Garden of Alla: The Alla Nazimova Story

Garden of Alla: The Alla Nazimova Story

“The most famous star you’ve never heard of…”


July 7, 2023 - July 23, 2023
Fridays and Saturdays 8pm
Sundays 2pm

A special post-performance screening of Alla Nazimova's film version of Salomé will play after the Saturday, July 8 performance.
A special post-performance screening of Alla Nazimova's film version of Camille will play after the Saturday, July 15 performance.
(Details below)

Download the digital program
Written by Romy Nordlinger
Directed by Lorca Peress | Produced by Anne Leyden & Benjamin Scuglia (Behind the Bar Productions)
Produced in association with Theatre West and Georganne Aldrich Heller
Romy Nordlinger as Alla Nazimova

Score and Sound Design: Nick T. Moore | Video Design: Adam Jesse Burns | Stage Manager: Liv Denevi | Publicity: Lucy Pollak
Theatre West Managing Director: Eugene Hutchins

The 1920s was the time of flappers, flamboyance, and the face of Alla Nazimova!

“Garden of Alla: The Alla Nazimova Story,” an original multimedia solo show, tells the story of perhaps the most famous star you’ve never heard of, and one of the most visionary artists of the 20th Century: trailblazing lesbian iconoclast Alla Nazimova.

A Jewish immigrant who escaped Tsarist Crimea, she went on to become a Broadway megastar, silent film legend, and one of the first female directors and producers in Hollywood.

Her infamous Garden of Alla estate on Sunset Boulevard hosted the Who’s Who of Hollywood’s literati and glitterati, where the stars came “out."

In “Garden of Alla,” Nazimova raises her voice once more to tell it like it was—and still is. The immersive video and haunting original score envelop the performer in a panoramic live silent movie, echoing Nazimova’s visionary, larger-than-life, iconic story.

The show was last seen at the Cutting Room and on Theater Row at Theater 555 in New York. Earlier productions include the Kennedy Center, the Players Club, 59E59, HERE, Dixon Place and the Edinburgh Fringe.

And now… Nazimova returns to Hollywood!

“Garden of Alla: The Alla Nazimova Story” is made possible in part by the support Georganne Aldrich Heller.

“Garden of Alla: The Alla Nazimova Story” was partially developed at Theaterlab in NYC under the artistic direction of Orietta Crispino in June 2022.

Special thanks to Pat Addiss

For more information about the show, the artists, and the story of Alla Nazimova, visit

Salomé (1923)

A special post-performance screening of Alla Nazimova's film version of Salomé will play after the Saturday, July 8 performance of Garden Of Alla.
The screening is included for ticketholders attending Garden Of Alla that evening.
Patrons who wish to attend only the screening can purchase $5 tickets at this site, or at the box office.

Based on Oscar Wilde’s notorious 1891 stage play, Salomé is considered a landmark queer classic in cinematic history, and one of the first art films.

The legendary Alla Nazimova produced, starred in and adapted the play to the screen. Charles Bryant, her husband and ‘beard’ in her lavender marriage, is credited as the director of Salomé, but in reality, Nazimova ran this avant-garde masterpiece. Natacha Rambova designed the surreal and opulent sets. But alas, it was far too ‘wild’ for the world of 1923.

Nazimova ushered in a new era with this visionary and groundbreaking film but consequently lost all the money she put into it and was widely ridiculed and reviled for it, forcing her into financial and professional ruin. But as Nazimova said “If you are only aiming for popularity, then it is they that are the puppet masters pulling your strings. One only fails when one is asked to give less than one has."

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the film's theatrical release.

Camille (1921)

A special post-performance screening of Alla Nazimova's film version of Camille will play after the Saturday, July 15 performance of Garden Of Alla.
The screening is included for ticketholders attending Garden Of Alla that evening.
Patrons who wish to attend only the screening can purchase $5 tickets at this site, or at the box office.

Camille is a 1921 American silent drama film starring Alla Nazimova as Marguerite and Rudolph Valentino as her lover, Armand.

It is based on the play, La Dame aux Camélias (The Lady of the Camellias) by Alexandre Dumas, fils, which was first published in French as a novel in 1848 and as a play in 1852.

Camille is one of numerous screen adaptations of Dumas' story. The film was set in 1920s Paris, whereas the original version took place in Paris in the 1840s. It had lavish Art Deco sets and Rudolph Valentino later married the film's art director, Natacha Rambova.

Press & Reviews
Los Angeles Reviews!

