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

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

(43 Reviews)
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)

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992 Reviews | 347 Followers
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

535 Reviews | 488 Followers
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.

520 Reviews | 107 Followers
Charming and better than i expected

See it if you want to smile and enjoy a great show with great acting and in a tiny theater

Don't see it if you want a big flashy production. This is show is perfect is the space it was in Read more

458 Reviews | 69 Followers
Intelligent, Profound, Entertaining, Interesting, Surprising

See it if You want an interesting play about the oddest of Odd Couples you never knew about. Two men from very different worlds become friends.

Don't see it if If small plays about interesting characters are not your thing.

431 Reviews | 130 Followers
Affectionate treatment, Good acting/direction, Smart and touching, Based on true story, Entertaining

See it if Like exploring odd/quirky friendships between very different people. Have some knowledge of Beckett plays & enjoy watching conversations.

Don't see it if Want lots of action/realistic set. It's about existentialism & knowing about/liking Waiting for Godot is helpful. Don't like 2-handers. Read more

435 Reviews | 126 Followers
Absorbing, Great acting, Intelligent, Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if you are knowledgeable of Beckett's works and have an interest in plausible connection between the him and the wrestler, Andre The Giant

Don't see it if you are easily bored and have no knowledge of Beckett or his works; prefer a play with more action and less banter.

434 Reviews | 95 Followers
Ambitious, Edgy, Indulgent, Intelligent, Slow

See it if You enjoy slice of life theater about two very interesting people. You like small shows in intimate spaces.

Don't see it if You need things to go somewhere or your characters to really grow. This was a super slow play that didn't really build. I wanted more.

426 Reviews | 99 Followers
The opening scenes were pulsatile the emotion so true

See it if Half a wonderful play is sufficient. There were moments in the mid and later scenes, before a nice payoff in the final scene.

Don't see it if a two hander in a small theater with minimal staging does not appeal. You are bothered by 15 minutes of excessive drinking with no reason.

Critic Reviews (13)

The New York Times
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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Lighting & Sound America
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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Theatre is Easy
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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Theater Pizzazz
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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Theater Pizzazz
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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Stage Buddy
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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