We all know the old-fashioned trope that tends to pervade romantic comedies about heterosexual couples- the guy is the pursuer and the woman is the pursued. We also (hopefully) know that this is a taught discourse of society, and not hardwired. Of course women should be pursuing whom and what they want as well. But what is the real problem with this old-fashioned romance idea? Why is it still so acceptable for women to go along with it? What about objectification of women that happens everyday, whether in the overly sexualized media or some everyday guy diminishing a woman to her body parts? How does it all add to the monster of violence against women that still happens in our society? As both a feminist and a theatre person, I was kicking myself that I’d never heard of Rebecca Gilman’s play, Boy Gets Girl. The play tackles all of these questions with a very personal and horrifying experience. Although the main character Theresa Bedell is fictional, through the two hours you share with her in the theatre she is all too real. That’s why this story is one of those most powerfully told via theatre. It’s also the kind of story that will have you talking about it endlessly afterwards.
This current production of Boy Gets Girl is playing at the Access Theatre and is produced by couple Kate Dulcich and Shaun Gunning. Kate also stars as Theresa Bedell, an independent, hardworking, and brilliant writer for a NYC literary magazine. The story starts off with a blind date between Theresa and Tony. It’s one of those obviously awkward, chemistry-less dates that any voyeur would giggle at. But even though she’s clearly not interested, by the end of the date she finds herself folding to his persistence and agreeing to a second date. We go through the next few days, as Tony’s pattern of not hearing her say “No” continues, and Theresa’s life spirals into a nightmare.
This production had me on the edge of my seat and very anxious by intermission. I laughed, I cried, I got angry, essentially this play gives you a range of emotions. Kate Dulcich’s Theresa was someone I instantly cared about, which made me personally empathize with her story and worry about her. From the captivating original music created by co-producer Shaun Gunning, to the gripping performance by Kate Dulcich, I was totally into it the whole time. The only bad thing was that I saw it by myself, and had no one to have a long conversation (and a hug) about it afterward with. Bring someone with you, and go see this play.
Boy Gets Girl plays through Sunday, November 20: Thursday at 8, Friday at 8, Saturday at 8, and Sunday at 7.
380 Broadway @ White Street.
(2 blocks South of Canal) on the 4th Floor.