"Bill Rauch's casting choices are impeccable. Peter Frechette as Goneril's husband Albany, Red Young as Regan's spouse Cornwall, Raffi Barsoumian as Lear's younger illegitimate son Edmund, Richard Elmore as the Earl of Gloucester, Armando Duran as the Earl of Kent, and Benjamin Pelteson as the plotting legitimate son of Lear are superb."
-Richard Connema, Talkin' Broadway San Francisco
"Edgar is the only true force for good in this vision of Lear. In his first appearance onstage in 1.2, he is already beginning to reject the corrupt, power-hungry world of his father and his king. He is drunk, and his fancy clothes are dishevelled – he is still a part of of the world of the elite, but he is scornful of it. After Edmund tricks him into going into exile in 2.1 to save himself, Edgar’s next appearance is as Poor Tom (and in this production, the emphasis is very much on the “poor”). Edgar is the only character in this play to completely remove himself from the moral bankruptcy of his family and their society, as evidenced by his complete rejection of their clothes, their language, their social mores, and their sense of entitlement. In 4.6, when Edgar kills Goneril’s servant Oswald to save Gloucester, Oswald offers his purse to Edgar in return for honorable burial. Most productions make the choice to have Edgar either pocket the money or to leave it be; this Edgar throws the purse with violent distaste into the trap into which Oswald’s body descends, as if the mere presence of money is repugnant to his senses, or perhaps to his morality. Edgar is also the only character in the entire play to express horror and remorse for taking a life, even when it is justified. When Edgar kills Oswald, he reacts with shame and horror, telegraphing clearly that this is the first time he has taken a human life. In the final scene, when he prevails over Edmund, there is no triumph, no joy, only profound regret. Upon ascension to the throne, Edgar is neither proud nor victorious, but resigned to a necessary struggle that only he can undertake without falling into the traps of corruption and blind privilege. In the world of this production of Lear, success is hard and painful and offers few rewards other than simple dignity and moral fortitude. To Edgar, kingship is is a job to be done, not a prize to be won."
-Co-authored by Alexander Fitzhugh, The Shakespeare Standard
"Similarly, Benjamin Pelteson shone as Gloucester's loyal son Edgar. Even in his crazy moments, this Edgar was on track and accessible."
-Dangerous Common Sense (Blog)
Shakespeare Theatre Company
"A good portion of our compassion for “the Jew” was actually generated by the brilliant performance of Benjamin Pelteson as Tubal. He not only was a young man cast in a role more traditionally rendered as a man older than Shylock, he also appeared in many other scenes than the sole scene written for him. ...Pelteson’s Tubal silently but intently watched his old mentor and then carefully interchanged his news of Jessica’s extravagance with the news of Antonio’s demise. ...Young Tubal navigated the dangerous slums with intelligent dignity. Knowing that it was this young Tubal who provided Shylock the 3,000 ducats for the bond...we could already see in him someone who would some day become a major Wall Street financier and eventual owner of Belmont itself."
-Eric Minton, Shakesperiences
Ensemble Studio Theatre
"Benjamin Pelteson, as Don Caspar, an American disciple of Franklin's, impresses as a sympathetic soul in Franklin's world of nonchalant vipers."
-Karl Levett, Backstage
"In her possible romance with Caspar at the end of the play and in the missed opportunity for Wilkins to bond with her over Shakespeare, it is the wistfulness and remorse of the men that is most sympathetic."
-Victoria Linchong, NYTheatre.com
"Benjamin Pelteson has a lot of heavy lifting as Louis, the soul-searching cynic who rationalizes dumping Prior after his diagnosis and jumping into an affair with Joe Pitt. Louis also represents Kushner the self-doubting polemicist and Pelteson does a good job naturalizing the didactic nature of Louis's speeches. His key scenes with Sottile and Deeker also, like so many moments by this cast, are both subtle and operatic."
-Lew Whittington, The Huffington Post
"Benjamin Pelteson is exceptional as the gay, Jewish intellectual who is in love with Prior but just can’t stand to be with him when he’s dying."
