Theater Review: NAT's Bad Dates offers unique look at relationships

Catherine Glynn is Haley, a 40-something looking for just the right relationship and encountering all the wrong guys. A one-person production tests the best of actors. Engaging an audience for two hours incorporates movement, costume changes, handling multiple props, and speaking directly to those in the house. Glynn accomplishes every aspect successfully. The playwright, Theresa Rebeck, writes well, but Act I tends to be at one level. Haley’s bad experiences tend to frustrate, and that frustration results in shrill disappointment.

In Act II, we see Haley’s real personality—a working mother who lives a busy life, still looking for the right man, but not so desperate. Even the set indicates the change. Entering the theater, we saw a bedroom piled with shoes, clothes, papers and junk. More that of a messy teen-ager than a mature woman. A preoccupation with designer shoes may be a part of Sex in the City,

but it is a frivolous concept for theater. Act II begins with a more organized set. The shoes are still there, but are neatly boxed. The clothes basket is gone, and the bed is cleared—a reflection of a more serious time in Haley’s frenetic life.

We also find a depth of plot. As a restaurant manager, she has been forced to cover for the Romanian Mafia. Money laundering presents significant choices. A time for decision arrives, and adult behavior is a necessity. Haley finally sees that searching for the right relationship is futile, and at the most unexpected moment, she finds her hero.

Glynn lives in Chicago and does commercial work, modeling and serving as communications coach for Speak by Design. As I was speaking to her following the performance, she voiced her pleasure in the opportunity to do this show. After auditioning, she stepped in when the original actress for the part could not fulfill the obligation.

Bad Dates runs through Oct. 1. For more information, call NAT’s box office at 964-6282. Subscriptions and discounts are available.

From the Sept. 27-Oct. 3, 2006, issue

Enjoy The Rock River Times? Help spread the word!