Closed 1h 25m
Sam & Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant
Midtown E
79

Sam & Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant NYC Reviews and Tickets

79%
(43 Reviews)
Positive
91%
Mixed
9%
Negative
0%
Members say
Great acting, Clever, Entertaining, Intelligent, Absorbing

About the Show

The Custom Made Theatre Co. presents the East Coast premiere of this absurdist two-hander about a young André the Giant hitching rides to school with Samuel Beckett.

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Member Reviews (43)

70
Ambitious, Intelligent, Quirky, Thought-provoking, Slow

See it if you like Beckett; this play, about him, is in his style. Discussions about writing and life's meaning. Some slow dialogue, but pay-offs.

Don't see it if you want a lot of plot. S&D is philosophical/character-driven. The weird premise works. Strong acting fr Andre. Where's SB's Irish accent? Read more

55
Thought-provoking, Excruciating, Great writing, Slow, Uneven

See it if you want to see a really interesting play given a really disappointing production (one of the two actors did great--the other did NOT).

Don't see it if bad acting in a two-hander is a dealbreaker for you, even if one of the actors is really excellent.

Critic Reviews (13)

March 26th, 2017

"Dilorio’s lightweight tale is an affectionate tribute...Based on a piece of trivia, the play feels pretty trivial. It’s a skit that outgrows itself. The characters incline more toward caricature and Mr. Sikula and Mr. Averett, cheerful performers both, don’t look or sound like the real men they’re playing, which diminishes the fun...What’s most charming about the piece is the playwright’s obvious enthusiasm for both men and the men’s fondness for each other."
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March 21st, 2017

"A pretty frail premise for a play, and indeed 'Sam and Dede' works overtime trying to spin some kind of dramatic action out of it. Basically, the big idea is that Beckett was an intellectual giant and André was, well, a giant...Not so much a play as a compare-and-contrast essay...An eighty-minute back-and-forth that produces almost nothing in the way of insight or wit...You can learn more about either man by staying home and checking out their Wikipedia pages."
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March 19th, 2017

"Cleverly written, wonderfully acted, and staged with creative simplicity...Playwright Gino DiIorio has taken this factual incident and ingeniously woven it in to a very entertaining 85-minute, two-character biographical play...The bald, hulking and charming Brendan Averett delivers a commanding performance as Andre...Sikula’s performance is a marvelous channeling...A beautiful edition to the theatrical genre of historical personages dramatized in fanciful situations."
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March 15th, 2017

"An adoring memento to the two giants—one literal, the other literary—it portrays...It's littered with references to works by both men, references that both celebrate and satirize...Director Leah S. Abrams really succeeds in bringing the playful banter to life...Dave Sikula and Brendan Averett have great chemistry...There's a lot of humor and love in it, and little else. It's both warm and weird, and it paints an attractive picture of what their relationship may have been like."
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March 15th, 2017

"Both Sikula and Averett provide engaging, often funny, performances that allow us to accept them as two charmingly lost souls, men dominated by their exceptionalism and consequent inability to fit in. Leah S. Abrams's staging—using Eric Ladue's abstract set of movable, different-sized blocks, efficiently lit by Maxx Kurzunski—keeps things moving but wastes too much time on tiresome, actor-performed scene shifts."
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March 20th, 2017

“The very idea that these two people from such wildly disparate worlds might have been friends is certainly intriguing—and in the writing and playing of the piece—wonderfully insightful…The clash of Beckett’s constant uncertainty versus Andre’s clear-headed, blunt way of managing his over-sized life, make for great theater…While the show’s dialogue is occasionally stilted, Averett’s sensational performance keeps the show continually engaging and ultimately revelatory.”
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March 16th, 2017

"None of it digs too deep or anything, but it’s really all the more charming for its relaxed airiness. As it’s a fun little piece, it works as a nice reminder of both how intensely human Beckett was under his abstractions, but also...of how funny Beckett was and is...There’s a pleasant touch of poignancy in all this which is all the more welcome in that the play doesn’t really strive for sentimentality—it’s just kind of there...Well-acted, well-written, well-directed."
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March 15th, 2017

"Conversation is engaging. Clearly playwright Gino Diiorio knows something about both forms of theater...Both actors are fine, but it’s Brendan Averett’s André who captivates. The artist inhabits his character at three stages of life with vocal, bearing and mood change...Director Leah S. Abrams lets Sam be André’s foil (as scripted) without completely eschewing the latter’s personality. She manages to imbue physicality into a play comprised greatly of conversation."
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March 16th, 2017

"A series of conversations, an extended encounter contrasting two misfits’ attempts to come to terms with life. Averett is impressively, fully convincing as Dede...Is this the Beckett who needed open, alien air around him even to be able to think his own thoughts?...The shadow and intensity of that lifelong intellectual struggle is evident in any photo of Beckett, but in this portrayal, not so much...Beckett’s wit might have been a little more evident too if he were more clearly Irish."
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February 17th, 2016

"A brilliant new play based on conversations between Samuel Beckett and André the Giant...Dilorio's dialogue sparkles with Beckett-style remarks...The imaginary meetings involve conversations that are intelligent, witty, and bright...Brendan Averett and Dave Sikula are brilliant as André and Samuel Beckett...It is a terrific tour de force of underplayed acting...Leah S. Abrams beautifully and smoothly directs this fast-paced 90-minute drama."
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February 19th, 2016

"A total delight and is guaranteed to bring many audience smiles and laughs along the way and a collective sigh of full satisfaction as its lights go out...Kudos to all involved. Rarely have I been to a play where I had so much regret that the end had arrived. I so wanted Sam and Dede just to keep on meeting and talking. Custom Made Theatre Company and Gino Dilorio have teamed to produce a winner that even in its first production, feels pretty perfect."
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February 24th, 2016

"An extraordinarily well-realized two-hander...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...In the tradition of Beckett, it is also extremely offbeat and funny. Dilorio’s insightful understanding of Beckett’s famous ouvre is in evidence throughout, without ever sliding into shallow parody...A delicious success!"
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February 16th, 2016

"An 85-minute opus that mixes semi-intellectual, mundane banter and humorous interplay with physicality to create a thoughtful but not quite fully satisfying evening...Averett has the physical stature for the role and brings power with more than a touch of humanity in his characterization. Dave Sikula brilliantly underplays the role of Sam becoming a perfect foil for Andre...The staging of the final scene ties up a few loose ends but to this reviewer is unnecessarily hyperbolic."
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