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"The two top contenders are Zuzu (Jaeda LaVonne Smith) and Amina (Jess Andrews), best friends and bitter rivals. Both actors’ performances tinge the relationship with desperation and longing: even as they jockey for position in the studio, their bodies keep bumping clumsily into one another, betraying their need for connection. " (KC Studio- At The Unicorn 'Dance Nation'-Liz Cook) 


"LaVonne is pretty much a natural to play Stone, even if she has no background in baseball or softball (she does play volleyball) and had never heard of Stone before getting an email from Unicorn’s producing artistic director, Cynthia Levin, offering her the role." (The Kansas City Star-A League of Her Own: Kansas City play tells story of woman who made baseball history-Dan Kelly) 

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 "The Unicorn’s production of Lydia R. Diamond’s poetic if uneven script helps to correct the historical record, thanks to an all-star performance by Jaeda LaVonne in the title role, and an impressive display of teamwork." 
(KC Studio-At the Unicorn Theatre, “Toni Stone” Spotlights an Unsung Hero of Baseball (and American) History"-Victor Wishna) 

"Under the direction of Malkia Stampley, this fast-paced show has a lot of intensity and veracity; young LaVonne is especially empathetic but the scenes between LaVonne and Rivers all pulse with high stakes. This is very much Chicago-style acting: fearless, powerful and, as the cliché goes, in your face."

(Chicago Tribune-Chris Jones 'Review: In ‘The October Storm’ at Raven Theatre, a drama grows in a South Side apartment building')

"Jaeda LaVonne is deliciously petulant in her portrayal of Gloria, Mrs. Elkins’s naive and unmoored granddaughter, bursting at the seams with teenage angst. "
- (Chicago Reader-Sheri Flanders 'A refreshing October Storm')

"Jaeda LaVonne is equally terrific as teenaged Gloria, another young woman tortured by a need for human connection. The actress conceals the hurt inflicted by a mother who abandoned her as a baby, and a grandmother who is determined not to let her granddaughter make the same kinds of mistakes. But the anger and loneliness eventually burst forth, and the final moments between these two talented actresses is one of the most powerful and poignant scenes ever performed on the Raven stage."

- (Chicago Theatre Review- Colin Douglas 'Searching for Connection'[The October Storm])

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