NY POST : "Cocaine Dreams", Kraine Theater
“There’s one great idea in the play “Cocaine Dreams”...the inspired notion of having an actress (Jill Simon) portray the drug, behaving like a highly seductive mistress. The idea works; Simon couldn’t be better, and the play is very effective in making cocaine appear desirable.”
BACKSTAGE : "Cocaine Dreams", Kraine Theater
"Then appears a lithe woman clad ( in a ) white dress, a physical manifestation of the drug... portrayed by Jill Simon as a wonderfully physical and mute seductress.”
Concrete Rose Magazine:
Film : "Hungry" -written, co-directed and co-produced by Jillie Simon
This short film is about a grade school teacher who has a fear of speaking up in public (other than in front of her kids). But when she finds out that children in her school are going hungry because of federal cutbacks in the school lunch programs, it compels her to do things she wouldn't have thought she could do, including confronting a Congressman, in order to help the children.
-- This film is understandable and necessary, the team here at CRM are primarily from NYC and have encountered this situation directly and indirectly. Many families across the nation not just in NYC go through a trial of fighting with the local school system to ensure quality food and or transportation. The director did a brilliant job by incorporating the children and the NYC landscape into the film, giving it a level of depth not seen in many "Hollywood" films. The lead actress Jillie Simon played the idealistic teacher role perfectly, giving the audience a sense of compassion for her cause. Last but not least the child stars acted as naturals never missing a beat or a queue when on screen. The final outcome was a promising one, our fearful teacher stood next to a cause she believed in and overcame her fears to win a battle for the defenseless. - Chris Perez
Film Review: ‘Hungry’ by Jake King for Knockturnal Magazine
Sometimes, getting your message across requires just a little courage.The short film ‘Hungry,’ directed by Jillie and Thomas Simon, follows an elementary school teacher, Allison Lenare, who cares deeply for her students. Despite her compassion, she has a fear of public speaking, which is, ironically, something she encourages her students to overcome. However, it is she who must face this fear when she learns from two of her students that they are being refused free school lunches because of budget cuts, due to an act passed by Congressman Thicke (Eric Roberts). With determination and little pocket money, Allison will have to pluck up the courage to confront the congressman and keep her children from going hungry.
I came across this short film during the Big Apple Film Festival in 2016, and it has been continuing to appear on the film festival circuit. I found the film charming in the way it depicts its story... you’ll find that the film tells a noble story and does so with courage–just like its heroine. Most of the film’s charm comes from the performance of the actors, particularly Jillie Simon, who also wrote the film’s script, amongst her other contributions. As portrayed by Simon, Allison is someone that anyone would want to have as their elementary school teacher. Eric Roberts, as Congressman Thicke, shows that he has not lost an ounce of the charisma that made him a major Hollywood player in the first place.
‘Hungry’ is an ambitious short film about a person who, despite her obstacles, will do anything to fight for the rights of her students. ...Simon tells her story with compassion and sincerity, and that makes it worth a recommendation. Hungry will have its next screening at the Long Island International Film Expo (LIIFE) in in Bellmore, Long Island. If you are around Long Island, be sure to check it out! I bet you will be hungry for more from Jillie Simon!
Indie Film Review - Hungry Written By: Michael Haberfelner
Allison (played by Jillie Simon) is an idealistic grade school teacher who spends her days schooling students on democracy and how this institution has made the USA the greatest country in the world. While doing so, she notices that some of the kids she is responsible for cannot afford lunch in the school cafeteria. As a result, they are going hungry and getting sleepy throughout the day. She first addresses this with the cafeteria personnel, and then the school board, but the answer is always the same. Allison finds out that due to federal cutbacks in school lunch programs, lunch has become a privilege for those who can afford it. So, she makes up a plan to intercept the responsible Congressman, Dennis Thicke (played by Eric Roberts), and address the topic with him face to face. In order to have this happen, she would have to overcome her own fear of public speaking. Sure, she does fine with the children, but everyone else is a different matter for Allison. Once she gets through to the Congressman, she manages to find her mojo and does fine – until she lands in jail for harassment. Allison then has to ask herself: is this what our great democracy has come to, or is there a silver lining on the horizon?
