By Gino DiIorio
Directed by Leah S. Abrams
With Brendan Averett and Dave Sikula
It’s a totally true story: 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. Sam & Dede, or My Dinner with Andre the Giant, imagines a series of scenes between a giant – a man who cannot hide, and a writer obsessed with silence. Dilorio fashions a world as absurd as a Beckett play itself.
Probably the most important thing to realize about Gino Dilorio’s Sam and Dede, or My Dinner with André the Giant is that it is really quite a lot of fun. This is a great service to the factual characters upon which this play is based. Sam and Dede, or My Dinner with André the Giant is an imaginative riff based off of a particularly quirky bond that formed between one of the leading figures of Modernist literature and one of the leading figures of professional wrestling, namely, Samuel Beckett and André the Giant. The nugget of truth in this tale is that in 1953 Beckett purchased a plot of land near a hamlet a bit outside of Paris, where, with the help of some of his new neighbors, he erected for himself a cottage. One of those neighbors was a Bulgarian-born farmer named Boris Rousimoff, and Beckett and Rousimoff would go on to become friendly with one another. When Rousimoff’s son was twelve years old, surpassing six feet tall and weighing 240 pounds, he could no longer fit on the school bus. But Beckett had a truck big enough to fit Rousimoff’s son and he offered to give him lifts to school in that truck. Rousimoff’s son, who went by Dede, would grow up to become professional wre …Read more