sitting on Top of the World" in her thusly titled, very engaging one-woman show, which runs all too briefly this weekend at ACT Theatre's Bullitt cabaret room.  Created and directed with a sure-hand by Broadway veteran Martin Charnin, the show is laden with great Broadway melodies and some unexpected delicious twists and song-pairings, a stand-out being a medley of Sondheim's "Not While I'm Around" and the Beach Boys "Don't Worry Baby", and a version of West Side Story's "Somewhere" set to another of that show's arrangements, which plays like gangbusters.  The golden-throated Cayman scores quite well in her first cabaret effort, and Charnin has even penned her a signature tune ala "Liza With A Z" where she explains her quirky first name's origin.  - David-Edward Hughes, Talkin' Broadway