THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW
By JOHN PATRICK SHANLEY
Ohio Theater, 66 Wooster St., NYC
November 30 through December 16, 2006
Directed by RUSTY OWEN
Lighting Design RYAN WENTWORTH
Set Design JESSE DREIKOSEN
Costume Design ISABEL RUBIO
Sound Design FREDERICK KENNEDY
Stage Manager EWAN WALKER
Publicist SCOTTI RHODES
Joe Petcka – David Ditto Tawil – Eleni Tzimas
Writer John Patrick Shanley may be better known for his Tony Award winning play, WIT, or the Academy Award winning film, MOONSTRUCK, but it is a quirky and ultimately unsatisfying relationship drama (or is it a comedy?) first staged in 1986 called THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW that is being revived at the Ohio Theater in SoHo.
The action begins simply enough. A young man in dirty clothes in a dirty apartment receives a visit from his angry ex-girlfriend, Donna. The young, man, Tommy, quickly admits to a relationship with Donna’s 16-year-old sister, and soon enough to his residual love for her. Donna runs off to her father to reveal this betrayal, ask a series of uncomfortable questions, and enlist her father’s aid in making Tommy see the light.
An interesting and relatively fast-paced work, much of the grit and irony of THE DREAMER are lost in the presentation and the lack of a resolution befitting the scenes that precede the ending. Eleni Tzimas as the spurned lover, Donna, tripped over her lines in several places, undermining the requisite raw passion of her character. Joe Petcka fared better as the banal and dim Tommy, a talentless artist mesmerized by his own refrigerator, but the best performance is by David Ditto Tawil as Donna’s estranged yet loving father.
I can best describe THE DREAMER EXAMINES HIS PILLOW as a pop-philosophy play. It attempts to make statements about sex, love, relationships and desires, but is more about selfish, self-indulgent personalities than characters who can help the audience realize truths about the world at large.
- Kessa De Santis -