The light comedy Bad Dates focuses around Haley Walker, played by Carol Halstead, a 40-something single mother who is attempting to date again after a long stretch of being single.
The light comedy Bad Dates focuses around Haley Walker, played by Carol Halstead, a 40-something single mother who is attempting to date again after a long stretch of being single. Haley is originally from Texas but has transplanted to New York after a rough divorce with her pot-smoking hubby. The young mother is forced to face the world with a child, no husband and a penchant for gross overspending. The stage is littered in a sort of chaotic order with fancy shoes and nice clothing.
After working as a waitress in a chic Manhattan restaurant, Haley discovers that the owners (members of the Romanian mob) are using the fine diner as a front for a money laundering operation. The owners end up getting caught and Haley is the only one who knows how to run the restaurant. She immediately takes charge of running, planning, decorating and creating a menu for the entire restaurant. The new job means more money but a lot more responsibility; add on top of that having a kid, Haley barely has time to date.
So finally her daughter is old enough to take care of herself, Haley decides to date again. Surprisingly, she doesn’t go on a single good date! The adage follows: Men are pigs, women fall for them and then wish there were more decent single men who are actually straight. After the first hour, just when the story is starting to get interesting, it ends Hollywood-style, with the girl finally snagging the right guy.
Overall the show is hard to get through. One-person shows always lack pizzazz, and Bad Dates was no exception. Halstead played her role well and was very believable as a single mother desperate to get laid.
Though the pain and joy came through well, her Texan accent was horribly annoying, sometimes sounding as though she thought Texas is a province in Canada.
The direction by Timothy Near was minimal, mostly treating the audience as though they where the confidantes of the resurgent momma looking for some action by helping decide which shoes to wear, how to dress and how not to.
The show is worth checking out if you enjoy looking at gobs and gobs of nice shoes.
Portland Center Stage’s one-woman show Bad Dates runs for the next month on the Gerding Theater’s studio stage below the main stage.
Bad Dates April 17 – June 10 $15-$30