Love, Isadora has all the elements that make a one-person show work: a fascinating subject in a life that lends itself to drama, a director who knows how to build that drama and an actress with the range and depth to pull it all off.Lori Russo takes on the life of manic, tragic genius Isadora Duncan without a trace of reservation, using her entire body as a tool that give us the physical impression of the woman who, for all practical purposes, invented modern dance. California Stage playwright-in-residence Rick Foster has written an original script that moves back and forth through Duncan’s life, emphasizing the poetic approach she used to describe her work. Russo lightly dances (both literally and figuratively) throughout so that the darkness is gathered into a sense of foreboding, even for those who are not familiar with the life of this California-born citizen of the world.
The deft direction by Janis Stevens (locally noted for her outstanding performance in Foster’s Vivien) keeps the performance moving lithely through both the elements of dance and the more introspective moments of deep memory. And in spite of the tragedies that punctuated Duncan’s life, the real message in this biographical play is of the power of art to make life worth living.