Fringe review: Bad Date: A Cautionary Tale

BAD DATE: A CAUTIONARY TALE by Erin Aubrey (Aubrey Productions). At Tarragon Extra Space. July 11 at 4:30 pm, July.

BAD DATE: A CAUTIONARY TALE by Erin Aubrey (Aubrey Productions). At Tarragon Extra Space. July 11 at 4:30 pm, July 12 at 2 pm, July 14 at 9:15 pm, July 16 at 7:45 pm. See listing. Rating: NNNN

Have you ever been on a date so strange and awkward you thought I bet this would make a great play?

Thats what happened to Erin Aubrey, the writer, director and lead actor of Bad Date: A Cautionary Tale. She found herself entertaining a shirtless drunk doofus at her apartment one lonely night, and it inspired her to create this musical cringe comedy.

Aubrey plays Molly, a 34-year-old actor/vocal coach who hasnt had sex in over a year and cant even hold down a vibrator. So after a text exchange filled with warning signs, she reluctantly allows Aleks-with-a-k to invite himself over to her apartment for an awkward first date. Christopher S. Violette is perfectly cast as the half-douchebag/half-goofball walking red flag Aleks, who brings over part of a bottle of wine he stole from a bar, insists on doing karate in her living room and repeatedly violates Mollys boundaries.

Though the piece is technically a two-hander, Aleks often feels like an intruder in Mollys solo show she often breaks into songs that only the audience can hear. Theres a brilliant contrast between the guarded and monotone Molly of the date and her frankly honest, sexually explicit songs about topics like dick pics, oral sex and the absurdity of a modern dating landscape that leads confident, talented women like her into situations like this one.

Bad Date feels like a perfect showcase for Aubreys specific talents, which makes sense considering she wrote it, but shed be wise to cut the guitar ballad she sings to Aleks during the date, which feels out of place and kills some of the shows momentum.

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