A play that received bad press deserves better (The Daily News, Sept. 14). Dreary & Izzy is a masterful play evoking a bygone era with today’s issues.
Set in the ‘70s, as obvious as the green shag carpet, an adopted older sister with FAS (Isabelle: Roseanne Supernault) is cared for by her younger one (Deirdre: Dakota Hebert) who has given up her university studies, her life in effect, to facilitate the ongoing living at home of the child in a woman’s body after the death of their parents.
The complication of disparate bloodlines has no effect until a perfect example of why the mixing of the races occurs walks in the door, a door-to-door vacuum salesman, looking like a warrior and acting the perfect gentleman/husband-to-be.
The romance is short-lived albeit intense and further complications, straight out of today’s time, result in a split that seems final — but is it?
That is your decision as you walk out of the theatre having been entertained thoroughly by this witty and insightful piece of writing (by Tara Beagan who also directed) skillfully acted with precise abandon within quietly eloquent sets imaginatively lit — a ballerina lamp on Izzy’s bedside table speaks of her family’s love as does the white enamel metal bed, while Dreary’s bed is the fold-out couch in the living room.
At the start in a dark theatre, Izzy stands alone in a spotlight, disconnected, and talks to us of her inability to affect the outer Izzy because of the parts missing from her physical brain.
This actor knows her stuff — she owns the words she speaks. The rest of the cast are as committed, sincere and believable as she and from that first moment on, they had the audience rapt in their presence.
The other members of the ensemble are Sharon Baker (neighbour) and Garret C Smith (Freddie Seven Horses, vacuum salesman and love interest). Credit must also go to Ross Nichol, set designer, Andy Moro, lighting and sound director, Cindy Wiebe, costume director, Sarah Wallingford, stage manager and Aaron Shingoose, design intern, without whom this would not have been what it was — a thoroughly enjoyable picture of a side of reality of which most of us would never be aware — but should. It’s playing at the Pavilion Theatre through Saturday.