LINDA VISTA

Critics

LemonMeter

77 %

Reviews: 15

Audience

LemonMeter

Reviews: 0

An adult comedy about immature behavior.
Wheeler just turned 50. His marriage is over, his job is mundane, and the best years of his life appear to be behind him. A move from the cot in his ex-wife's garage to his own apartment opens up new possibilities for love and sex—complicated, painful, and hilarious. Full of opinions, yet short on self-examination, Wheeler must reconcile the man he has become with the man he wants to be in this major new play from the writer of August: Osage County.

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Reviews

"If I took a poll as audience members walked out of “Linda Vista” at the Mark Taper Forum, I wonder if men enjoyed Tracy Letts dark comedy more than women. While both my husband and I laughed during the first half of the show, the play grew heavy and the pace slowed after intermission."

sweet-sour - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman
"While the writing is astute, the production would not be the success it is without Barford, who seems born to play this beleaguered character with a nimble tongue. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott
"In the character of Wheeler (Steppenwolf stalwart Ian Barford), playwright Tracy Letts manages to capture the essence of a 20th century man living in the 21st century. Linda Vista takes his hapless Everyman from a recent divorce through two groping relationships. Director Dexter Bullard keeps the focus on Wheeler as he navigates his new life, first with Jules (Cora Vander Broek), a life coach, and then, a pregnant waif named Minnie (Chantal Thuy). As our picture of Wheeler deepens, we see that the rules have changed with no clear-cut set of replacements for them. Ultimately, a chivalric yet destructive attempt to protect co-worker, Anita (Caroline Neff) leads the character, and the audience, to some sort of recognition and self-reconciliation."

sweet-sour - Leigh Kennicott - Show Mag - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"Loved the set. Hated the lead character and his comments about women. And the Steely Dan music was blasted way too loud."

sweet-sour - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


"A production of the Steppenwolf Theatre, LINDA VISTA is blessed with an excellent cast headed by Barford, who really gets into his character with gusto. Skillfully helmed by Dexter Bullard, the cast gives its all to a story of failed dreams and persistent tries. And let's not forget that, even though the story can smack of underlying sadness, Letts has managed to turn Wheeler's tragedies into very funny stuff. Get ready to laugh while ridiculous situations rear their poignant heads."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


"Bullard's deft direction and Todd Rosenthal's revolving set keep the action flowing seamlessly, but the play is mostly a character study, a portrait of a 21st-century anti-hero, a guy who can't stop hurting other people and himself, no matter how many times he apologizes."

sweet-sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"Directed by Dexter Bullard, the real star here is Letts's writing, which is at once subtle, nuanced, and laugh-out-loud funny. Background information and complex character relationships are drawn and revealed organically and easily, and each of the six characters gets a memorable moment to shine."

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"Wheeler is an unhappy man, drifting through life without direction, without ambition, without compassion, without hope. He is not as great a photographer as the "greats" that he admires and, at 50, he is "too old to be something I'm not." Ian Barford plays Wheeler surrounded by an awesome team of his fellow ensemble members from Chicago's wonderful Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and all of the characters are effectively galvanized by the impeccable direction of Dexter Bullard and the creative scenic design of Todd Rosenthal. But the last word goes to the playwright, Tracy Letts, because he has so many of them. Humorous, humiliating, witty, and grim. But thoroughly engaging."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


"I'd love to give Letts more credit, but this part-time comedy is stuffed with every dead-end conversation you've ever had that you wish you hadn't, and it's all in the service of too few funny lines and a dreary couple of buff-naked sex scenes. Fake bad sex is not a recommended spectator sport."

sour - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"If Letts' Superior Donuts showcased the August: Osage County Pulitzer Prize winner in kinder, gentler mode, Linda Vista has the Steppenwolf legend resisting feel-good dramedy pretty much every step of the way. You may not like Wheeler, you may even celebrate his comeuppance, but like the proverbial train wreck, you'll be hard-pressed to look away."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Tracy Letts' newest opus to our dysfunctional society two decades into the millennium not only takes no prisoners, but somehow once again manages to make us laugh our fool heads off as we simultaneously wince at what we're watching unfold before us."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


"Mr. Letts has created a profoundly personal, beautifully honest piece of work that deeply engages the audience. Some of it is raw and incredibly uncomfortable. Letts commits so fully to bringing the characters alive that there is little room for physical or emotional vanity."

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"The production benefits from an extraordinary scenic design by Todd Rosenthal set on a cunning revolving stage that rotates to show a variety of locales that appear like magic, which is smartly lit by Marcus Doshi."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


"His ensemble is flawless, and yet Barford stands out in his richly detailed, specific, feeling portrait of a middle-aged white grouch who could be any of us."

