Go Fest Yourself

Dispatches from the festival frontlines.


The story of one of America’s greatest songwriters and minstrels sounded like a fabulous premise for a play.
Especially being a music fan, I went in to My Pal, Izzy with high hopes, which may have contributed to the disappointment I left with.
As properly billed, this one-woman play is about the early life of Irving Berlin, most of which had nothing to do with music. With his Jewish family, Berlin immigrated to New York from Russia, sang on the streets of the Bowery and penned his first hit in 1911.
Melanie Gall stars as Izzy’s friend Rebecca Rosenstein, who tells the story. But it’s as much about her and abruptly ends in 1916 just as Berlin’s personal and professional life begins to boom.
The majority of the play consists of Rosenstein singing Berlin’s songs. While Gall is obviously classically trained for opera, her falsetto doesn’t eliminate the occasional flat notes, let alone an unexciting delivery of a rather flat story.
In the end, a great idea and intentions don’t materialize in great theatre or entertainment. But scheduled for one hour and ten minutes, it did result in a short than expected performance.

Two out of five stars.

more in Fringe Reviews     |     posted Aug 13th, 2010 at 9:20pm     

Comments: 1

Kelly Garan wrote:

I saw the play last night, and I really enjoyed it! The title was 'The EARLY life and music of Irving Berlin'. Did Jenny not read the poster? I think she kind of missed the point. Also, the reviewer neglected to mention that it was a midnight show - I thought the singing was amazing, and especially for the middle of the night. Also, I'm no expert, but I don't think women HAVE a falsetto! Jenny seems confused. I strongly recommend My Pal Izzy as a Fringe fave!

on Aug 14th, 2010 at 12:01am Report Abuse

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