Devious, calculating, charming – all describe Guy (Grant McGowen) as he revisits several of his past relationships in Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre’s production of Neil LaBute’s Some Girl(s). The play is billed as a romantic comedy, and sure, it is full of comedic moments, but ultimately it is much more of a drama than a comedy. A character study of sorts, Some Girl(s) presents a picture of a young man on a search for fulfillment, but don’t expect the typical story with that theme.
Composed of four vignettes, each with a different girlfriend, the foibles of Guy’s past relationships are brought to light as he supposedly tries to make amends with each one. All of the ex-girlfriends, however, are somewhat skeptical of his reasoning, and one even questions whether he is trying to find out if he has thrown away a good thing before he gets married. Yet, a different picture and a surprising twist emerges in the last scene, which will begin to paint a different picture of his exploits.
McGowen, onstage for the entire play, grounds the production and manages to bring out Guy’s relatable qualities amongst his undesirable ones. He displays strong chemistry with each of the actresses playing his ex-girlfriends, making his involvement with the four very different women believable.
Now a wife and mother, Sam (Kelly Criss), Guy’s high school sweetheart is the first ex-girlfriend on the list. A stark contrast to Sam is the wild Tyler, played vivaciously by Julissa Sabino. LaLa Cochran sinks into her role as Lindsay, a gender studies professor whom Guy has had an affair with, and she fearlessly delivers her sharp and often quite humorous dialogue. Lastly, Jackie Costello displays impressive range as Bobbi, the final girlfriend Guy decides to visit.
Criss, however, is the standout, giving a remarkably subtle, yet captivating performance with what is perhaps the most identifiable of the four women. Her pain and longing are visible throughout her scene. She provides an honest and heartbreaking presentation.
This production offers something for everyone, but ladies in particular will enjoy and relate to the show. Directed by Susan Reid, Some Girl(s) plays at Pinch ‘n’ Ouch Theatre through October 21, 2012. The play’s run time is approximately two hours with one intermission. For tickets and more information, please visit the theater’s website.
– A. Wesley