"TOP 10… RECOMMENDED… a masterfully illuminating experience… succeeds in bringing Nazimova to life."
- Joseph Klink, Stage Raw

"IMPRESSIVELY underscores the life and career of the silent film superstar, visionary Hollywood writer/director/producer
and LGBTQ trailblazer who created the Garden of Alla."
- Julio Martinez, LA Stage Insider

"FOUR STARS… DON’T MISS THIS PRODUCTION… You will be titillated as well as informed."
- Rob Stevens, Haines His Way

"DASH, DO NOT WALK… If you are a fan of plays featuring and exploring bravura acting, Hollywood history, LGBTQIA issues, creative stagecraft, feminism, anti-Semitism, one-person shows, illustrator Aubrey Beardsley and more, strap on those running shoes… dynamic, captivating."
- Ed Rampell, Hollywood Progressive

"EXQUISITE… Nordlinger’s portrayal of this beautiful and phenomenal woman is utterly bewitching… lyrical and poignant… an experience not to be missed."
- Samantha Simmonds-Ronceros,

"FASCINATING… HIGH DRAMA… juicy glimpses of life among the theatrical and wealthy ‘old Hollywood’ elite…
Nordlinger smoothly and authentically nails the image of a 1920’s star… DON’T MISS IT!"
- Carol Edger Germain, Colorado Boulevard

"KUDOS… [Nordlinger’s] energy and barely constrained excitement offer Nazimova a vivid life in 2023."
- Elaine Mura, Splash Magazines

"WELL-CRAFTED AND ENGAGING… [Nordlinger’s] energy and the show never lag… FASCINATING."
- Laura Foti Cohen, Larchmont Buzz

"AN IMPRESSIVE TOUR DE FORCE… the soul of Nazimova may be waiting in the wings."
- Michael Sheehan, On Stage Los Angeles

Previous Reviews!

"This is a show that should have a long life in the theatre."
- BroadwayWorld

"It is in aligning the past with the present that this production is its most trenchant, vital and significant for our time."
- Theater Pizzazz

"Garden of Alla is relevant for now… Nazimova was ahead of her time fighting the things that women are still fighting for today… We cannot be put in closets or be punished for our talent due to our sexual preferences. Romy Nordlinger shows us the life, energy and drive behind this woman who paved the way for so many others."
- Susanna Bowling, Times Square Chronicles

"A must-see one-person multimedia play about what happens when a woman dares to be different and asserts her right to be accepted in a male-dominated environment. Romy Nordlinger not only wrote the play but also plays the title character. Nazimova would be proud of her."
- Karynne Summars, Editor and Senior Writer, Hedonist Magazine

"A spellbinding homage to an oft-forgotten trailblazer. This impressive performance shows Nordlinger at the top of her game, a master in character acting. Garden of Alla celebrates Nazimova's queerness without needing to explain or contextualize it. As a queer person, I felt seen and represented, which I greatly appreciated. "Garden of Alla" is a remarkable solo show. Alla Nazimova would be incredibly proud of this portrayal of her life.
- Carmen Burbridge, All About Solo

"A fascinating look at the career of an almost forgotten theatre and silent film star. Romy Nordlinger’s writing has bite, bitchiness, humor and pathos all brought to life via her nuanced, yet grand acting. Nordlinger has a history of portraying Alla Nazimova and has honed her interpretation to the point that it fits her like a second skin, helped by Lorca Peress’ sense of pacing and stagecraft. The play is also invigorated by video images designed by Adam Burns illustrating all the people and places in an adventurous, sensual life. Properly moody and period-suggestive music and sound is by Nick T. Moore. This is a fine recreation of a sadly forgotten personality."
- Joel Benjamin, Theaterscene

"A stirring one-woman tribute to the trailblazing-but-forgotten actress Alla Nazimova. Romy Nordlinger breathes life into hazy legend, imbuing Nazimova with an earthy sensuality, indomitable will, and clear passion for the art, people, and places that sustained her. Nuanced and thoughtful her performance displays a clear reverence for Nazimova’s life and character, highlights the story’s parallels with the struggles of today’s marginalized groups, and honors the resilience and creativity of artists throughout the ages. Nordlinger… speaks to the deeper truth of our shared ability to transcend limitations, craft our personal narratives, and find joy, meaning, and hope amidst adversity."
- Emily Cordes, Theater Is Easy

"This writer can only imagine Alla Nazimova would have been beyond honored to know her theatrical namesake was in the magnificent hands of Romy Nordlinger, that also held the Nazimova signature vodka martini – three olives straight. Directed by Lorca Peress, with video design by Adam Burns and accompanied by the sumptuous musical score by Nick T. Moore, Romy gives a haunting performance, filled with moment after moment of poignant beauty, our hearts with hers at each stage of Alla’s glorious and complicated life."
- Laurie Graff, Splash Magazine