All stories by Samuel Garza Bernstein on BroadwayStars

Monday, February 1, 2021

Theater Review: HI, ARE YOU SINGLE? (Woolly Mammoth, IAMA) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

JUDGING RYAN Ryan J. Haddad opens his autobiographical solo play Hi, Are You Single? with a funny, sexy, and sweetly awkward phone masturbation scene. His search for sex and intimacy as a qu…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:04AM
Monday, January 25, 2021

Theater Review: BOLLYWOOD KITCHEN (Geffen Playhouse) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

CURRY HAS NOTHING TO DO WITH CURRY About a week prior to virtually attending Bollywood Kitchen, Sri Rao’s inventive solo memoir and home cooking experience, a beautiful box arrives contain…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:40PM
Friday, December 4, 2020

Theater Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (starring Jefferson Mays) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

SINGING THE PRAISES OF A CAROL At this time of year, productions about dear old Scrooge are ablaze as usual, even in streaming mode. One-man shows, radio plays, and reruns on film. What’s …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:02AM
Sunday, October 13, 2019

Theater Review: THE ABUELAS (Antaeus Theatre Company in Glendale) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

THE DIRTY WAR COMES HOME Stephanie Alison Walker’s The Abuelas at Antaeus Theatre is the story of a woman discovering that she is a child of the “Disappeared,” the approximately 30,000…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:28PM
Wednesday, September 25, 2019

Theater Review: A PLAY IS A POEM (World Premiere by Ethan Coen at the Mark Taper in Los Angeles) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

SHOWTIME AT THE VANITIES Ethan Coen’s A Play Is a Poem at the Mark Taper Forum strikes me as neither a poem, nor, strictly speaking, theater. I don’t know what it is. For the most part t…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:35PM
Tuesday, September 17, 2019

Theater Review: SKINTIGHT (Geffen Playhouse) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

THE NEW NORMAL A weird dynamic takes over the house at Skintight, Joshua Harmon’s comedy, now at the Geffen Playhouse. In broad terms, it feels like a battle of the sexes — with men in t…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:33AM
Monday, July 8, 2019

Los Angeles Theater Review: WE SHOULD HANG OUT SOMETIME (Santa Monica Playhouse) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

A GUY WITH ONE LEG WALKS INTO A THEATER… This show-in-residence at the Santa Monica Playhouse (it plays most Friday nights) is a funny, exhilarating dive into comedian, best-selling author…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:57PM
Sunday, June 2, 2019

Theater Review: READY STEADY YETI GO (Rogue Machine Theatre at Electric Lodge in Venice) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

GRAFFITI THAT ASKS PERMISSION Carly Uhlenbeek (Jasmine St. Clair), an African American suburban seventh grade girl, seeks answers in playwright David Jacobi’s Ready Steady Yeti Go, a Rogue…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:34PM
Saturday, May 25, 2019

Theater Review: HAPPY DAYS (Mark Taper Forum) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

HAPPY DAYS IS HERE AGAIN I had never read nor seen Samuel Beckett’s absurdist classic Happy Days, now at the Mark Taper, but was excited at the prospect of seeing the great Dianne Weist in…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 09:41PM
Monday, April 8, 2019

Theater Review: SOUTHERNMOST (Playwrights’ Arena) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

VOLCANOES WITHIN AND WITHOUT When you walk into the theater for playwright Mary Lyon Kamitaki’s Southernmost, Justin Huen’s scenic design transports you immediately into another world: A…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:38PM
Sunday, April 7, 2019

Theater Review: MY LIFE ON A DIET (Renée Taylor at The Wallis in Beverly Hills) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

TAYLOR MADE If timing is everything with comedy Renée Taylor in My Life on a Diet is proof positive. This revival of her one-woman show, based on her 1986 memoir of the same title, is a mas…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:52PM
Sunday, March 24, 2019

Theater Review: FAITH HEALER (Odyssey Theatre Ensemble in Los Angeles) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

THE BUSINESS OF FAITH The late Irish playwright Brian Friel’s Faith Healer premiered some 40 years ago and is now considered one of his greatest works. It is a memory play with three chara…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 09:39PM
Monday, March 4, 2019

Theater Review: TOO MUCH SUN (Indie Chi Productions at the Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

TOO MANY CHOICES If Chekov’s characters could be said to be trapped by society, circumstance, and their own neuroses, the characters in playwright Nicky Silver’s Too Much Sun, now at the…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:08PM
Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Theater Review: HIR (Odyssey Theatre in Los Angeles) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

CRUEL INTENTIONS Now at the Odyssey Theatre Ensemble, Hir had its world premiere at Playwrights Horizon in 2015, engendering a rave in the The New York Times and going on to play internation…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 08:26PM
Monday, January 21, 2019

Theater Review: LAST CALL (Open Fist Theatre Company at Atwater Village Theatre) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

RAGING AGAINST THE DYING LIGHT Elderly parents losing their independence is more significant demographically in America now than at any time in our history. Most still-living Greatest Genera…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:55PM
Thursday, January 17, 2019

Theater Review: LINDA VISTA (Mark Taper Forum) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

