The Ooley Theater2007 28th St.
Sacramento, CA 95818
The thing to bear in mind when watching Sarah Barbulesco’s Remember Isobel is that it’s a work in process, a play based on the screenplay for a film in preproduction by Barbulesco’s MIMBolide Productions Co. (This production and the upcoming film are fundraisers for Alzheimer’s disease research.) That accounts for things such as the frequent scene changes, relatively short scenes and the compression of what is obviously more than two years into just two hours. The net result is that in addition to being an emotional and honest example of what Alzheimer’s disease does to a vibrant woman and her family, Remember Isobel is also an example of the differences between what makes the stage work and what’s needed for a film.
Scarlet O’Connor has the title role as an active widow who is beginning to forget things and suffers from profound and unusual mood swings. Isobel’s daughter Cate (Bonnie Antonini) is the one who shoulders most of the burden for her care. Cate’s spouse Helen (Elise Marie Hodge), a busy film director, doesn’t have much time to spare; [[There’s also? Word missing here?>>]]a brother who can’t bring himself to deal with the reality of Alzheimer’s. Cate is aided by the couple’s two sons, teenage Patrick (Cahlil Gonzales) and the younger Ryan (the scene-stealing Nicholas Kennedy).
Barbulesco, as writer and director, has done well with a strong cast; nonetheless, it’s apparent from the structure that Remember Isobel is more oriented toward the medium of film.