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Bad Dates

a Comedy
by Theresa Rebeck

COMPANY : Pumphouse Players [WEBSITE]
VENUE : Pumphouse Players [WEBSITE]
ID# 3951

SHOWING : February 18, 2011 - March 05, 2011



And then I realize, in this sort of strange, hallucinatory moment, that the bug guy is looking kind of good, and the things he's saying about bugs are really kind of fascinating and it is then that I realized that maybe it has been too long since I've been on a date."--So confesses a single mother and self-described restaurant idiot-savant in this thoroughly charming and slyly sweet one-woman play by the author of The Butterfly Collection and Spike Heels. This idiosyncratic journey of self-discovery involving the Romanian mob, a Buddhist rainstorm, a teenage daughter, shoes, and a few very bad dates enjoyed an extended run Off-Broadway at Playwrights Horizons starring Julie White. Please Note: This production contains adult language.

Director Jeanne Young
Lighting Design Jen Garrett
Poster Design Barry KING
Cast Stacy Vaccaro
Click to Submit Cast & Crew Info for this production


First Impressions
by Dedalus
Monday, April 11, 2011
I have to confess to be being a bit underwhelmed by my first impression of Theresa Rebeck’s “Bad Dates.” In the wake of Horizon theatre’s 2006 production, I admitted ambivalence at being charmed by the play, despite being “distracted” by the melodramatic mafia sub-plot and the pernicious man-bashing going on throughout.

Well, I’m almost five years older, and, hopefully, five years wiser. I now have no ambivalence in saying that “Bad Dates” is a delightful romp and Pumphouse Players’ new production is a joy to behold.

Stacy Vaccaro plays 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 gentle realization at the end about a “Bug Guy” she’s been kvetching about all night. Yes, as I observed in 2006, there is some man-bashing going on here. To its credit, though, the script is aware that its heroine is not the best catch in the sea. 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 listening to her chat? It’s a device that works surprisingly well, making us friendly participants rather than disinterested observers. I really like how Ms. Vaccaro is not afraid of actually interacting with us, breaking the “fourth wall” and even reacting to audience comments and sounds.

Why I enjoyed this production so much more (besides countless lesser monologue-plays endured in the intervening years) is that Ms. Vaccaro is utterly charming and engaging. Her comments are less “man-bashing” in general than rueful observations about the shortcomings of those men in particular she is seeing. Yes, she has a lot of fun cataloguing their faults, but often admits surprise at the habits that she finds appealing and attractive.

As to the “mafia” subplot, it actually adds a line of tension to the play, a device to show the character’s innate naïveté and to show that irritating “Bug Guy” in a far more captivating context. I now find it less a distraction, and more of a deepening, a way to show us that, in addition to various geeks and grotesques in single-guy polyester, there are real dangers and minefields that have to be crossed.

Director/Designer Jeanne Young has put Haley onto a bedroom set that reflects her less-than-prosperous apartment at the same time it lets her wallow in her closetful of shoes. It’s a credible, comfortable “living space” and Ms. Vaccaro lounges and struts as if she’s lived there for years.

So, the real point of the play is that Haley’s first Impression of her “bad dates” often (not always) proves wrong. Isn’t it a nice irony, then, that my own first impression of “Bad Dates” was equally short-sighted? In the final analysis, this is a charming and amusing monologue performed by an actress who grabs your attention and just won’t let go.

-- Brad Rudy (BK

Bad Dates is Great!
by voyager
Monday, February 28, 2011
And Stacy Vaccaro is awesome in this one woman show!

Please get out and see this production form The Pumphouse Players up in Cartersville. it will be well worth it! Listening to and watching her on stage as Hayley Walker is a delight and very funny! [POST A COMMENT REGARDING THIS REVIEW]


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