John Ahlin

Actor - Playwright


John Ahlin as Falstaff

What a magnificent performance! NJ Arts Maven


The actor playing Falstaff is wonderful.  His scenes sparkle.  The Star Ledger


John Ahlin brings this character to marvelous life in a masterful performance that ought not be missed. Stage Magazine


Leading the cast, as the absolutely perfect, larger-than-life Falstaff, is John Ahlin.  Theater Examiner


His portrayal of Shakespeare's fictional knight is simply tremendous. His eyes alone tell Falstaff's story. We glory in his triumphs and mourn his tragedies. He owns the stage in every scene that features his character and masterful acting. Ahlin is a full-body actor; it's not just his mouth acting but every bit of him. His physical comedy is priceless. His moans and groans tell more of a story than William Shakespeare's own words. He's just delightful. His greatest scene, however, comes near the end of the production. It's a moment where Ahlin's face tells the story of the play, which is ultimately a tale of change, a fable of transition. And the look that comes over Ahlin's face when his character recognizes this change is why we go to live theater. It's a chance to see a master so convincingly portray an emotion that we in the audience are moved to empathy. We feel what the beloved knight feels because Ahlin lets us into Falstaff's breaking heart.


Falstaff could not be getting a more formidably endearing portrayer than John Ahlin. Falstaff is famously known as one of the greatest comic figures in dramatic literature and made more so by Ahlin’s memorable performance.  I am in his debt for his bringing Falstaff’s delectable wit to the fore, leaving us to instantly forgive his misguided morals. Would that Falstaff should always be seen through the lovably pathetic, villainous and vain posturing that Ahlin brings to the role.   CurtainUp


With John Ahlin’s crowd-pleasing performance, Falstaff is all irrepressible id — and proud of it, yet you can almost see Falstaff’s heart break under all that bluster.  Asbury Park Press


He lies, he cheats, he cajoles, flirts and steals, and that’s all in the first two minutes. He is an electric character, big enough in both stomach and scope to steal the show. Ahlin plays him beautifully.  History News Network


Ahlin’s Falstaff brims with wit and humor and best of all reveals a vulnerability and tenderness…a comic delight, but those familiar with this play’s sequel are likely to be moved all the more by Ahlin’s performance, and even those who are not will recognize a powerful human spirit in this wonderful Falstaff.  Stage Magazine


For all of Falstaff’s wine-soaked girth and chronically bleary air, Mr. Ahlin’s character, with his picturesque whiskers, possesses a roistering vitality that makes him raffish good/bad company for Hal. It is a credit to Mr. Ahlin’s discretion as an actor that this lovable Falstaff does not completely steal every scene in which the lusty old reprobate appears.   New York Times


It is not coincidental that the accomplished John Ahlin has made a specialty of playing Falstaff. Whether in the tavern or on the battlefield, Ahlin richly portrays Falstaff in all his shameless glory. Whether lying about his exploits or lying face down on the battlefield to save his skin by pretending to be a corpse, Ahlin's Falstaff projects a delight in himself which makes him appealing to the Prince and to us despite his incorrigibility. Talkin’ Broadway


As for Ahlin's comedic prowess, a drunken Falstaff attempting to put on a shoe or embellishing a story drew gales of laughter from the audience. It is a joy to watch this seasoned actor tackle such an iconic role, arousing our sympathy for what could be an unattractive character. He is truly in love with this young man, is more of a father to him than the king, so when Hal moves on to the next part of his life, we feel sad for Falstaff.   NJ Arts Maven


From the moment Ahlin stumbles onto the stage the first time he captures the audience and holds them in the palm of his extremely funny hand for the rest of the play. He masterfully offers all manner of physical comedy as well as inhabiting the quick wit of the character. Ahlin takes one of Shakespeare's best loved characters and makes him all the more lovable if that is possible.  Morris Beats


Ahlin’s Falstaff is not some larger-than-life clown, but the all too human bacchanal, as prone to fear and self-doubt as the rest of us. This Falstaff is a comic delight when navigating his way as far from battlefield danger as possible, but he simultaneously arouses a deep pathos with his desperate efforts to cling to life. Ahlin’s Falstaff brims with wit and humor and best of all reveals a vulnerability and tenderness…a comic delight but those familiar with how this relationship ends in this play’s sequel are likely to be moved all the more by Ahlin’s performance, but even those who are not will recognize a powerful human spirit in this wonderful Falstaff.  Stage Magazine


He finds not only the obvious and more sensitive fun in the role, but also the meat (his “honor” speech, for example, has rarely been as nicely fashioned).  He never overplays.


Ahlin gives the full measure of his considerable comedic gifts to flesh out this very fleshy blowhardAhlin steals the night.  Princeton Packet


John Ahlin’s Falstaff is a Bad Santa mix of wily rogue and self-awareness that becomes annealed into a  charming combination…it’s something you simply must see.  Q onstage


The perpetually soused scamp Sir John Falstaff  was played by irrepressible, irresistible John Ahlin. Falstaff’s all-too-human adventures possess an emotional depth and impact largely missing from the machinations of King Henry, his allies and enemies. Las Vegas Review-Journal


Falstaff was played brilliantly. Orlando Sentinel





The Critic/Real Inspector Hound

The critic of the title, Mr. Dangle, is robustly played by a terrific John Ahlin. Theatre Guide

Ahlin could not be more perfect for Birdboot in “Hound,” ranging from bluster to beautifully subtle physical tics. Delightful. Minneapolis Star Tribune