BEAUTIFUL HONESTY The title of Tracy Letts’ play Linda Vista, Steppenwolf Theatre’s production now at the Mark Taper Forum, translates as “Beautiful View.” In a literal sense, it ref…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 09:52PM
Monday, January 14, 2019

Los Angeles Theater Review: SMART LOVE (Pacific Resident Theatre in Venice) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE VS. AUTHENTIC EMOTION Brian Letscher’s new play, now at Pacific Resident Theatre, is pitched as a cutting-edge take on how our species might be affected by new deve…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:59PM
Sunday, December 16, 2018

Theater Review: LOVE ACTUALLY LIVE (The Wallis) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

ACTUALLY MAGICAL I didn’t have any idea what to expect from this hybrid theatrical invention. It employs scenes from the beloved Richard Curtis film Love Actually, live musicians (who ofte…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:26PM
Monday, November 12, 2018

Los Angeles Theater Review: FINKS (Rogue Machine Theatre at Electric Lodge in Venice) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

SAVING YOURSELF At the opening performance of Rogue Machine’s presentation of the Los Angeles premiere of playwright Joe Gilford’s Finks, artistic director John Flynn welcomed the audien…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:26PM

Theater Review: A CHRISTMAS CAROL (Geffen Playhouse in Westwood) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

A GHOSTLY CAROL TO REMEMBER A Christmas Carol keeps the lights on at theaters across the country, filling their coffers every year and helping underwrite their other productions. It usually …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:19AM
Saturday, November 10, 2018

Theater Review: DEATH AND COCKROACHES (Chalk Repertory Theatre at Atwater Village Theatre) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

LOVING THE COCKROACH WITHIN Playwright Eric Reyes Loo wisely observes that the messiness of love and grief does not easily coexist within the binary world of Facebook. In his new play, Death…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:07PM

Theater Review: A BRONX TALE (North American Tour) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

CULTURE CLASH Narratively, there are two cultural clashes at the center of A Bronx Tale, now at the Pantages as part of its North American Tour. Italians and African-Americans are on opposi…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:39PM
Tuesday, October 30, 2018

Theater Review: QUACK (Kirk Douglas in Culver City) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

WALKS LIKE A DUCK, QUACKS LIKE A HIT Playwright Eliza Clark, in notes about Quack, her new play now in its world premiere at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, writes that she has been…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:26PM

Los Angeles Theater Review: JOHNNY GOT HIS GUN (The Actors’ Gang in Culver City) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

LOCKED IN Dalton Trumbo’s novel Johnny Got His Gun was published in September 1939, the same month Germany invaded Poland and World War II began. It was not an immediate hit, but it was pe…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:48PM
Sunday, October 28, 2018

Theater Review: THE LITTLE FOXES (Antaeus Theatre) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

THE DEVASTATION OF POWERLESSNESS When the curtain comes down at the end of The Little Foxes you hear a remarkable sound: 80 people letting the air out of their lungs. We have all been holdin…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:52AM
Tuesday, October 23, 2018

Theater Review: OPPENHEIMER (Rogue Machine at Electric Lodge in Venice) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

PARTNERING ARROGANCE WITH SACRIFICE In taking residence at the Electric Lodge, their new digs in Venice, Rogue Machine makes an audacious choice with the American premiere of Tom Morton-Smit…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:52PM
Friday, October 12, 2018

Los Angeles Theater Review: SILENCE! THE MUSICAL (Bucket List Theatre at The Actors Company) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

HANNIBAL THE CANNIBAL WANTS A WHIFF OF SOMETHING SPECIAL I didn’t know what to expect when I made plans to see Bucket List Theatre’s production of Silence! The Musical, a parody of the m…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:01PM
Monday, October 8, 2018

Theater Review: EVERYTHING THAT NEVER HAPPENED (Boston Court in Pasadena) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

ANCIENT LIES AND MODERN QUESTIONS Theatrical magic happens when all the elements of a production come together to form a seamless whole; when the text, direction, acting, and technical contr…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:22PM
Friday, October 5, 2018

Review: FRAN LEBOWITZ (CAP UCLA’s Words & Ideas Series at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

A THOROUGHLY METROPOLITAN LIFE A worshipful cult greeted Fran Lebowitz at the Theatre at the Ace Hotel in downtown L.A. on September 30. She seemed incredibly pleased but not at all surprise…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:29AM
Saturday, September 29, 2018

Theater Review: AMERICAN HERO (IAMA Theatre Company at the Pasadena Playhouse) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

FEAR THAT TASTES LIKE CHICKEN IAMA Theatre Company’s 2018-19 season opener, Bess Wohl’s American Hero (a Pasadena Playhouse guest production at the Carrie Hamilton Theatre) is a portrait…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 04:27PM
Monday, September 24, 2018

Theater Review: MAME (Musical Theatre Guild) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

THE ENDURING LEGACY OF JERRY HERMAN AND THE ‘STAR VEHICLE’ The chief pleasure in Musical Theatre Guild’s presentation of Mame at the Alex Theatre is hearing the music, full-out, as wri…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 07:55PM

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