Fringe review: ‘My Pal Izzy’

My Pal Izzy, Sisterscene, Alberta, Canada/New York, NY. Orange venue, 55 minutes, $10. (Discounts: Seniors, students, Fringe artists and volunteers, flappers.) (Note: The show actually lasts about 50 minutes.)

By Elizabeth Maupin
Elizabeth Maupin on Theater

Melanie Gall

Melanie Gall offers a sweet-tempered look at a time long past in My Pal Izzy, a valentine to songwriter Irving Berlin from his apparently fictional friend Rebecca Rosenstein (the title character in his song “Becky’s Got a Job in a Musical Show.”

In My Pal Izzy, Gall highlights the milestones in Berlin’s life — born Israel Isidore Baline in Russia in 1888, emigrated at 5, started writing songs as a teenager to help support himself and his family, changed his name to Berlin after a typo on the sheet music for his first song.

Gall has a thin but pretty voice, and she makes an appealing ingenue as she sings a dozen of Berlin’s early, lesser-known songs. It’s too bad she’s not performing in a smaller venue, where she could be closer to her audience, and that she and her director haven’t been able to master a host of minor technical problems (too many props on the dressing table, too much untamed hair for Gall to mess with as she sings). Gall made light of a persistent cough during one early performance, but a simple glass of water onstage would have done the trick — and allowed audiences to enjoy an amiable, old-fashioned show.

Remaining shows:
Monday May 23, 10:30 p.m.
Tuesday May 24, 9:05 p.m.
Thursday May 26, 5:45 p.m.
Sunday May 29, 2:40 p.m.

3 responses to “Fringe review: ‘My Pal Izzy’

  1. MYRON BLATTNER

    I loved her show and beautiful voice. I saw her in her first show. Unfortunately, she is in the Orange Venue. I don’t think there were 10 people in the audience. What a shame

  2. I too loved the show. I thought Gall’s voice was excellent, and think it’s one of the unsung gems of the Orlando Fringe. It is unfortunate about small turnout, though – was also true when I attended.

    • I would have loved to have seen the show in the Goldman Theater (the yellow venue) or the Tupperware over at the Rep (the green). An intimate space would make all the difference.

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