Professional Reviews

"...the orchestra under the direction of musical director Darren R Cohen is lush and supportive of the singers..." Saratogian, Bob Goepfert (Man of La Mancha)

Boyd's rendering and musical direction by Darren R Cohen combine to fuel a spirited, tights, concise presentation..." Talkin' Broadway, Fred Sokol (Man of La Mancha)

"Kudos are deserved by a fine nine piece orchestra under the musical direction of Darren R Cohen." Berkshire Fine Arts, Charles Giuliano (Man of La Mancha)

The music direction by Darren R Cohen was close to perfection, and the orchestra sounded wonderful..." Berkshire on Stage, Gail Burns and Larry Murry (Man of La Mancha)

"Musical director Darren Cohen is part of a hard-working band, like the actors, never gets a chance to rest." Talkin' Broadway, Susan Berlin (Murder Ballad)

"We have all the atmophere, popcorn and pretzels on the table and a great cast plus a dynamic band under the direction of Darren R Cohen..." MD Theatre Guide, Elliot Lanes (Murder Ballad)

"Everyone in the cast sings beautifully, and the band led by Musical Director Darren Cohen is taut and versatile, adroitly handling the score's many shifts from more traditional Broadway fare to wailing rock numbers and back again. Cohen beautifully captures and delivers a note-perfect rendering of the Tony Award-winning score." DC Metro Theatre Arts, Gina Jun (Next To Normal)

"Darren Cohen conducts and is on piano. What a masterful job he does and what a great crew of musicians." Broadway World, Charles Shubow (Next To Normal)

"Music has always been the most important element of a musical and this Kiss Me, Kate has a large pit orchestra with all the requisite instrumentation: strings, reeds, percussion, and brass. At 12 pieces, it matches the requirements of most medium sized Broadway theatres. Musical Director Darren R Cohen has found the best players ever to be fielded in a Berkshire theatre, with a sound so magnificently balanced and flawless, you could sense Cole Porter smiling down on them." Broadway World, Larry Murray (Kiss Me, Kate)

"Every song sounds better thanks to the musical direction of Darren R Cohen and his orchestra." The Troy Record, Bob Goepfert (Kiss Me, Kate)

"Everything, from the staging to the casting to the musical direction of the voices to the arrangements that make a 13-person orchestra sound like a symphony, works smoothly and impressively from start to finish." The Hartford Examiner, Andrew Beck (Kiss Me, Kate)

"...and of course, a lush score by Cole Porter that is given its due with BSC's 12-piece orchestra under the baton of Darren R Cohen." Rural Intelligence, Dan Shaw (Kiss Me, Kate)

" The top-notch ten-piece orchestra under the direction of Darren R. Cohen nailed Leonard Bernstein's energetic and upbeat score." Albany Times Union, Michael Janairo (On The Town)

"Enhanced by Beowulf Boritt’s simple storybook set and Darren R. Cohen’s glimmering musical direction (the evocative period costumes are by Jennifer Caprio), this New York is enfolded in a hazy, fairy-tale innocence." NY Times, Ben Brantley

"...and musical director, Darren R Cohen, good humouredly put up with a lot of cast interenece, (for fun), as he led the dynamic orchestra with gusto." - Berkshire Record, Rex Hearn On The Town)

"Yesterday, during the opening of the musical, it was bookeded with Standing O's. The first, rather surprisingly, with Darren R Cohen conducting the superb orchestra in the "National AtheM" with the audience singing along." - Berkshire Fine Arts, Charles Guiliano On The Town)

"Darren R Cohen's orchestra handles the difficulties of Leonard Bernstein's score (or if you count the six ballet sequences separately from the songs and dances) beautifully." - Berkshire Bright Focus, J. Peter Bergman (On The Town)

"...this is a totally Broadway-ready musical. Wish it was possible to transfer to one of the medium sized Broadway houses where a dozen musicians in the pit is acceptable. Speaking of the music, Darren R.Cohen has picked his pit instrumentalists well, especially the strings that are so essential to the period, topnotch brass, reeds, percussion and keyboards. The sound does credit to the complex Bernstein score." Broadway World, Larry Murray (On The Town)