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


"The episodic nature of this nearly three-hour work turns playgoing into binge-watching. The dramatic writing has a kinetic kick. Letts' dialogue is potently funny and the psychological dynamics are often riveting in their accuracy. But the overall structure is saggy. The compulsive wit, as a consequence, can feel laborious in places."

sweet-sour - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review


"If I took a poll as audience members walked out of “Linda Vista” at the Mark Taper Forum, I wonder if men enjoyed Tracy Letts dark comedy more than women. While both my husband and I laughed during the first half of the show, the play grew heavy and the pace slowed after intermission."

sweet-sour - Jill Weinlein - On Stage Blog - ...read full review


Deborah Klugman
"While the writing is astute, the production would not be the success it is without Barford, who seems born to play this beleaguered character with a nimble tongue. - RECOMMENDED"

sweet - Deborah Klugman - Stage Raw - ...read full review


Leigh Kennicott
"In the character of Wheeler (Steppenwolf stalwart Ian Barford), playwright Tracy Letts manages to capture the essence of a 20th century man living in the 21st century. Linda Vista takes his hapless Everyman from a recent divorce through two groping relationships. Director Dexter Bullard keeps the focus on Wheeler as he navigates his new life, first with Jules (Cora Vander Broek), a life coach, and then, a pregnant waif named Minnie (Chantal Thuy). As our picture of Wheeler deepens, we see that the rules have changed with no clear-cut set of replacements for them. Ultimately, a chivalric yet destructive attempt to protect co-worker, Anita (Caroline Neff) leads the character, and the audience, to some sort of recognition and self-reconciliation."

sweet-sour - Leigh Kennicott - Show Mag - ...read full review


Shari Barrett
"Loved the set. Hated the lead character and his comments about women. And the Steely Dan music was blasted way too loud."

sweet-sour - Shari Barrett - Broadway World - ...read full review


"A production of the Steppenwolf Theatre, LINDA VISTA is blessed with an excellent cast headed by Barford, who really gets into his character with gusto. Skillfully helmed by Dexter Bullard, the cast gives its all to a story of failed dreams and persistent tries. And let's not forget that, even though the story can smack of underlying sadness, Letts has managed to turn Wheeler's tragedies into very funny stuff. Get ready to laugh while ridiculous situations rear their poignant heads."

sweet - Elaine Mura - LA Splash - ...read full review


"Bullard's deft direction and Todd Rosenthal's revolving set keep the action flowing seamlessly, but the play is mostly a character study, a portrait of a 21st-century anti-hero, a guy who can't stop hurting other people and himself, no matter how many times he apologizes."

sweet-sour - Willard Manus - Total Theater - ...read full review


Erin Conley
"Directed by Dexter Bullard, the real star here is Letts's writing, which is at once subtle, nuanced, and laugh-out-loud funny. Background information and complex character relationships are drawn and revealed organically and easily, and each of the six characters gets a memorable moment to shine."

sweet - Erin Conley - On Stage and Screen - ...read full review


Cynthia Citron
"Wheeler is an unhappy man, drifting through life without direction, without ambition, without compassion, without hope. He is not as great a photographer as the "greats" that he admires and, at 50, he is "too old to be something I'm not." Ian Barford plays Wheeler surrounded by an awesome team of his fellow ensemble members from Chicago's wonderful Steppenwolf Theatre Company, and all of the characters are effectively galvanized by the impeccable direction of Dexter Bullard and the creative scenic design of Todd Rosenthal. But the last word goes to the playwright, Tracy Letts, because he has so many of them. Humorous, humiliating, witty, and grim. But thoroughly engaging."

sweet - Cynthia Citron - Santa Monica Daily Press - ...read full review


"I'd love to give Letts more credit, but this part-time comedy is stuffed with every dead-end conversation you've ever had that you wish you hadn't, and it's all in the service of too few funny lines and a dreary couple of buff-naked sex scenes. Fake bad sex is not a recommended spectator sport."

sour - Sylvie Drake - Cultural Weekly - ...read full review


Steven Stanley
"If Letts' Superior Donuts showcased the August: Osage County Pulitzer Prize winner in kinder, gentler mode, Linda Vista has the Steppenwolf legend resisting feel-good dramedy pretty much every step of the way. You may not like Wheeler, you may even celebrate his comeuppance, but like the proverbial train wreck, you'll be hard-pressed to look away."

sweet - Steven Stanley - Stage Scene LA - ...read full review


Travis Michael Holder
"Tracy Letts' newest opus to our dysfunctional society two decades into the millennium not only takes no prisoners, but somehow once again manages to make us laugh our fool heads off as we simultaneously wince at what we're watching unfold before us."

sweet - Travis Michael Holder - TicketHolders LA - ...read full review


"Mr. Letts has created a profoundly personal, beautifully honest piece of work that deeply engages the audience. Some of it is raw and incredibly uncomfortable. Letts commits so fully to bringing the characters alive that there is little room for physical or emotional vanity."

sweet - Samuel Garza Bernstein - Stage and Cinema - ...read full review


"The production benefits from an extraordinary scenic design by Todd Rosenthal set on a cunning revolving stage that rotates to show a variety of locales that appear like magic, which is smartly lit by Marcus Doshi."

sweet - Paul Myrvold - Theatre Notes - ...read full review


"His ensemble is flawless, and yet Barford stands out in his richly detailed, specific, feeling portrait of a middle-aged white grouch who could be any of us."

sweet - Dany Margolies - Daily News - ...read full review


"The episodic nature of this nearly three-hour work turns playgoing into binge-watching. The dramatic writing has a kinetic kick. Letts' dialogue is potently funny and the psychological dynamics are often riveting in their accuracy. But the overall structure is saggy. The compulsive wit, as a consequence, can feel laborious in places."

sweet-sour - Charles McNulty - LA Times - ...read full review