The Dreamer Examines His Pillow
Directed by Lauren Patrice Nadler
Written by John Patrick Shanley
Theater 68 in Hollywood
Starring: Kim Hamilton, Alvaro Orlando and James Distefano
The first scene of the play is a conversation between two lovers, Tommy and Donna. They have been separated for some time, but are obviously still attracted to each other. Donna is enraged, because Tommy, a would-be artist, is now having an affair with her younger sister. Tommy, stretched out on his recliner (which, apart from a refrigerator full of beer, comprises the entire furnishings of his spartan apartment), is seemingly unmoved by her harangue. In the second scene, Donna visits her father, a once successful artist. He stopped painting at the death of his wife, whom he had bullied and betrayed, despite his professed love for her. Combative and complex (but also very funny), the father sits and drinks and eventually gives in to his daughter's demand that he force Tommy to marry her or beat him up. Then, in the third and final scene, the father and Tommy confront each other. That results in a lively discussion about art and women, eventually leading to a sort of tenuous truce—and a grudging recognition of the responsibility that love, in its various guises, imposes.
What the Audience had to say:
"The Dreamer Examines His Pillow, directed by Lauren Patrice Nadler, is a jewel in this excellent Theatre Company's Shanley Festival crown! An earnest performance by Alvaro Orlando, as Tommy, is matched by equal parts pathos and big-haired Italian comedy, in the form of Kim Rousseau, as Donna. As Dad, James DiStefano functions brilliantly as jester, and soothsayer. His performance shines. Lauren Patrice Nadler's sure-footed direction keeps this piece both authentic and hysterical! A must-see!"
Kate O. Writer/Producer
"We just walked in the door from "The Dreamer Examines His Pillow" and, well, there just aren't words to describe how wonderful we thought it was. The only way to get near it is tell you that we tried to think back to the last time we felt that thoroughly "safe" that the actors were gonna insist on reality with themselves and connection with the others, and that the direction was gonna be clear and convicted: it was something like 7 years ago. Since that time, we've seen Broadway, Off Broadway, award winning pieces, well-reviewed pieces - lots and lots of stuff. And we've come to accept that we're always gonna be disappointed to one degree or another. We've just come to accept that it's a desert out there..........And then, tonight, we saw a production that made us thank God for theatre again. Thank you for putting up a night of theatre that matters." Lacie Actress/Writer/Producter
"Jimmy DiStefano's work in The Dremere Examines His PIllow reminds me again what I love about great acting. A masterful performance." Joe Mantegna
"James' performance is the proper blend of humor and truth." Bruce Kirby
"Jimmy is a special actor, and he's at the top of his form in Dreamer- full of humor and unexpected Patos." Barry Primus
"James dances across the stage giving vibrancy to the complicated and convoluted philosophical explorations. Just to see his perforamance is reason enough to attend."