Articles by Ester Shifren

Giardino Restaurant Opens in Westlake Village Review – Rustic Italian Dining Concept

Giardino Restaurant Opens in Westlake Village Review – Rustic Italian Dining Concept With a combined 40 years of experience in the Italian culinary and hospitality business, the dynamic duo's collaborative vision to provide authentic yet refined Italian cuisine is fully realized with the opening of their first joint venture

“The Vortex” at The Matrix Theatre Review – Deliciously Delightful Decadence

“The Vortex” at The Matrix Theatre Review – Deliciously Delightful Decadence Noel Coward’s own pain is palpably felt in Nicky’s dialogue. He originally played the role himself— it’s no secret these problems cut close to home in his own life. Today, the themes and issues in The Vortex are still relevant

“25 Years in Cinema Paradiso” Special Exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute Review – Interesting, Informative,and Evocative

“25 Years in Cinema Paradiso” Special Exhibition at the Italian Cultural Institute Review – Interesting, Informative,and Evocative When Cinema Paradiso was released Franco Cristaldi wrote Giuseppe Tornatore: With this film we have to make it into the Heaven of Cinema. Dear Franco, dear Giuseppe, you made it—celebrating 25 years later one of the most beautiful films ever made

“Reasons To Live” at the Skylight Theatre Review – Dramedy at its best

“Reasons To Live” at the Skylight Theatre Review – Dramedy at its best Funny, clever quips help alleviate the build-up of stress from a subject that deals with tragedy. Fortunately the story never lingers too long on that aspect, cleverly switcing back and forth from delightfully lighter hearted scenes.

"Reasons to Live" at the Skylight theatre - Interview with Playwright Meryl Cohn

"Reasons to Live" at the Skylight theatre - Interview with Playwright Meryl Cohn Meryl: I was really excited by theater when I saw plays as a kid. I remember sitting in the audience of A CHORUS LINE and PIPPIN and I'M GETTING MY ACT TOGETHER...not wanting the shows to end. I wished I could act or sing.

A or B? World Premiere at The Falcon Theatre Review – Slick Romantic Comedy

A or B? World Premiere at The Falcon Theatre Review – Slick Romantic Comedy Sparks start flying when Abby Morgan and Ben Steele meet in corporate New York City during a job interview for a high-profile marketing job. Are they destined to become lovers or co-workers? Is it possible to be both?

The Magic Flute at the Broad in Santa Monica Review – Isango Ensemble Enchants and Enthralls

The Magic Flute at the Broad in Santa Monica Review – Isango Ensemble Enchants and Enthralls The talented players constantly surprise and delight when transitioning with apparent ease from their roles as singers and actors,to perform as drummers and marimba musicians—Their joy is infectious and palpable!

On The Razzle at Theatre West Review – The Razzle with a Dazzle of Farce

On The Razzle at Theatre West Review – The Razzle with a Dazzle of Farce Set in Vienna at the turn of the 20th Century, “On The Razzle” follows the hilarious adventures of two naughty, bumpkin grocery assistants, Weinburl and Christopher, who shirk duty to experience one joyful day in the big city

Live Love Spa Splash! Media Event Review – A Day of Beauty

Live Love Spa Splash! Media Event Review – A Day of Beauty A bevy of Hollywood beauties gathered last week for a day of pampering and relaxation at the Second Annual LIVE LOVE SPA SPLASH! Media event, at the Spa at The Hyatt Regency Century Plaza

The Face in the Reeds in Santa Monica - John Ruskin Interivew

The Face in the Reeds in Santa Monica -  John Ruskin Interivew RUSKIN GROUP THEATRE is a hidden gem that is located right across the runway from the Santa Monica Airport. Though it's become a favorite of locals, many people from all areas of Los Angeles and Orange County love and attend the plays offered.

The Face in the Reeds Theatre Review – Passover Dramedy with a difference

The Face in the Reeds Theatre Review – Passover Dramedy with a difference The Face in the Reeds, centers on a dysfunctional family’s Passover Seder. The gathering turns into an almost-war-zone of conflicts, twists and turns, as faith, conversion, religious belief, and parental responsibility are examined and dissected.

