Linda Buchwald

About:  Linda is a theater journalist based in New York City. Her writing has appeared in Playbill, American Theatre Magazine, TDF Stages, Time Out New York, Backstage.com, and more. She is currently a Drama Desk nominator. She also frequently writes about her other passion, television. When not at the thea... Read more Read less
Reviews (49)
Round Table
Midtown E
Theatre is Easy

"Vaynberg's dialogue is funny and engaging, and she is a writer I want to hear more from...For fans of romance and fantasy, 'Round Table' is well worth checking out." Full Review

Square Go
Midtown E
Theatre is Easy

"An entertaining hour-long play that sneaks up on you with its perceptive observations about male adolescence. And to top it off, there are Scottish accents...These details add up to a picture of the pressure to be men that adolescent boys feel, and how dangerous it can be when they don't have the right role models...All of this is accomplished without 'Square Go' ever feeling like a message play." Full Review

Life Sucks.
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "Offers enough differentiation while staying true to the original that it's a welcome addition to the season. We already had a definitive Vanya in Jay O. Saunders, but Jeff Biehl proves that there is always room for more memorable portrayals of the character...The tight ensemble is so natural that at times scenes seem improvised (some credit for this must also go to director Jeff Wise)." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"It's not a great play, especially compared to other works that the Mint has produced recently, which are often surprisingly relevant to the modern day. This one feels more of its time...Conversations about morality are not exactly the stuff of riveting drama. That said, dance numbers choreographed by Tracy Bearsley liven things up and the production values are high, as one can always expect from the Mint." Full Review

Awake
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"Touches on so many timely issues that it runs the risk of feeling like a checklist of topics...So it's impressive that for the most part, Manning avoids the trap of writing a show that feels like an endless stream of 'important' issues...Though the pieces vary greatly in terms of plot, they feel of a whole, and the last scenes in each act parallel each other well...This is also the rare play that, while it feels written in response to Trump's America, doesn't hit you over the head with it." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"It's really more of 'Uncle Vanya' with a few scenes of 'Romeo and Juliet' thrown in, so the whole experiment feels almost like an afterthought, and the transitions between the two are sometimes awkward and confusing...It doesn't help matters that this production opens so soon after Richard Nelson's 'Uncle Vanya,' in which Jay O. Saunders gave the definitive performance of the title character...Maybe they are enjoying themselves, but they should ask themselves why the audience should care." Full Review

Days to Come
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"What is most impressive is the extensive research that Hellman devoted to this play...The first act goes quickly, serving as a great setup for an exploration of class differences...The resulting action in the second act is more farfetched; Hellman seems to veer away from all that research. Though the drama and scandal ramps up, act two is longer and more of a slog to sit through...Still, 'Days to Come' is worth seeing, especially since it's unlikely that this play will come around again." Full Review

Yerma
Upper E Side
Theatre is Easy

"Even though all these elements separate us from the action, Piper's performance makes it impossible to disassociate...Sometimes when men try to write complex female characters, they still come across as a man's version of what a woman is, but in this case, 'Her' feels authentic , and it's especially refreshing to hear her talking about subjects like a former abortion and anal sex, topics that don't often get discussed in life or on the stage. More of this please." Full Review

Later Life
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"This New England soirée has some disappointments, as does this A.R. Gurney play, though it is not the fault of Jonathan Silverstein's delicate production for Keen Company...Silverstein takes his time, which is fitting for a Gurney play, though it sometimes it feels slow. This may not be the most exciting play, but it does feel true to life. Sometimes we make mistakes. And sometimes the best part of the party is the view." Full Review

Must
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"For a Wild West play, there is little in the way of excitement or action. Playwright Charles Cissel deserves some credit for taking a risk and writing a reflective play about the famous outlaw Billy the Kid, rather than an action adventure...It can be hard to follow these scenes. At times, it feels like Cissel used magnetic poetry to write the script, stringing words together without creating a narrative." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Moad is a stronger writer than performer. Each act succinctly gets its story across without too many expository details and conveys the emotions of the characters without being over the top, but there isn't much more that Moad adds that you can't get from the page. His delivery is fairly similar in all three...Though Moad is not the most compelling performer, the production elements help mask this." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Bank smartly chose four pieces that play off each other well, forming a cohesive evening...Deevy's cynical viewpoints feel very modern...Bank takes his time, allowing Deevy's insightful dialogue to sink in, but this is somewhat of a liability in 'Holiday House,' which could move at a faster pace to bring out the comedy more. Still, kudos to Bank for bringing Deevy's work to New York audiences. The playwright was also deaf, which makes preserving her voice even more important." Full Review

