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Bad Dates

In a world reeling from the involuted Darwinian logic of "might is right," testosterone and all its attendant behaviors and thought-forms are certainly problematic. So, when it comes to dating, those of our species of other bio-chemical persuasions are entitled to and in need of commiseration; and though Theresa Rebeck's Bad Dates provides that in spades, this is not the theatrical equivalent of "chick lit," as the bookworms dub it. Yes, this piece is definitely a great "girls' night out," but there's a lot to recommend for those with Y chromosomes, gay or straight.

Erin Prestia-Robins as Haley
Erin Prestia-Robins as Haley
For example, when Haley (Erin Prestia-Robins in a tour de force one-woman performance) frets over her choices in shoes, outfits, and accessories, it's worth noting that if, after all her emotional and temporal investment, her date doesn't find something nice to say about what she's wearing, he might as well forget any extra-curricular activities.

Erin Prestia-Robins as Haley
Erin Prestia-Robins as Haley
Don't get the wrong impression, this isn't just about dates—that's just the set up—and when the drama that we didn't see coming zips around the corner and hits Haley in the face, all of a sudden the complexity of the decision making involving work, home, and relationships asserts itself front and center.

Prestia-Robins' congenial informalities reel us in, just as if we were having a heart-to-heart over a latte or a drink. We take the bait, hook, line and sinker, and don't even realize it until the import of Haley's circumstances lays bare our emotional investment. The twist is a pleasant and enlightening surprise.

Director Sue Rossman sets an engaging pace and layers the action—between the constant wardrobe choices and the narrative—with aplomb.

The Edge's production of Bad Dates runs through March 10th. 303-232-0363 or online at www.theedgetheater.com.

Bob Bows

 

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