"As Jeffrey’s love interest Karla Samuels, the Brodys’ budding feminist niece, Samantha Massell (star of the rewritten mussical “Rags” at Goodspeed two seasons ago) takes an underwritten role and elevates it so that her attractiveness is unquestionable. She brings attitude and intellect, showing Jeffrey where he’s going wrong."

     - Christopher Arnott,  The Hartford Courant

"Never mind The Flamingo Kid. The Flamingo Girl is the one who really grabs our attention... Karla Samuels is one of the most extraordinary characters that musical theater has seen in a long, long time. Not that she’s called The Flamingo Girl in THE FLAMINGO KID. She’s always Karla... Karla is quite beautiful with a terrific figure and a demeanor that suggests sophistication... [a] wonderful anomaly of a girl who isn’t a haughty hottie. She’s as lovely on the inside as she is on the outside. This is beauty that’s far more than skin deep; it inhabits every piece of brain tissue in this considerate person who’s concerned with everyone’s feelings. And Samantha Massell plays her with the perfect style and sensitivity."

     - Peter Filichia,, Broadway Select

"Casting director Carrie Gardner and [Darko] Tresnjak have compiled a fabulous cast that makes the best of somewhat flimsy material. Jimmy Brewer and Samantha Massell are magnetic as leading players Jeffrey and Karla, respectively. 

     - Ryan Leeds, Manhattan Digest

"In the 2017 production of "Rags" at the Goodspeed, Samantha Massell, in the role of Rebecca, offered a moving, seamlessly executed portrayal of a young Jewish immigrant living in New York City's lower East side, circa 1910. It was an award-winning performance that was timely, relevant and passionate, offset by a commanding singing voice that pulsed with both melody and feeling. In "The Flamingo Kid," Massell plays Karla Samuels, the Brody's free-thinking feminist niece who finds romance at the El Flamingo with the lovestuck Jeffrey. Again, the actress shines, using that same abundant energy and verve that categorized her work in "Rags." Vocally, she makes every song she sings, entirely her own. And working alongside Brewer, she naturally embraces her character's passionate feelings and quiet longing for her weak-at-the-knees suitor."

     - Jim RuoccoTake Two

© 2021 by Samantha Massell. 

photos by Jenny Anderson