Picnic
West Village
Theatre is Easy

"As long as people experience emotions of loneliness and regret, these dramas will still be relevant, as Transport Group's William Inge in Rep proves...Some refer to Inge's plays as dated, but I've never found that. The symbolism and parallels between the older and younger characters can be a little heavy-handed, but there is so much truth that still resonates. Cummings has placed both plays in an intimate setting, which makes the sadness even more palpable." Full Review

Omega Kids
Soho/Tribeca
Theatre is Easy

"Sarratt and Gonzalez, aided by Jay Stull's direction and Kate Rose McLaughlin's movement, create almost a dance in the way they get close to each other and break apart, building sexual tension...It may not be the stuff of action-packed superhero movies, but I'll take realism over fight sequences any day...Mease's dialogue is very realistic, with lots of stops and starts...Proves that sometimes human connection is all you need for a rewarding night of theater." Full Review

Bound to Rise
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"Even if the production were flawless, the musical might never be more than a curiosity...Though director Oliver Conant perhaps could have guided his actors more in terms of performance, he effectively stages the action to present multiple stories simultaneously...While the large cast works hard, for the most part the singing is off-key, making it hard to judge Bob Dennis's music...This production might not have turned these rags to riches, but the dedication of everyone involved is evident." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Playwright Kirk White tackles a lot of issues and because of this, the characters aren't always fully drawn. It is worth noting that White and director Keith Winsted are both white men; while they have every right to tackle these issues, it is hard not to wonder if this is why 'Colorblind'd' stays mostly at the academic level...The exception is with the character of Dorien: Cotto brings an emotional weight to what would otherwise be an ideas play." Full Review

The Healing
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"A moving play that showcases a talented ensemble of actors...Hunter finds that perfect balance between humor and sadness that exists in life and the believable dialogue reflects that...‘The Healing’ is a true ensemble piece and it's difficult to single anyone out, but it's more Sharon's story than anyone else's. DeVido is hilarious...But she is also heartbreaking...The only one in the cast that I'd seen before is McGinty, but I hope to see them all again." Full Review

Slut: The Play
Lower E Side
Theatre is Easy

"The dialogue is realistic and fair to all the characters—those who support her and those who turn against her. Because the show is performed by teenagers (all giving impressive performances), it not only makes it more believable, but harder to watch...It's important for young women to see this play, but I also hope that young men will see it and be part of the conversation." Full Review

Pataphysical Science Blogspot

for a previous production "Cox parodied anime with the three-part epic 'Kapow-i GoGo' and again he sets himself apart from other parody writers by writing funny jokes for the fans while creating three-dimensional characters that you can care about despite your level of fandom...Those who have read the books and seen the movies will find the most to laugh at, but anyone can relate to these characters who don't get any breaks and aren't worshipped as heroes." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"As the lines between real life and the game start to blur, the logistics of how things can happen in both realities start to feel muddled...Strong direction might have helped smooth over the weaker elements, but Joel Schumacher isn't up to the task in his New York directing debut. He does seem like a smart choice for this suspenseful and cinematic piece, but it's unclear whether the tone he is going for is campy or serious. Like many of his movies, it could go either way." Full Review

Captive Audience
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"New York Deaf Theatre offers a smart bilingual presentation that is also a lot of fun. David Ives and New York Deaf Theatre make sense as a match. His writing is very much about language and its shows incorporate two of them—spoken English and American Sign Language (ASL)...How would that work within the wordplay and pun-heavy world of Ives? Very well, actually, thanks to some smart choices from director Garrett Zuercher." Full Review

Boys' Life
Gramercy
Pataphysical Science Blogspot

"It hasn't aged well and might make more sense as a period piece. It's hard to have sympathy for any of these men who behave in deplorable ways as a means to sex or the women, who let themselves be treated poorly. Sure, people like this still exist, but 'Boys' Life' on its own doesn't say anything that interesting about them." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Although there is a gunshot warning when you enter the theater, these ghost stories are much more talk than action...The tale is somewhat disappointing as far as ghost stories go, but the way he tells it is hypnotic...The second play, 'The Shawl', is a bit more entertaining, even though it's the first one that has a gunshot." Full Review

