My play CRIB will be read at the Gloucester Stage Company this Sunday night (July 17) at 7.30 pm. The reading will be directed by Clark Alum Summer Williams! (how cool is that?) Thanks very much to Jeff Wolf Zinn and everyone at GSC. Info is below…
My short play “Blue Tent” will be part of the Boston Theatre Marathon on May 8th. (one of 50 plays, count em, 50!) Thanks very much to director Kathryn Howell, Fort Point Theatre Channel, and of course, the great theatre goddess, Kate Snodgrass! For more info, see below:
Review: ‘Sam and Dede or My Dinner with Andre the Giant,’ a world premiere at CustomMade Theatre (*****)
CustomMade’s publicty packet for ‘Sam and Dede’ informs us of the following fact: 12-year old Andre the Giant, already over 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, didn’t fit on the school bus. Andre’s neighbor, as repayment of a favor, offered to drive Andre to school in his truck. The neighbor was Samuel Beckett.
With nothing more to go on, Gino Dilorio, a Clark Unviersity Professor of Drama and a well-established playwright himself, asked the question, “What could these two unusual men have talked about?”
The result is an extraordinarily well-realized two-hander that imagines not only a conversation between Beckett and the teenaged Dede, but later meetings as adults, with Andre attending one of Beckett’s plays and Beckett attending one of Dede’s wrestling matches as the character, “Andre the Giant.”
In the tradition of the greatest two handers, the play is essentially a debate between two characters of profoundly different temperaments and philosophical outlooks on life: the nihilist writer paralyzed by an over active intellect, and the passionate fighter, living enthusiastically in his body. Yet Andre’s giantism makes him unusually sensitive and alert to the vagaries of life, and Beckett’s famous sensitivity to the absurd is engaged by Andre’s unlikely physicality and eccentric show biz career.
Dilorio has wisely treated the two characters more as archetypes of Intellect vs Body rather than specific historical personages. As a result, the play works beautifully as an exploration of human types and ideals, even if the audience were entirely unfamiliar with the characters who inspire it.
The result is a treat for theatregoers who admire Beckett or Andre the Giant or challenging intellectual plays or all three. And, in the tradition of Beckett, it is also extremely off beat and funny. Dilorio’s insightful understanding of Beckett’s famous ouvre is in evidence throughout, without ever sliding into shallow parody.
As Sam, Dave Sikula is simultaneously fiercely intelligent, yet strangely confused and full of gentleness and compassion. This is a characterization that rings true to Beckett. Classical actor Brendan Averett embodies Andre The Giant from the inside out. Although a large man, Averett doesn’t look remarkably like Andre, and he doesn’t need to: he captures the soul.
“Sam and Dede or My Dinner with Andre the Giant” is a delicious success! Director Leah S. Abrams and the excellent company have every reason to be proud.
“Sam and Dede” plays at CustomMade Theatre Company through March 5, 2016. For further information click here.
“Sam and Dede or My Dinner with Andre the Giant” by Dino Dilorio, a world premiere produced by Custommade Theatre Company. Director: Leah Abrams. Set: Erik LaDue. Lighting: Maxx Kurzunski. Sound: Ryan Lee Short. Costumes: Brooke Jennings. Properties: Florence McCafferty. Fight Choreographer: Jon Bailey.
Samuel Beckett: Dave Sikula. Andre the Giant: Brendan Averett.
(Check out the links below for more reviews)
My play “Sam and Dede” or “My Dinner with Andre the Giant” will open at the Custom Made Theatre on Feb. 13th. The play will be directed by Leah Abrams and run through March 5. For more info, visit their website at: http://www.custommade.org/andre/
My new short play “Blue Tent” will be produced at Studio 33 at the Gary Garrison Playwriting Festival. The play will be directed by Tim Rodriguez and is part of the Montage Arts Festival. If you’re in Southeast Texas, check it out!
My play “Sam and Dede” or “My Dinner with Andre the Giant” will be given a staged reading at Theatre for the New City, next Monday July 6th at 7 pm. (155 1st Avenue, between East 9th and East 10th Streets)
This is your chance to see Bob Jaffe play Samuel Beckett and me play Andre. (Yes, I’m in the process of gaining 400 pounds…just watch me). Hope to see you there.
(True story) –12-year old Andre the Giant, already well over 6 feet tall and 240 pounds, didn’t fit on the school bus. Andre’s neighbor, feelings sorry for the boy, offered to drive him to school in his truck. The neighbor was Samuel Beckett.
Out of that bit of trivia comes “Sam and Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant,” imagining a number of scenes between a giant who cannot hide, and a writer obsessed with silence.