Go back to the 1950’s television when Loretta Young twirled into her room to greet viewers with her striking gowns. Remember when Debbie Reynolds and Eddie Fisher were America’s sweethearts. Remember when Hollywood housed the stars. Who does not remember when “I Love Lucy” was the most popular situation comedy on television.
You there yet? “My Dear Debbie” takes the audience back to those times with a comedic beginning that parodies the silliness of Lucille Ball and Vivian Vance for the 2021 KC Fringe Festival. The poster to advertise the show draws on the opening screen of that TV show by using the heart shape where the text shows “I Love Lucy” and then lists actors, and the name of the company, Desilu.
“My Dear Debbie starts with comedy and then switches to another situation that does not seem to fit. The second scene occurs in a different facility and lacks humor; but, as the video unfolds, viewers start to stitch the two separate scenes together. The video contains two very seemingly different stories, yet they fit like expensively tailored leather gloves.
Funny from the start, viewers will soon see that deeper issues resonate as the story progresses. Through laugh-tracks that do not match the situation provides strong hints where the story leads. The crisp, sharp writing, spoken by perfectly cast actors, pulls the story to a darker conclusion and important message.
Divulging any of the message flattens viewer anticipation and would rob them of the enjoyment. Give a strong nod to the author and director of “My Dear Debbie.” Hats off to the actors that deliver the comedic highs and drastic change of moods with working through the comedy and drama of the video. When actors receive a strong script their creativity enliven the written words of the author. Great writing and fantastic acting drive this piece.
Many serious issues can be spotlighted through a comedy so long as the message rings loud and clear at the end. Do not miss your chance to view this important piece at the Kansas City Fringe Festival 2021, “My Dear Debbie” deserves contention as “The Best Of…”