The Butter and Egg Man
East Village
Theatre is Easy

"I can see why this play isn't revived as often as some of Kaufman's collaborations. A lot of the jokes are dated and it's not as funny today...But the cast members here appear to be having a blast and it's infectious. Director Ricardo Rust even makes the scene transitions fun to watch with some bits of Twenties choreography. This also distracts as the set converts from an office into a hotel room, an impressive feat for such a small space and probably budget." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"For all the laughs, there are some moments of pathos, like an old man waiting for a visitor. Though there are some callbacks and throughlines, there isn't a clear connecting theme, at least that I could detect, but maybe that was the point -- to expect the unexpected because anything can happen." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"If you're looking for a dance party or an excuse to dress up and wear glitter, this is the show for you. It's best experienced with a large group of friends, after you've all had a drink or three...It's fun at first, but becomes repetitive in the short 90-minute run time...In the end, you don't walk away with too many insights." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"It feels timelier than ever...Director Nick Brennan has made some smart choices, such as staging all the scenes with the adults above the stage, even when the characters are in the same room as the teenagers, further illustrating the enormous distance between them...For the most part, the singing is stronger than the acting, but given the beauty of Duncan Sheik's pop score and AnnMarie Milazzo's vocal arrangements, that's not the worst thing in the world." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"She can't tell her husband's story or her children's story, because it's not hers to tell. This is a smart move because it keeps the show from becoming salacious or feeling like she is capitalizing on a tragedy...She is able to find humor at the appropriate times, giving the audience opportunities for much needed laughs, without ever making light of her husband's horrific actions. Sometimes the writing does veer a little too much into self-help territory." Full Review

The Convent
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"Some of the characters are more fully drawn then others, but Dickey has a way with language and most women will probably find something to relate to in this play (not that men can't get something out of it as well). The scenes with all the women talking and bonding are the most enjoyable, thanks to the writing as well as the performances, and have been staged with a delicate hand by Daniel Talbott." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

“A pleasant enough escape for 90 minutes, especially as performed by the likable cast...The music is generic and the lyrics aren't much better, but there are some bright spots in the score...Where writers Cohen and Elish really succeed is in the hilariously groan-inducing musical that Henry is writing based on ‘The Great Gatsby,’ the funniest thing in the show. Also to his credit, Elish writes an ending that, while still hopeful, does not go the completely predictable route.” Full Review

Stars in the Night
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"The characters are thinly drawn and the narrative would be nothing special if not for the backdrop. Also, the timelines don't fit together...Some actors are more convincing than others...If you think of 'Stars in the Night' more as a tour of Dumbo than a brilliant piece of theater, you won't be disappointed. It could make for a good date night or group activity with people who like immersive experiences and have disposable income." Full Review

Little Rock
East Village
Theatre is Easy

"As important as this history is to remember, it's not always dramatized here in the most effective way...Maharaj would have done better to focus on fewer students in more detail, so we could really get to know their stories. As it stands, we are just given snippets, not enough to get to know anyone on more than a superficial level...The musical moments are by far the most memorable, thanks to the voices of the cast members and Darryl G. Ivey's vocal arrangements." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Caplan, a true showman, has a dynamic voice and is entertaining to watch...It's unfortunate that the book and song scenes aren't more balanced, but when they all play together, the show really comes alive...There is one section about euphemisms for sex that goes on too long, becoming less and less funny, but apart from that, it's refreshing to see a show dealing with religion that is so upfront about sex." Full Review

A Kind Shot
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"Her story is worth hearing, even though she isn't the most natural performer...She sometimes pauses in a way that's unclear whether she's forgotten a line or it is just part of her acting style. No director is credited; one could probably have helped her overcome these issues. It almost all comes together at the end, and there's an important lesson—even if you are tall and strong and athletic, you can still be a victim of sexual harassment and abuse." Full Review

Uncommon Sense
East Village
Theatre is Easy

"Allows audiences to see a range of behaviors associated with autism...The play is frequently funny, but not at the expense of the characters. And while it shows many victories, it also doesn't wrap everything up nicely or shy away from the problems that people on the spectrum face in romantic and other relationships. But the design elements take a pretty good script and bring it to another level." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"I appreciate artists who take risks, and Crowley does that with his unconventional approach. However, the satire only sometimes comes through loud and clear; other times he seems to be going for a more straightforward narrative, so the tone is not consistent...Within this abstract world, Perkins delivers a realistic performance of a shy teenager often confused by the world around her...The last scene is powerful and moving, and almost makes up for the unevenness of what comes before." Full Review

