She comfortably and confidently sits cross-legged on a chair on the stage of the Sarasota Jewish Theatre’s production of “Bashert – Some Things are Meant to Be.”

She’s a one-woman show on this night and all eyes are affixed upon her.  This 81-year old dynamo from California, whose multi-talented gifts include writing musicals, novels, self-help books,  singing, working as a psychotherapist and (more important), loving life to the fullest as an octogenarian in Sarasota.

Lynne Bernfield is a role model to women. She defies aging, and encourages others to look into their hearts and connect with their “inner youth” so you will be motivated to do anything you want to do, whether young or old.

I attended the production of “Bashert” held at the Players Centre Studio located in the Crossings at Siesta mall. It’s an intimate Black Box theatre where every seat is a good one. Lynne appeared solo for this hour and a half production that she wrote and performed to a packed audience. Bashert: Some Things are Meant to Be”  explores the concept of “bashert,” – a Yiddish term – “bashert” –  that means “destined” or “intended.” It is often used to refer to a predestined soulmate or a match that is meant to be. The concept of “bashert” conveys the idea of fulfilling one’s personal destiny and is commonly associated with the belief in finding one’s soulmate. The term is also used to describe any fortuitous event perceived to be divinely ordained. In the context of romantic love, it is used to express the belief in a predestined partner or a match made in heaven.

Bernfield’s show presents true stories in word and song about coincidences, accidents, serendipity, fate, karma, miracles, and destiny. It delves into the idea that certain moments that may seem like coincidences are actually meant to be. The performance is a love letter to the notion of fate and the unexpected occurrences in life. The show combines storytelling and music to convey the theme of “bashert” and the interconnectedness of events. It has been presented at various venues, including The Triad Theater in New York. While the performance was only a one-evening performance, it won’t be the last that you’ll see of Lynn Bernfield. She’s too talented and passionate to sit at home in a yoga position.

Surprise, surprise! This wonder woman she just debuted her new book, Majongg and Murder” – a mystery novel. The story involves characters wearing muumuus and playing Mahjongg, with World War II still on their minds. The plot keeps the reader guessing about the murderer. The book is available in paperback and as a Kindle edition.

Lynne Bernfield, an 81-year old dynamo, performer and book author.

Majongg and Murder follows a much earlier book,  When You Can, You Will – saying that the “lack of change is the desire to protect ourselves,” and she states her case that change will come only when the person is ready.

I love Lynne Bernfield. She is a bright, shining light and an inspiration. Born in New York City (like me), she grew up and moved to Los Angeles to find fame in writing songs and plays. She found love, instead, and married a musician named Arthur Richard,  and she made a successful career as a psychotherapist for 42 years. During that time she was the host of her own radio show that morphed into a podcast called “Anatomy of an Artist.”

You can contact Lynne at The Lynn Show.

Sarasota Jewish Theatre

You may have missed Lynne’s performance of “Bashert,” but check out the 2023 –  24 season of the Sarasota Jewish Theatre.

The company is dedicated to the presentation of plays and programs which reflect Jewish culture, values and history. Now in its fourth season, their mission is to have their audiences experience both the uniqueness and university of Jewish heritage and cultural life through plays and programs that center on Jewish experience, contemporary Jewish issues, history, hopes, passions and accomplishments.  Their motto is: YOU DON’T HAVE TO BE JEWISH TO LOVE JEWISH THEATRE. (I know and appreciate this mantra as I’m an Italian-American and Christian).

~ Andrea Martone

Andrea Mastrocinque-Martone is Sarasota Event Calendar’s Chief Editor. She is the former A & E Editor for Sarasota Observer Newspapers and is currently a public relations consultant.