Boy Gets Girl
Reviewed by David Kashimba
Photo by Jeff Thomas

Actors Theatre of Santa Rosa presents Boy Gets Girl, a drama that hinges on the many nuances of the word “gets” in the title. Written by Rebecca Gilman and directed by Virginia Reed, this is not a heart-warming romance with a schmaltzy ending. It is an attempt to explore how one woman’s life can be devastated when a man becomes obsessed to the point of stalking her.

Theresa (Hannah Evans), a New York journalist, hasn’t dated for 18 months. Throwing herself into her work after a prior relationship ended, she was finally convinced to go on a blind date set up by a friend. After two dates with Tony (Karl Mossberger), Theresa realizes this guy is not for her. She tries to back out gracefully. When her “nos” become firmer so does his resolve. When her “nos” become angry, he responds in angry phone messages, emails, threatening letters and even breaks into her apartment and trashes it.

Sounds like another one of those made for television stalker movies, but Gilman’s focus is on Theresa and how she has to literally change her identity in order to deal with this obsessive guy. She’s trying to draw her audience into Theresa’s life so that we can all experience the trauma of what it’s like to be stalked. Sometimes it works but often it doesn’t. The play is written too much like a sociology textbook and not enough like a drama, and there are places where even the actors sense the lack of dramatic tension and their lines become similar to a student forced to read a textbook out loud in class.

Gilman is an excellent playwright and has written many powerful dramas like The American in Me. Boy Gets Girl does have the potential of getting there, but right now this play feels too unfinished, a rough draft needing more work. There are, however, many interesting aspects of this draft like the use of a character Theresa is forced to interview as a journalist. The character makes movies about women with big breasts and helps provide much needed comic relief. But he also represents someone who helps Theresa heal from her trauma. Though the full potential for this character’s influence isn’t completely realized yet, he represents one of many interesting dramatic seeds in a play with a lot of potential.

For tickets or more information call (707) 523-4185 x 1 or visit www.actorstheatre.com.

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