-Dante J.J. Bevilacqua, Journal Register News Service
"...Highlights include Benjamin Pelteson’s Louis, a bucket of neuroses whose ambivalence is only matched by his self-awareness."
-Jeremy Gabel, EDGE
"Pelteson does the most with the least likable role. He’s snappy, funny, deeply pained and virulent with self-hatred, he’s hard to watch and he’s hard to turn away from. We can see why Prior would love him, why Belize would scorn him, and why Joe would find himself infatuated with this mouthy awkward Jew, he’s defiant in theory and cowardly in practice, he’s what we all are on the inside even though none of us want to be. We would like to think, and maybe it’s true, that when the people around us start falling apart at the seams, we would stay, we would be strong, we would know what to do and we would do it well. But most of us in our darkest hours know that if it ever came down to it, well, the survival instinct is strong, and true altruism has yet to be found in the natural world by science. We would love to hate Louis, in the same way we enjoy, to some extent, hating Roy, but we can’t. And Pelteson’s performance certainly doesn’t make it possible."
-Leah Franqui, Staged
"...The neurotic, craven Louis (Benjamin Pelteson, capturing Louis’ charm and quick wit as well as his weakness) flees his long-term relationship with Prior [...] when Prior starts exhibiting the horrific effects of AIDS. Nevertheless, Louis is always ready with tortured and convoluted rationalizations for his behavior."
-Michael Schwartz, Stage Magazine
"Benjamin Pelteson and Luigi Sottile as Louis and Joe respectively, convince as they wrestle with their angels."
-Kathryn Oselund, CurtainUp
"Aubrey Deeker as Prior and Benjamin Pelteson as Louis had great chemistry which made the ups and downs in their relationship identifiable to the world-at-large."
-TS Hawkins, Queer 2 the T
"Watching the torment of Louis, who deserts his lover because he can’t deal with the illness, I re-lived the anguish of seeing friends die at young ages (albeit not from AIDS). Angels portrays the different ways men face death, and demonstrates how excruciating end-of-life can be. [...] One scene stands out as especially relevant today: a long conversation between the well-meaning liberal Louis (Benjamin Pelteson) and the black nurse Belize (James Ijames.) Louis babbles platitudes and Belize nails him as a racist. The confrontation is particularly jarring because Louis appears to be a stand-in for Kushner."
-Steve Cohen, Broad Street Review
Another interesting, seldom-seen role is that of struggling gay playwright, David Ragin (played with subtle flair by Benjamin Pelteson) who lives above the eventually divorced Sidney's apartment, and is so used to rejection that he doesn't know how to handle success.
-Beti Webb Trauth, Tri-City Weekly
"A Gay playwright based on Edward Albee (perfectly portrayed by Benjamin Pelteson) is the Brusteins' upstairs neighbor."
-Alice Bloch, Seattle Gay News
“Benjamin Pelteson makes a compelling figure of a patient in whom suffering has extinguished anything except fanatical certainty.”
-Peter Marks, The Washington Post
“Subtly and powerfully portrayed”
-James Howard, Broadwayworld.com
Chester Theatre Company
"Dov (Benjamin Pelteson) exchanges guilt-studded bravado with enough global guilt to sustain a kibbutz of mothers."
- Donna Bailey-Thompson, In The Spotlight
“Pelteson brings a madcap freneticism which arrives on stage just as you wonder whether things can get any zanier. They can, and they do.”
-Charlie McMeekin, The Herald
“The Man who Came to Dinner places pivotal plot points in the hands of two ‘minor’ characters: dashing, foppish actor Beverly Carlton (Kevin Carter) and impish skirt-chaser Banjo (Ben Pelteson), presumably stand-ins for Noel Coward and Harpo Marx. Appearing well into the action, Carter and Pelteson are like gold nuggets found at the bottom of a Cracker Jack box.”
-Tom Hill, Valley News
Shakespeare on the Sound
“Benjamin Pelteson, as his Dromio, is an engaging clown well in command of physical antics and comic timing.”
-Irene Backalenick, Connecticut Post
"Benjamin Pelteson is a delightful clown.”
-David A. Rosenberg, The Hour