"Cohen directed the orchestra and ensemble with musical excellence and ensured that each voice was powerful and clear. The words were crisp and coherent, and I can't think of a time I noticed a voice out of place." Zach Archuleta (Les Miserables)

"Darren Cohen's musical direction is impeccable; you can distinguish every word." -Salt Lake City Tribune, Barbara May (Les Miserables)

" Musical director Darren Cohen has created gorgeous, sophisticated arrangements – including a striking transformation of “In My Own Little Corner”, the cheery Rodgers & Hammerstein classic, into a darker, meditative jazz piece unwinding from an insistent bass ostinato.", Robb Hartman (I'm So Sorry...For Everything) Metropolitan Room, NYC.

Longtime BSC musical director Darren Cohen also deserves note. His orchestra is spot-on throughout with a big, bold sound that sweetens the ballads and drives the dance numbers." -Michael Eck, Albany Times Union (Fiddler on the Roof)

"Though the music is well-known, music director Darren Cohen imbues the songs with delicacy and vigor." - Lakeville Journal, Macey Levin (Fiddler on the Roof)

"The ten-piece orchestra under the direction of Darren Cohen were great. There is a welcome amount of superb dancing, good chorus work, and lovely singing throughout." Berkshire Record, Rex Hearn (Fiddler on the Roof)

"With Barrington Stage's long time music director on board, the score is pure heaven". Curtain Up, Elyse Sommer (Fiddler on the Roof) Berkshire Regional Theatres Awards - Standout Musical Direction: Darren Cohen for "Guys and Dolls."

"Top notch musical direction by Darren Cohen" WBRK Radio, Ron Lee (Guys and Dolls)

"...backed by musical director Darren Cohen's fabulous band dazzles with "Luck Be a Lady." Michael Eck, Albany Times Union (Guys and Dolls)

"Musically, this production of Guys and Dolls scores high marks, all wonderfully supported by a top-notch orchestra under the baton of Darren Cohen." Matthew G Morris, Daily Gazette (Guys and Dolls)

"Darren Cohen does his usual excellent job as music director, and every number in the show is great, from the harmonies in the men's ensemble to the Havana scene with hot salsa dancing and the Hot Box Girls burlesque numbers." Lesley Ann Beck, Berkshire Arts Almanac (Guys and Dolls)

"Musical director Darren Cohen and choreographer by Josh Bergasse, absolutely raise the roof any number of times." Fred Sokol (Guys and Dolls)

"Musical Director Darren Cohen once again succeeds in taking a small group of accomplished musicians and creating a big, rich sound, and the vocals are polished and balanced perfectly." Lesley Ann Beck, Berkshire arts Almanac (Guys and Dolls)


"...trumping with a full house of a marvelous nine piece orchestra. It is superbly conducted by music director Darren Cohen." Charles Giuliano, Berkshire Fine Arts (Sweeney Todd)

"Darren Cohen’s pit band offers magnificent support throughout. It’s a huge sounding group..." Michael Eck, Albany Times-Union (Sweeney Todd)

"...and music director Darren Cohen tell it with a purity and integrity that reaches deep into the story’s aching heart." "... there is not a misstep anywhere on stage or, for that matter, in the pit, from which Cohen has Sondheim’s score very well in hand." Jeff Borak, Berkshire Eagle (Sweeney Todd)

"...and a terrific nine-piece orchestra directed by Darren Cohen, this “Sweeney Todd’’ also sounds wonderful. The depth and complexity of Sondheim’s score come across with admirable clarity, and the orchestra manages never to overwhelm the singers while still creating a vivid musical presence of its own." Louise Kennedy, Boston Globe (Sweeney Todd)

"Ms. Boyd's long time musical director Darren Cohen does full justice to the nuances of the score with a larger than usual orchestra." Curtain Up Review (Sweeney Todd)

