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Boy Gets Girl

a Thriller
CATEGORY : DRAMA
by Rebecca Gilman

COMPANY : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Horizon Theatre Company [WEBSITE]
ID# 358

SHOWING : April 05, 2002 - May 09, 2002

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PRODUCTION DESCRIPTION

A tense and intelligent thriller.


CAST & CREW LIST
Cast Lisa Adler
Harriet Jen Apgar
Beck Sondra Barey
Howard Larry Larson
Les Jim Peck
Theresa Suzanne Roush
Tony Dan Triandaflo
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REVIEWS

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Bleak Prospects
by Dedalus
Thursday, May 2, 2002
3.0
I have to confess to a somewhat ambiguous response to Horizon's latest offering, "Boy Gets Girl" by Rebecca Gilman. This was a play that I enjoyed while I was watching it, but which soured upon contemplation of its implications.

The first act played like a first-rate thriller. Crisply paced, it gave us a "can-it-get-any-worse" scenario that, with each scene, did get worse. Filled with good performances, we see a character we truly care about, realistically have her defenses and confidences stripped to the bone by the actions of a man, who, in the final analysis, is a paranoid schmuck. The second act, however, was anti-climatic, and, ultimately, infuriating. This strong, personable woman we come to care about simply rolls over and plays dead. She gives up and lets the jerk run her out of town.

She is convinced by an unconvincing and incompetent detective (also the only less-than-adequate performance of the evening) that this is her only option. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy this. We're not talking about a gang of hoodlums or mafiosi or terrorists. We're talking about one guy playing with half a deck. Yes, he's a threat. But is abandoning home, job, and name the only response? Am I the only one who thinks this too extreme?

I'm not a stalker, nor do I know anyone who has been stalked, so I could very easily be wrong. Perhaps these actions are the only response that is truly safe. But it is a failure of this script and this production that I was left with a "There's-got-to-be-a-less-extreme-option" feeling (an action involving kneecaps and large blunt objects comes immediately to mind).

On the plus side, except for the actress playing the detective, all the performances were strong. In particular, Suzanne Roush as the hapless heroine was so good, her ultimate capitulation was especially disturbing. Joe Knenezevich and Jim Peck made likeable people of characters I found unpleasant and pointless when I first read this script. Also, the set and production made the many scene shifts quick and painless and kept the pace of Act I galloping.

Finally, though, it needs to be acknowledged that characters who let themselves be victims make lousy protagonists. We can feel sorry for them, but we cannot empathize.


--- Brad Rudy (BKRudy@aol.com)

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