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Bad Dates

a Comedy/Thriller
CATEGORY : COMEDY DRAMA
by Theresa Rebeck

COMPANY : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
ID# 1513

SHOWING : February 10, 2006 - March 19, 2006

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A feisty single mom relocates to th big city, finds a new career and jumps back into the shark-infested dating pool only to find herself on the wrong side of the law. From Cholesterol Man to Bug Guy, it's a bumpy ride of Mr. Wrongs. But, what's with the big secret hidden in the shoebox and why is the Romanian mob furious?

Don't miss this hilarious and unforgettable story of one woman's love life, her anticipation of (and recovery from) each new date and the fabulous shoe collection that saves her every time!

“A bust-a-gut, laugh-till-you-choke time in the theater." —Dallas Morning News

Shows are Wednesday thru Sunday starting February 10 until March 19, 2006. Call the box office at 404-584-7450 for reservations.


CAST & CREW LIST
Director Jessica Phelps West
Stage Manager Betty Mitchell
Cast Shelby Hofer
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production
REVIEWS

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Kvetch! Kvetch! Kvetch!
by Dedalus
Tuesday, April 11, 2006
3.0
Whew! It’s been almost a month since I’ve seen this and two other plays I’ve been delaying writing about. What these plays all have in common is that, while I have nothing major to criticize about them, there was really nothing about them that inspired me to write a focused analysis or a too-clever parody or even a cranky rant. They just sit there in the “pleasant experience” cubicle of my memory, resting like a good meal until another comes along to take its place.

Well, another one has, and, being the obsessive-compulsive critter I am, I must (MUST) write about these three plays before writing about the one that stands out.

So, to begin at the beginning…

Theresa Rebeck’s “Bad Dates” made “American Theatre’s” top-ten most-produced plays of the 2005-2006 season. It’s easy to see why. It’s a one-set, one-character comedy that demands little of its audience and provides a nice challenge for its star. I found it predictable and contrived. Sad to say, I also enjoyed it very much.

Push-Push mainstay Shelby Hofer starred in Horizon’s production, playing Haley, a shoe-obsessed single Mom in the big city, faced with the horrific fate of dealing with the “Dates from Hell.” She charms us with her exasperated tales of men from the shallow end of the gene pool, and surprises us with her own surprises, including a very unsurprising revelation at the end about a guy she’s been kvetching about all night. Make no mistake, there is lot of man-bashing going on here. And to its credit, the script is aware that its heroine is not the best catch in the sea (much like “Sex and the City,” to which it’s been already compared for, to my mind, all the wrong reasons). As she’s complaining about one guy after another, we can imagine the stories the men are telling to the audiences gathered in their bedrooms.

Oh, yes, did I mention the structure of the play is a monologue, structured as if we the audience are gathered in Haley’s bedroom for the sole purpose of listening to her kvetch? She’s not afraid of actually interacting with us, breaking the “fourth wall” (well, in Horizon’s case, the 3rd and 4th walls) and acknowledging our presence. It sounds so so contrived (and, of course, it is), but it works.

Also contrived is a melodramatic subplot concerning mafia money that Ms. Rebeck felt compelled to add. That’s her prerogative, of course, and interviews with her reveal her fondness for melodrama. I just found it distracting and not really necessary.

So, to recap, what we had here was an excellent performance by an actress at her peak in a monologue with a been-there seen-that man-bashing melodramatic flair delivered to us, the invited guests in her shoe-filled apartment. And yet I was charmed by the whole affair. Is it any wonder I’ve been embarrassed to write about it?

-- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)
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