All stories by Samuel Garza Bernstein on BroadwayStars

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
Sunday, September 23, 2018

Theater Review: THE CAKE (Geffen Playhouse) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

LOVE AND TOLERANCE BEGIN AT HOME Debra Jo Rupp is like a hurricane in miniature. She takes us inside a character’s small, unexpected, interior storms. We see and feel her mind and emotions…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 05:25PM
Friday, September 14, 2018

Theater Review: THE UNTRANSLATABLE SECRETS OF NIKKI CORONA (Geffen Playhouse in Westwood) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

MODERN LOSS MEETS THE ORPHEUS MYTH, BUT NEVER MAKES IT TO THE OTHER SIDE A superb cast tackles life and death in José Rivera’s new play The Untranslatable Secrets of Nikki Corona, now in …

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 01:36PM
Tuesday, September 11, 2018

Los Angeles Theater Review: NATIVE GARDENS (Pasadena Playhouse) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

THE WAR OF ROSES — AND WEEDS Christian Barillas is adorably frazzled and enormously appealing in Native Gardens at the Pasadena Playhouse. He plays Pablo Del Valle, an ambitious lawyer…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:59PM
Monday, September 10, 2018

Theater Review: GUNSHOT MEDLEY: PART 1 (Rogue Machine Theatre in Los Angeles) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

MURDER WITHOUT END Sha’Leah Nikole Stubblefield is already a mesmerizing, ethereal presence on stage when you take a seat for Rogue Machine’s American Saga Gunshot Medley: Part 1, now in…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:16AM
Sunday, September 9, 2018

Theater Review: SCHOOL GIRLS; OR, THE AFRICAN MEAN GIRLS PLAY (Kirk Douglas Theatre, Culver City) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

WE ARE THE MEAN GIRLS The subhead of Jocelyn Bioh’s 2017 play, now at the Kirk Douglas Theatre in Culver City, is alluring but ultimately misleading. School Girls; Or, the African Mean Gir…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 02:22PM
Friday, September 7, 2018

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

THE BIRTH OF TRUMP’S RACIAL BLUE-COLLAR DIVIDE Pulitzer Prize-winner Lynn Nottage places much of the action of Sweat, now at the Mark Taper Forum, in a working-class bar in Reading, Pennsy…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 03:40PM
Tuesday, August 28, 2018

Theater Review: AIN’T TOO PROUD–THE LIFE AND TIMES OF THE TEMPTATIONS (Pre-Broadway Run at the Ahmanson in Los Angeles) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

MAGIC IN THE MUSIC Sometimes jukebox bio-musicals get so caught up in the fame and fortune of the journey that they miss the creative passion that is the true force driving most artists forw…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 07:54PM
Monday, August 27, 2018

Theater Review: I GO SOMEWHERE ELSE (Playwrights’ Arena at Atwater Village Theatre) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

THE MOTHER OF THEM ALL “Don’t call me a liar,” a mother says. “But you lied,” responds her daughter simply. And all holy hell breaks loose. In I Go Somewhere Else from Playwrights…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:56PM
Monday, August 20, 2018

Theater Review: JEWS, CHRISTIANS AND SCREWING STALIN (Matrix Theatre in Los Angeles) by Samuel Garza Bernstein

RED SCARE IN BROOKLYN I was at a dinner party in New York once and met a 97-year-old woman who embodied a kind of Upper West Side left-wing glamour I find intoxicating. She had grown up in a…

Linked From Stage and Cinema at 06:51PM

All that Chat

2019-2020 BROADWAY SEASON
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