Nicole Shabtai in “Citizen Rothstein”

Nicole Shabtai is going to move to Los Angeles and become famous. I'm not a prophet. Shabtai sent out an email saying she was moving. And if you've seen "Citizen Rothstein," her one-woman show — or any of her appearances in videos for LandlineTV — then you could arrive at a similar conclusion yourself.

Shabtai radiates an undeniable charisma that somebody is going to capture on film for mainstream audiences to appreciate.

In "Citizen Rothstein," she portrays all of the characters surrounding Ava Rothstein in the days leading up to her Bat Mitzvah except for Ava herself. The show's title may evoke references to Citizen Kane, but the introductory video is much more aligned with Apocalypse Now. Just watch!


Shabtai bounces from energetic 5-year-old younger sister Lula to real-housewife Jill Zarin, and around to others, including the teen's publicist, 13-year-old French best friend, mother and back to the rabbi again. Despite the cynicism you may feel from her adult characters, Shabtai will win you over with the child-like exuberance and naivete in which she inhabits her youthful personas. I haven't been to a Bat Mitzvah. And I'm not sure I'm going to be invited to one anytime soon. But I'm certainly glad I got a glimpse into the life of Ava Rothstein's. Even if there was no Rosebud. Spoiler alert?

Sean L. McCarthy

Editor and publisher since 2007, when he was named New York's Funniest Reporter. Former newspaper reporter at the New York Daily News, Boston Herald and smaller dailies and community papers across America. Loves comedy so much he founded this site.

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