When it comes to political dramas, things probably do not get any sweeter than the story telling in Hungry. In this case, sweet does not mean sugar-coated, but instead heart-warming. The filmmaker supports standing up for oneself to make a change, should classic politics fail to help. This is a more intelligent route instead of choosing to make a clear distinction along party lines and drive the message home with a sledge hammer. Jillie Simon gives her all portraying a highly relatable lead with everyday problems on top of everything else. Her secondary duty as director hands her challenges that are really palpable, yet her creative talents help Simon produce a successful film project. With all that said, keep your tissues handy. Spoiler Alert: the heart-warming ending will probably make you shed a tear or three.
Gornoblonde: June 5, 2016
Hoboken International Film Festival 2016 Spotlight: Indie Darling Jillie Simon
Lovably endearing and supremely talented Jillie Simon will leave viewers desiring her as they embrace her entertaining feature this week. In the short film “Hungry”, she stars as Allison Lenare, a grade school teacher who tragically finds out that her students have been thrown off the free school-lunch program. To stop the injustice, the perennially shy Allison musters up the courage to voice her concerns to a Congressman (Eric Roberts) so that the children don’t go famished. As you will discover from watching the films that are screening at this edition of the Hoboken Film Fest, the invasion of the ravishing redheads fronted by the delightful Jillie is upon us. You might suggest she’s indeed crave-worthy considering she directed as well as wrote “Hungry” and breathes such ebullience into this fascinatingly touching story as the screen heroine. Her representation of positivity (be it in a fictional sense) is so needed in this era of uneasiness and she is very much the heart of what is a tale of hope. In 2015, Jillie won the Award of Merit for her leading role in “Hungry” at the The Indie Fest Film Awards and do expect plenty more commendations to come her way whether in trophy form or critical praise. She’s endowed with that undeniable jovial spark, holding her in good stead whenever she brings the funny to audiences. Jillie is one of the most cultured actresses of the moment and is all set to thread the golden path of indie fandom." - Haren Yong
SARASOTA HERALD TRIBUNE on "Agnes of God", Florida Studio Theater
"Agnes calls for an actress who can portray confused childlike innocence. Amanda Plummer did it on Broadway and Jill (Simon) does it here. As Agnes she is all nerves and wide eyed wonder as she describes her visions... suggests the horrors of her childhood before the facts are ever stated. Jill (Simon's) performance is, at times, stunning."
ZIARUL Clujeanului, Transilvania, Romania, on Musiciens Sans Frontieres:
" The band's powerful recital started around 10pm and it lasted until midnight when the audience called them back on stage for an encore. For the audience this was an opportunity to sense the difference between Romanian and American bands and Thomas Simon's sound was exceptional. Stage presence was also at the highest level as singer Jillie Simon has worked in television and is also an actress. Her acting experience was clearly visible and she is for the most part responsible for the great show that Thomas Simon Musiciens Sans Frontieres had to offer."