"Everything involved with music including music direction by Darren Cohen, orchestration by Harold Wheeler, vocal music arrangement by Ted Sperling and David Yazbek, dance music arrangement by Zane Mark and sound design by Robert Sereno was up to the high standards of the Music Circus. The very experienced musicians with the Music Circus Orchestra also have long contributed to this level of quality." Bill Burgua, Sacramento Press (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels- Sacramento Music Circus)

" the R&H-approved two-piano version, which come off surprisingly well, especially when played with the sensitivity and zest of the incumbent pianists, Darren Cohen and Adam Laird." John Simon, Bloomberg (Carousel)

"Darren Cohen’s musical direction is so lively that it’s easy to forget what he’s “directing’’: two pianos, no orchestra." Louise Kennedy, Bostone Globe (Carousel)

"The foursome (and singing pianist-musical director Darren R. Cohen) bite into fan favorites, obscurities and trunk tunes." Kenneth Jones, Playbill (Make Me a Song at New World Stages)

"It may be too early for a show anthologized from the musicals of William Finn, especially one that doesn't include anything from his biggest hit, "The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee." This revue, conceived and directed by Rob Ruggiero - with deft musical direction and piano accompaniment by Darren R. Cohen - features an engaging off-Broadway original cast foursome warbling some 29 charming, mildly humorous and/or tiresome songs that tend to blend together, making one wonder if Finn would ever escape from "Falsettoland" (he did). Standouts include the lovely four-part harmonies on "Unlikely Lovers" (capping a prolonged "Falsettos Suite"), the very witty play on the many meanings of "Change" and the cute "Passover" (from "Elegies"), telling a family saga through a child's eyes. But the two-CD set is a bit too much of a pretty good thing." CD REVIEWS: MAKE ME A SONG: THE MUSIC OF WILLIAM FINN, By Robert Hurwitt

"Music director and conductor Cohen does a beautiful job leading his 11-piece orchestra through the complicated score to create the essential heartbeat of the show." By Terry Byrne, Boston Globe (West Side Story at Barrington Stage Co.)

"The pit band, conducted by Darren R. Cohen, plays the music so well that is actually sounds like a fresh, new score." Peter Bergman Theatre Review (West Side Story at Barrington Stage Co.)

"Darren R. Cohen leads the onstage band with the strength, spark and determination of one of the locomotives that roar through Ithica." Frank Rizzo, Variety (Human Comedy)

"...especially someone like Darren Cohen our musical director, who is one of the smartest musician's I've ever been able to work with." Damon Intrabartolo (Ann E. Wrecksick at Ars Nova)

"You're brilliant!" Karen Ziemba, Tony Award Winner (Karen Ziemba and Friends)

"Musical director Darren Cohen was sensitive to the moods the music evoked, and the requirements of his performers." Sharon Richmond, Gold Country Times (Smokey Joe's Cafe' - Sac. Music Circus)

"Thank you for your musicality." Jasmine Guy (National Tour of Chicago)

"You are brilliant and wonderful." Kaye Ballard (Hey Ma, Kaye Ballard)

"You are a great musician." Mary Rodgers (Richard Rodgers Tribute)

"You are terrific. Thank you for your sensitive and beautiful work." Jerry Herman (Dear World at Goodspeed)

"Your insight and musicality is greatly appreciated." Marni Nixon (Cabaret and Follies)

"Your work on Parade was top-notch." Hal Prince (Parade at NYU)

"Your work on Forum is superior." Steve Wolff (Forum at Rep Theatre of St. Louis)

"Sondheim And the Playhouse have been served by your talent and dedication." Arnold Mittleman (Coconut Grove Playhouse)

"Your work is wonderful, but your sense of humor is priceless." Karen Mason (Side By Side By Sondheim and Carnival)

"Darren R. Cohen and his musical wizards bring out the best of the Sondheim score." Steve Allen, KFUO-FM, St. Louis (A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to The Forum)

