"Boy Gets Girl" (Raven Theatre): Terrifyingly Excellent!

"Boy Gets Girl" (Raven Theatre):  Terrifyingly Excellent!

Raven Theatre presents BOY GETS GIRL.  Theresa goes on a blind date with Tony.  She’s just not that in to him.  So, after a second date, she tells him that she doesn’t want to go out with him.  He won’t accept that it’s over before it begins.  He starts to try to woo her with flowers. He stops by her office.  She rejects his courting repeatedly.  Tony won’t stop.  And his interest in her turns obsession.  BOY GETS GIRL is terrifyingly excellent.

Playwright Rebecca Gilman penned an ‘American Horror Story’ for single women everywhere.  Don’t worry, it’s not gory!  But it’s as disturbing as dating gets. Gilman tells the blind-date-gone-wrong with an ordinary sophistication.  The underlying threat is always present and unlike in television or movies isn’t easily resolved.  Gilman’s characters are just like us. They are normal people reacting to the unimaginable.  Everyone gives off a helpless vibe.  It’s so real, it’s petrifying!  Under the masterful direction of Cody Estle, this talented cast stops acting.  They assume these roles, co-workers, detective, dirty old man, muddling through ickiness.  It’s riveting!  I feel like I know these people.  As they get closer to each other, I connect to each of them.  The stalker helps everyone, ensemble and audience, to bond in a united force.

In the lead, Kristin Collins (Theresa) plays tough and vulnerable perfectly.  Although Collins isn’t reduced to stereotyped female hysteria (thank you, Gilman!), we see her shaky, yet firm, resolve.  Collins‘ subtle victim portrayal heightens the unsettling feeling.  She’s not the huggable type until she is and that moment becomes even more powerful.(After seeing Collins in ‘Dating Walter Dante,‘ I continue to worry about her choices in men.)  There is plenty of humor within this thriller-like show.  A lot of it is generated by Leonard Kraft (Les).  Kraft delivers cantankerous and irreverent hysterically.  Everyone is so genuine in their roles, it’s hard to imagine that they aren’t playing themselves.  I do hope John Stokvis (Tony) isn’t repeatedly rejected by women because of his Ted Bundy-creepy dude style.

BOY GETS GIRL is a must-see for any single gal and really anyone!  It’s important to see the aftermath of innocently giving out someone’s home number.  This show is an education in privacy and security.  And as if the story wasn’t engaging enough, the set has a cool 2nd story element.  Designer Amanda Rozmiarek uses a retractable wall to hide and reveal Theresa’s apartment.  The effect is impressive.

BOY GETS GIRL isn’t your 80’s rom-com, it’s a present day reality.  After seeing it, you won’t want flowers following a first date ever again. Inconceivably unforgettable!   Even the title is memorable.

 Running Time:  Two hours and thirty minutes includes an intermission

At Raven Theatre, 6157 N. Clark

Written by Rebecca Gilman

Directed by Cody Estle

Fridays and Saturdays at 8pm

Sundays at 3:30pm

Thru March 2nd

Buy Tickets at www.raventheatre.com

Photo by Dean LaPrairie

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