Waltzing Mechanics presents the World Premiere of KATE’S DATES.
Kate Loftus kissed a lot of frogs until she met her prince. She endured date after date trying to connect to someone special. She met a lot of Mr. Wrongs in her quest for love. She pursued online dating, impromptu wedding hook-ups, and tipsy new encounters at bars. Kate put up with tardiness, hooker fetishes and Chili’s adoration. She tried to be open to the possibilities. And she chronicled her first dates experiences on her blog.
True story! Her blog has been adapted by J.D. Ostergaard into a tight rom-com documentary. Ostergaard, also serving as director, used Loftus’ writing verbatim. He then added in tidbits from a series of interviews with dating experts. He sets his story in the fictitious Labossiere-Shields Museum of Human Courtship. Ashley Alvarez (The Docent) acts part museum guide and part Dear Abby. Alvarez effectively shuffles us through Kate’s date wreckage. And every so often, she interjects one to ‘grow on.’ In one such sage moment, she advises ladies to honestly ask themselves: “Can I give this person what he needs?” These reflective snippets vary in profundity. Later, the statement of ‘be yourself’ seems obvious. Yet, everyone needs to be reminded of these Dating-for-Dummies gems. As humans in full heat, it’s easy to forget the basics in moments of giddy flirtation.
Kate Loftus shared her most vulnerable moments in her ode to first dates from hell. Ostergaard cleverly weaves her stories together using Neala Barron (Present Kate) to narrate the encounters. As the animated and feisty Barron sets up the scene, Elise Spoerlein (Past Kate) and Spenser Davis (The Dates) reenact the memories. The stage is a Kate Loftus exhibit of relational woe. Menus, keyboards, steering wheels are on display until they become a prop in the date re-creation. Spoerlein continually approaches each scenario with hopefulness. And at some point, invariably she becomes disgusted. The exchanges between Barron and Spoerlein are particularly hilarious. Since they are playing the same person, the remembering takes on some amusing ‘I didn’t say it that way.’ Davis impressively plays a parade of losers and at least one good guy. He charmingly reveals the worst traits in men. Sometimes, he utters just one word like ‘hair.’ And sometimes, he makes it all the way through the date before revealing that he’s a dick. Always, his delivery is met with laughter especially from the ladies that have experienced similar torturous liaisons.
KATE’S DATES is a smart comedy. It’s like “Sex in the City” meets “Girls.” The show would be a perfect girls’ night out or bachelorette party starting point. And it would make a fun date but to be on the safe side, make sure it’s at least a third or fourth date
Running Time: Seventy minutes with no intermission
At Greenhouse Theatre Center, 2257 N. Lincoln
A new verbatim play based on the blog by Kate Loftus
Adapted and directed by J.D. Ostergaard
Thursdays, Fridays, Saturdays at 8pm
Sundays at 5pm
Thru July 14th
Buy Tickets at www.waltzingmechanics.org