"This stunning revival, savvily conducted by Darren Cohen should not be allowed to die after its short run." John Simon, (Follies at Barrington Stage Company) "Musical director Darren R. Cohen has an acute feel for the dramatic values in one of Sondheim's richest, most ingeniously conceived scores." Jeffrey Borak, Berkshire Eagle (Follies at Barrington Stage Company)

"Darren Cohen must be given credit for the terrific musicality of the cast." Bob and Karen Isaacs, The Sound (Follies at Barrington Stage Company)

"Musical director Darren Cohen manages a surprisingly lush sound form his eight-piece orchestra, and has done yeoman's work balancing the vocalists' affinities." Jonathan Levine, Pittsfield Gazette (Follies at Barrington Stage Company)

"All that beautiful music, directed by Darren Cohen lead a phenomenal eight-piece orchestra that sounds twice the size." Bob Goepfert, Troy Record (Follies at Barrington Stage Company)

"...except when it comes to the music, which, typical of BSC productions, is handled expertly. (Darren Cohen is the musical director.)" Steve Vineberg, Providence Phoenix (Follies at Barrington Stage Company)

"...and the band under Darren Cohen produces an amazing fullness with only eight pieces" Malcolm Johnson, Hartford Courant (Follies at Barrington Stage Company)

"Barrington Stage's "Company" is at its strongest when it si in the hands of music director Darren R Cohen" Jeffrey Borak, Berkshire Eagle

"Cohen's musical direction is solidly on key." Jim Ruth, Sunday News (Guys & Dolls)

"Cohen is an excellent pianist and musical director." Jean Thurman, The Carmel Pine Cone (Hey Ma...Kaye Ballard)

"Mr. Cohen's conducting and interpretation are professional and maturely perceptive. The 30-piece orchestra responded to his clear and authoritative directions with a reading to have delighted composer Leonard Bernstein." Edward Charboneau, B-P Post (West Side Story)

"My hat goes off to musical director Darren R. Cohen." Christine Spangler, Daily Jefferson County Union (42nd Street)

"Outstanding musical direction goes to Darren Cohen." Gloria Cole, Fair Press (Sugar at the Downtown Cabaret)

"The six-member band under the direction of Darren Cohen cooks with a 1930's strut." Eric Weitz, News-Times Theatre (Sugar at the Downtown Cabaret)

"Jazzily crisp and on target." Sugar Bonnie Goldberg, Bulletin Theatre (Sugar at the Downtown Cabaret)

"You are terrific as a musician as well as a leader." Janet Hayes Walker, (Carnival at the York Theatre Company; Winner, Outer Critics Circle Award)

"The hero of the evening is Darren R. Cohen at the piano." Jerry Tallmer, NY Post (Show Me Where The Good Times Are at the Jewish Repertory Theatre)

"The orchestra plays elegantly under the direction of Darren Cohen." Jackie Demaline, Cincinnati Enquirer (A Little Night Music at the Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park)

"The excellent band, under musical direction of Darren Cohen, get an awful lot of sound out of three instruments." Bob Harrington, Back Stage (Day Dreams - Music and Magic of Doris Day)

"Darren Cohen's orchestra was excellent!" William H Soloman (Grand Night For Singing at the North Shore Music Theatre)

"...and the musical direction of Darren Cohen is also first-rate giving, Kander & Ebb's score the sound it deserves." Ryan DeFoe, Talkin' Broadway (Zorba at the North Shore Music Theatre)

"As musical director, Darren Cohen proves he can shift easily from rock 'n' roll to torch song with ease." Richard Bammer, The Sacramento Reporter (Footloose at the Sacramento Music Circus)

"Darren Cohen's musical direction is superb." Helen Powers, Citizen News (Flora, the Red Menace at the Westport Playhouse)

"...musical director Darren Cohen , who plays a terrific piano..." Iris Fanger, Boston Herald (Grand Night For Singing at the North Shore Music Theatre)