“Is there Sex After Marriage?” at Two Roads Theatre in Studio City Review – A Scandalous Scintillating Dramedy

“Is there Sex After Marriage?” at Two Roads Theatre in Studio City Review – A Scandalous Scintillating Dramedy One night, Roger and Sherry accidentally find themselves at a swingers’ party. What they see there and who they meet there startles them. Will they participate?

“Luigi” World Premiere by Louise Munson Review – Family Reunion in Tuscany

“Luigi” World Premiere by Louise Munson Review – Family Reunion in Tuscany While Italian music plays in the background, the scene is set in a delightful picturesque setting of a Tuscany cottage backyard, complete with a lemon tree and rustic table with chairs and bench. Relatives have arrived to visit ailing Uncle Luigi.

“The Gamester” at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills Review – Delightful Romantic Comedy

“The Gamester” at Theatre 40 in Beverly Hills Review – Delightful Romantic Comedy The Gamester is a clever modernized version of a play set in the 18th century Paris, France, and is brilliantly done in rhyming couplets. You’ll find yourself laughing all the way through a performance that has many unpredictable twists and turns!

“Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory” movie review – Music’s Healing Powers

“Alive Inside: A Story of Music and Memory” movie review – Music’s Healing Powers In many wonderful moments we witness those transformations unfold—seeing joy and gratitude on all the respondents’ faces as they're experiencing the music from their younger days. Some even manage to carry a tune!

“The Manor” at Greystone Mansion Theatre Review – Murder and Madness

“The Manor” at Greystone Mansion Theatre Review – Murder and Madness Money, madness, murder, sex—it’s all here! “The Manor” is extremely enjoyable and will get you wondering what really happened, and wanting to explore further for yourself.

The Sexual Life of Savages Theatre Review – Riveting and Raunchy

The Sexual Life of Savages Theatre Review – Riveting and Raunchy The Sexual Life of Savages examines our own hidden thoughts about sexual constraints and beliefs. This superb presentation pulls no punches and delivers many twists and turns, and angles to ponder about tolerance, empathy, and morality.

“Penelope” at Rogue Machine Theatre Review – Snarling Black Comedy

“Penelope” at Rogue Machine Theatre Review – Snarling Black Comedy On a sun-scorched Greek island four men living in Penelope’s empty, derelict pool are the remaining survivors of 100 aspiring suitors, all testing her fidelity while she waits for her husband, Odysseus, to return.

“The Love List” at the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills Theatre Review – A Compelling Comedy

“The Love List” at the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills Theatre Review – A Compelling Comedy Leon,married, takes his friend Bill to dinner for his fiftieth birthday and gifts him with a purchase from a Gypsy matchmaker, a Love List for Bill to complete, cataloging his orderly choice of the ten most desirable qualities in a woman

“Educating Rita” at the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills Theatre Review – A Scintillating Comedy

“Educating Rita” at the Reuben Cordova Theatre in Beverly Hills Theatre Review – A Scintillating Comedy A Pygmalion-themed story about a brash, married twenty-six-year-old working-class Liverpool hairdresser, who desperately craves a higher education and expansion of intellect, horizons, and possibilities

“Man in a Case” at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica Theater Review – Mikhail Baryshnikov Stars

“Man in a Case” at The Broad Stage in Santa Monica Theater Review – Mikhail Baryshnikov Stars “Man in a Case” and “About Love” are an adaptation of two anti-love, haunting short stories by Anton Chekhov that create a bridge between our time and the 19th-century.

“Paul Robeson” at The Ebony Repertory Theatre Review - Keith David is Brilliant

“Paul Robeson” at The Ebony Repertory Theatre Review - Keith David is Brilliant Playwright and director Phillip Hayes Dean’s one-man play “Paul Robeson” powerfully chronicles the life of a remarkably talented man who, against great odds, achieved huge accomplishments and international stardom

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