B24-Fun, Bucharest, Romania on Musiciens Sans Frontieres:
" ...the band is a great indie rock traveler since they came to perform in front of the "Utopian" audience from Bucharest. On stage, Jillie Simon is the feminine voice that counterbalances Thomas Simon's rough vocals. I think she usually wears white and she is always almost painfully sensual... most of the reviews describe her as being "the light in the dark atmosphere" of the band's music. She has a delicate voice that seems to penetrate dramatically more than musically - like Melanie's voice did, if anyone still remembers her. The band is more than just a geographical wanderer, they also stroll through different musical territories - critics mention the Dead Can Dance tribalism, the Nine Inch Nails twilight, Moby's funk, etc. This means that, as their French name discloses, they are diligently tearing down frontiers; only that which they globalize is not commercial waste. "
NY NEWSDAY : LOVE ALIEN at CBGB's
LOVE THAT FUSION: Their band is like a fusion of Screaming Trees and Sophie B Hawkins. They have a slightly grungy psychedelic sound, and Jill (Simon) has a sensuous stage presence and breathy vocals that seem to owe a bit to performance art. It's an intriguing and original sound that is often riveting." - Martin Johnson
CMJ New Music Report - JACKPOT! : LOVE ALIEN
- FUTURES - Take Pat Benatar, cross her with Souxie Souix, dress her in a thrift shop burial gown, and the result might look and sound something like Jill... Love Alien's resident goth/goddess. (Jill) has been garnering rave reviews ( and probably more than her share of stalkers) as front-person for this busy NYC combo. The band itself musically quotes everyone from Echo & the Bunnymen to Love & Rockets, filtering it all through a Bauhausian psychedelic vibe. The electric buzz of the band's sound, combined with (Jill) 's cooing, forms a spiraling blend of solid... musical ideas. (Jill) 's voice would sound right at home at the bottom of some trip-hop groove or even (if produced properly) in the Top 40 dance-pop arena. Together, these two disparate elements - band and vocalist - combine to create a sound all their own; call it trip -grunge or maybe, grunge-hop. Whatever the label... if this wiry ensemble can capitalize on their own strengths, they might just escape the gravitational pull of New York's dark underbelly and explode into the limelight." - Greg Correo
Infinity Press (on LOVE ALIEN)
"The band's secret weapon is exotic vocalist Jill (Simon), who spins together a chanteuse style of glimmer and fury and commands a stage presence of erotic force. ...a holdback from a rock star mold which required a woman to look her best, yet have the talent to back up her flawless image. The songs throw together the best elements of each player, pulling toward Simon's deep vocals in one chorus while anchored down in Francois Gehin's throbbing bass the next. (Jill's) songs are equally excitable, as she drives her sticky sweet vocals into the heart of the... Love Alien rock machine. " - Joey Zielazinski
Network of the World (NOW) UK on LOVE ALIEN
“one of the most promising up & comers in the N.Y. scene”
Legends Magazine review of LOVE ALIEN -"In The Waves"
"...a tasty mix of fuzzy, funky, jammy and grungy guitars and Jill's pure angelic voice... The music on the album is so good and Jill's voice is so pretty I had no choice but like it and listen again and again and again. If you need a positive and soulful change of pace, from your hard rock or hip- hop...give Love Alien a listen...mixes well with mellow grunge, Neil Young, Kate Bush, Phish and Tori Amos."
"The group cut it's teeth in Europe, performing around the continent to appreciative crowds and garnering the support of the European press (written up in Finnish music mag RYTMI and various Austrian papers). Love Alien has been equally well received here in the states, having just completed a successful US tour which took them through 12 cities and appearances at a number of high profile clubs like CBGB's and Webster Hall. Love Alien plays to the gap between goth and grunge - then effortlessly slips in and begins building a slender bridge for the daring to walk across. Love Alien's sound is both beautiful and heavy, dark and soaring - tension and release. Musically, the band nods to everyone from Love and Rockets to Iggy Pop to Screaming Trees, blanketing a rock-solid rhythm section with a psychedelic wash of buzzing guitar. (Jill's) sensuous stage presence and ethereal cooing vocals - somewhere between Souxie Sioux and the Cocteau Twins - complete the package..." - Joe Collier
Jersey Beat review of LOVE ALIEN - Blue Planet Preview
Grunged-up, highly ominous and uniquely psychedelicized Gothic-style sonic rumbling. Jill (Simon)'s haunting, purring moan and Thomas Simon's husky growl trade off on the vocals, complementing each other beautifully. Simon's searing, fiercely lingering guitar rifts, Lior Shulman's gutty drums, and Francois Gehin's dense, bottom-heavy bass lines vividly create a calmly flowing, throbbing, very brooding and sinister aural witch's brew that's every bit as creepy and compelling as it ought to be. - Joe Wawyrzniak