ICARA written and directed by Ned Dickens, with Bruce Beaton and Risa Dickens. Presented by Ananke Theatre and Theatre Asylum on the pier, south end of Centre Island. Runs to Sunday (July 29), 7:30 pm, weather permitting. Pwyc. 416-603-1588; 416-392-8193 for ferry schedule. Rating: NNNN Rating: NNNN
last year's fringe hit icara has a chance to soar in a new production performed on Centre Island. In it, playwright/director Ned Dickens takes the classical Icarus myth and changes the title figure, a boy whose waxen wings melt when he flies too near the sun, into a young woman.Rather than being a cautionary tale, it's now a coming-of-age piece from the dual perspectives of Icara (Risa Dickens) and her father, Daedelus (Bruce Beaton). One of its joys is the way its poetry -- the setting, the island of Crete, is described as "wrapped in Poseidon's hair" -- issues comfortably from the actors' mouths.
Just as vitally, the performers capture the key character notes -- Icara's youthful energy and desire for independence and sexual knowledge, Daedelus's fears, guilt and final realization that he can't control or safeguard Icara.
The clifflike setting, at the edge of a pier on Centre Island, works splendidly, since the audience can see water, sky and seabirds in the distance. At first I minded the two lightposts that are of necessity part of the set, but when gulls took up sentry duty on each, watching the action, I was won over. And then, just as the humans flew off, the clouds parted to offer a few touches of blue sky.
No designer could have planned so perfect a sight.