The satirically adroit cadre of actors Kahn has assembled, including the ripely clownish John Ahlin as the Critic and in The real Inspector Hound an especially funny Ahlin, bugging out his eyes in Zero Mostel fashion, as Birdboot.  Washington Post

Ahlin, solid and nimble, engages in the goofiness without wallowing in it. Pioneer Press


The Alchemist

Sadly, the production makes us wait close to three hours for the entrance of the great John Ahlin, in the role of Lovewit, but his performance is nonetheless a delight. New Jersey Footlights


Twelfth Night

Another show stopper was John Ahlin as Sir. Toby Belch, the resident philandering drunk. Ahlin leaned into the overtly loquacious Belch. Seedy and malevolent, he traveled through the stage, pin balling his anarchy upon anyone who stood near his undertow of unbridled tomfoolery. Masterful. LOCALarts

Practically Perfect.  Among many fine performances, John Ahlin standouts as Toby. T’was A Masterpiece BWW Review

Sir Toby Belch (John Ahlin) is still as fat, flatulent, roguish and full of himself as anyone could wish, yet re-conceived not as a disreputable knight errant but as a drunk and disreputable nobleman. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette



Certainly the most effective and exciting scenes... are those in which the boisterous common people of Rome collide with the senators and upper classes... fueled by John Ahlin and Corey Tazmania
as the officious tribunes, whose sly machinations ultimately jeopardize their own community. New York Times

Excellent performances include the duo of John Ahlin and Corey Tazmania, who shine as leaders and spokespeople of the commoners. The Star Ledger

The tribunes, played to perfection by John Ahlin and Corey Tazmania Front Row Center

John Ahlin and Corey Tazmania were a fine pair of skillfully crafty tribunes. CurtainUp

In the roles of the Tribunes are John Ahlin and Corey Tazmania whose deceptive campaign to discredit Coriolanus is so well presented that it makes the final turns of the plot easy to understand but not necessarily to be pleased with the results. Let's Go To The Theater

The duo of John Ahlin and Corey Tazmania who shine as leaders and spokespeople of the commoners. Out In Jersey


Much Ado About Nothing

Among the supporting players, John Ahlin, who plays the blustery constable Dogberry, is the star. Mr. Ahlin plays this grand comic role to the hilt. New York Times


A Dram of Drumhicit

John Ahlin is also quite wonderful as Fiona's father, Angus. San Diego Union Tribune


Arsenic and Old Lace

Ahlin’s presence on stage is a thing of pure joy, exactly what the oblivion of complete insanity must be like. Splash Magazine

It was also great casting to bring John Ahlin fresh from his great performance on Broadway in the Tony-winning play Journey's End (with Broadway veterans Boyd Gaines and Jefferson Mayes). Ahlin was amazing in that play, and he plays a terrific Teddy Roosevelt in Arsenic. Charles Shubow


A Midsummer Night’s Dream

Ahlin’s Bottom stole the show by committing suicide in at least ten different ways.  Beginning with a conventional sword-under-the-arm thrust, he paused for a beat, and still standing, mimed severing his limbs.  When this did not satisfy Bottom’s need for drama, he poured poison into his ear, strangled himself, and put an asp to his chest.  Still on his feet, he pulled out an imaginary rope and hanged himself, and then turned to a classical standby and pulled out his eyes and held them at arm’s length while he staggered across the stage.  Apparently interpreting the Athenians’ shock at his performance as awe, Bottom stepped forward, yanked a pillow out from under Hermia, and suffocating himself, finally slumping to the floor face down.  But even in death Bottom ruled the stage as he was too heavy for his colleagues to roll over and so as they futilely pushed and pulled at his corpse, the Athenians continued with their lines. Several audience members were laughing so hard tears streamed down their faces.  And so, though the production continued for another five minutes, for the audience it ended with Ahlin’s death. M.G.Aune

Fiddler on the Roof  

Fiddler starts to really purr when Tevye and the butcher Lazar Wolf (the excellent John Ahlin) come together at a tavern. NewsWorks

Lazar Wolf, as played by John Ahlin, is quite likable and you feel for him at the turn of events. The Morning Call



Ahlin is spectacular… entertaining and thought-provoking. Theatre Is Easy, Best Bet


Waiting for Godot

I think the current production of "Godot" would leave Beckett -- and his estate -- quite content. The central team of John Ahlin as Didi and Keith Jochim as his partner Gogo volley effortlessly, comfortable with Beckett's words and their characters' lots. Mr. Ahlin is the Oliver Hardy of the pair -- rotund, (relatively) jolly and topped with a bowler hat. Mr. Jochim embodies the more female spirit of the downtrodden duo of timeless tramps, Didi and Gogo, who play out the travails of marriage and life itself, in finely nuanced performances. New York Times


Journey’s End

Waiting is the dynamic of “Journey’s End.” But with a fine, largely American cast that keeps its characters’ anxieties on a taut leash, watching the waiting is anything but tedious. To a man, the actors work with admirable finesse in making this possible. Yet the eyes of each consistently betray messier, softer feelings, to us if not to one another. When Stanhope tells Trotter he envies him because nothing upsets him, Mr. Ahlin’s rendering of Trotter’s short, noncommittal response makes it clear just how wrong Stanhope is.  Ben Brantley New York Times

The gripping actors have been well chosen, including a swell John Ahlin…indeed, all the actors leave indelible marks, including John Ahlin as Trotter, the up-from-the-ranks bloke whose large appetites never outweigh his dedication to duty Washington Post