ADMIT IT:  YOU’VE ALL HAD “BAD DATES”
        BONNIE GOLDBERG

    Haley Walker has survived a husband who abused drugs and is raising an almost teenage daughter alone.  She has parlayed a job as a waitress in a Romanian restaurant to the point where she is responsible for its daily running, its menu and its ambiance.  If you can hop over the fact that the Romanians are part of a gang using the eatery as  a front for money laundering, you might say Haley has her act together.

    Come meet Haley as she exposes her expectations and concerns on the intimate Stage II of New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre in Theresa Rebeck’s “Bad Dates,“ playing now through Sunday, March 22.  Haviland Morris is the personable and chatty Haley who shares her secrets openly and honestly on a beautifully detailed bedroom set created by Frank J. Alberino.

    The audience is invited into Haley’s boudoir, if you can find room among the two hundred and eighty seven shoe boxes, mostly designer, like Jimmy Choo, Joan and David, Prada and Chanel.  Yes, Haley freely admits she has a shoe fetish that would turn Imelda Marcos green.

    At this point in her life, Haley feels she can reenter the dating world.  Her daughter Vera is sufficiently grown that mama bird can safely leave the nest.  But what happens when all those trial balloons into Romance Land produce frogs, not princes...when even her mother gets into the act and fixes her up with a law professor, a nice gay law professor.  You will instantly empathize with Haley and maybe chip in to get her a trial membership to e.Harmony or Match.com.  Eric Ting is a wonderful chaperone/director for Haley’s adventures and misadventures.

    For tickets ($32-62), call Long Wharf Theatre, 222 Sargent Drive, New Haven at 203-787-4282 or online at www.longwharf.org. ; Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m., Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday at 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. and 7 p.m.  Bring toiletries to the show to donate to AIDS Project New Haven.  Following the Sunday, March 15 matinee, a symposium of experts and artists will discuss the play and its themes.

    Let the delightful Haviland Morris reveal a human and vulnerable slice of Haley’s existence as she tries on shoes and outfits and men, hoping to achieve a perfect fit for her life.

This will appear in the Middletown Press on March 5.

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