THEATER REVIEW: Bad Dates at Shakespeare and Company
SHAKESPEARE AND COMPANY
Bad Dates by Theresa Rebeck
Starring Elizabeth Aspenlieder
Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre
Through March 8
Review by Seth Rogovoy
(Lenox, Mass., Jan. 22, 2009) -- I had a real bad date last weekend, and now I'm going to tell you all about it. I was stuck in the new Elayne P. Bernstein Theatre at Shakespeare and Company in Lenox. For two hours I sat there listening to and watching Elizabeth Aspenlieder go on and on about shoes and men and restaurants and the Romanian mafia, trying to connect them all together in a neat little package.
I'm telling you: this bad date was one of the best I've ever had, in large part due to Aspenlieder, who was pitch perfect in the role of Haley Walker, the single mom and restaurant manager whose romantic foibles and exploits Aspenlieder brings to life with a combination of skillful acting, comic timing, and not just a little flash of skin now and then, in the one-woman show, Bad Dates, by Theresa Rebeck.
Aspenlieder does a terrific job of creating a fully real, three-dimensional character, warts and all, someone we suffer along with, someone who frustrates us or even angers us, but someone we care about, someone who makes us laugh, someone with whom, in the end, we can all identify. The comedy runs through March 8, and it's a terrific night out at the theater -- and a real good 'date play.'
Seth Rogovoy is editor-in-chief and critic-at-large for Berkshire Living magazine.