Curvy Widow
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"It's refreshing that 'Curvy Widow' openly discusses the fact that a 55-year-old woman wants and enjoys sex. It also has the advantage of Nancy Opel in the lead role. Unfortunately, she can't make up for the often superficial writing...Scenes go from therapy sessions to dates to hanging out with friends without much in the way of transitions or character development...Some of Drew Brody's lyrics are risqué, and offer a glimpse of a subversive, entertaining musical buried beneath stale jokes." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"As long as people experience emotions of loneliness and regret, these dramas will still be relevant, as Transport Group's William Inge in Rep proves...Some refer to Inge's plays as dated, but I've never found that. The symbolism and parallels between the older and younger characters can be a little heavy-handed, but there is so much truth that still resonates. Cummings has placed both plays in an intimate setting, which makes the sadness even more palpable." Full Review

Fish Men
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"The second act moves at an exciting pace (much quicker than the first, which could be trimmed, as some of the dialogue gets repetitive)…Each one of their histories could be a play unto itself, and it occasionally feels like Tirado is tackling too much. But it's always refreshing to see diversity onstage and their stories are moving...They were still tripping over their lines the press performance I attended, but each actor is believable in his role, so it was easy to overlook." Full Review

Kevin!!!!!
Gramercy
Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "Director Kristin McCarthy Parker has a lot to juggle, so it's impressive how seamlessly scenes transition without missing a beat. You don't need to have seen 'Home Alone' to enjoy the skill involved in 'Kevin!!!!!', but because it's so fast paced, it might be hard to follow if you have no prior knowledge...A highlight of the show is hearing the John Williams score and other songs from the movie performed by a talented four-person choir dressed in festive holiday sweaters." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"The problem with 'American Strippers' is that, even with its long run time, it doesn't do enough with this concept, and it's unclear which point Broccoli is trying to make about this country, if any...It's in the monologues that Broccoli always seems on the cusp of something...The strip numbers are fun, though at times the actors aren't completely in sync. And it is refreshing to see so many sexually fluid characters." Full Review

Ross & Rachel
Midtown E
Theatre is Easy

"A well-written and beautifully performed duologue for fans of 'Friends,' haters of 'Friends,' and those with no opinion either way…Vevers effortlessly switches back and forth between the two in one monologue, yet it's never confusing who is speaking…This isn't a 'Friends' parody, but a tragic look at a couple in which one is unhappy but doesn't know how to get out and the other idolizes his spouse so much that he doesn't even think of her as a person." Full Review

Pataphysical Science Blogspot

"It's hard to know who contributed what, especially because the cast is so skilled at improvising that it all seems like part of the script. I didn't look closely at my program before the show, so I was sure there were six to eight actors performing. It was only during the curtain call that I realized there were only four." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"When this mod show rocks, it really rocks, but the musical numbers are so strong that there should be more...Though Rolin Jones does an admirable job, nothing beats the original. The dialogue is so on the surface that Bea and Ben's courtship isn't as satisfying. Jackson Gay's direction works especially well, but all this running around sometimes drags. That could easily be fixed with more songs. One can't help but wonder why this play with music can't just be a musical." Full Review

Steve
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"It's exciting that we live in a time when plays about gay people don't have to deal with homophobia and AIDS and can depict the same (boring) problems as straight people, but it's hard to feel that sorry for the characters and their cushy lives and their self-inflicted problems…Even when it's difficult to feel emotionally invested, it's always entertaining to watch the members of the cast interact with each other and interpret Mark Gerrard's snappy dialogue." Full Review

Boy Gets Girl
Gramercy
Pataphysical Science Blogspot

"Still terrifying and relevant today. Gilman, with believable dialogue, hits on something really troubling in society about what is thought of as normal male behavior." Full Review

Of Good Stock
Midtown W
Theatre is Easy

"Ross writes about a dysfunctional family—a familiar topic to anyone who has ever seen a play—but she makes it fresh...The dialogue, which involves a lot of hilarious teasing, rings true. Ross writes how people actually talk, with characters speaking over each other. This is indicated in the script and director Lynne Meadow navigates it well, so it's not difficult to understand what is being said." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

"Simon Callow's performance as a transgender woman is the best part of an uneven production...The writing is repetitive and not that interesting, focusing on mundane details like which queue to join. It is only through Callow's performance that it comes alive. Robin Don's set also raises questions. It is unfortunate that every element of the production seems like its own entity and not a cohesive whole." Full Review

Theatre is Easy

for a previous production "The trouble with 'Something Rotten!' is that the humor never really advances past references to other musicals and Shakespeare plays. And these references are often just the title of a show or a famous quote. While the audience laughs in recognition, it's just too easy. Also, after such a strong beginning, act two feels muddled and overstuffed. That said, 'Something Rotten!' is entertaining from start to finish. A lot of this is in the performances." Full Review