U.Va. Drama's 'Some Girl(s)' Offers Sharp, Unsparing Look at Engaged Lothario's Trip Down Relationship Lane

September 18, 2008

September 18,  2008 — The University of Virginia Department of Drama's new season kicks off with a fascinating window into the battle of the sexes. Neil LaBute's acclaimed play, "Some Girl(s)," opens Sept. 25 at the Helms Theatre.

The relationship between man and woman has rarely been painted in such stark and entertaining terms as by the pen of LaBute, which has launched thousands of thoughts and conversations with controversial films such as "In the Company of Men."

He is at it again with "Some Girl(s)," the story of a Lothario who is on the verge of ending a long career of loving and leaving by finally tying the knot.

Before he walks down the aisle, however, he embarks on a cross-country "heartstorming" tour through the greatest hits of his little black book, meeting up with a string of former girlfriends — from the high school sweetheart to the college professor to the fun-filled fling and the classic "one that got away." It's a fascinating, illuminating and surprising look at a man who was always much more interested in looking for love than he was in ever finding it.

"The fact that this play is an emotional minefield is intriguing to me as a director," U.Va. drama alumna Melissa Crespo said. "There is so much at stake, especially for the women. And the premise of the play is priceless. … Imagine having the opportunity to go back and talk to an ex, a proverbial 'do-over.' When it comes to matters of the heart, it is so rare to ever get the opportunity for real closure and cleansing."

Crespo said the play takes on new meaning, given the gender issues dominating the news.

"Add in the election and the fuel it has added to the battle-of-the-sexes fire, which clearly has the whole country talking, and you realize that this play strikes a chord in so many ways," she said.

While it would be easy to see this as a clear-cut case of good (women) and evil (men), Crespo cautions that the play's gray area is where its true lessons may be found.

"This play challenges the audience to look at things from the man's perspective," she said. "It's easy to point the finger at this guy. But there is a reason why these women fell for him and returned once again.

"My hope is the play inspires audiences to think and talk about it in a broader sense, focusing on relationships, how people treat each other within them, and what it means to be happy with other persons, and most importantly, with yourself."

"Some Girl(s)" will run from Sept. 25 through Sept. 27, on Sept. 30, and again from Oct. 1 through Oct. 4. All performances begin at 8 p.m.

Tickets are $14 for adults, $12 for seniors and U.Va. faculty and staff, and $8 for students. Full-time U.Va. students may use their Arts$ Dollars to purchase both individual show and season tickets. Tickets can be ordered by calling the box office at 434-924-3376 or by visiting the Culbreth Theatre weekdays between 1 p.m. and 5 p.m.

The 2008-09 season will continue with Douglas Turner Ward's "Day of Absence," coming to the Helms Theatre from Oct. 23-25, Oct. 28-31 and Nov. 1.

The season will also include the classic musical "Oklahoma!" (Nov. 20-22; Dec. 3-5); the surreal dreamscape "The Love Song of J. Robert Oppenheimer" (Feb. 12-14 and Feb. 18-21); "Fuddy Meers," a tale of a wild farcical day in the life of a family like no other you have ever met before (March 19-21 and March 24-28) and Shakespeare's early comedy "The Two Gentlemen of Verona" (April 16-18 and April 22-25).

Season subscriptions are $73 (adults), $63 (seniors and U.Va. faculty and staff) and $50 (students). They can be ordered by calling 434-924-3376 or by visiting the Culbreth Theatre box office weekdays between 1 and 5 p.m. Tickets for individual productions go on sale approximately two weeks prior to the opening date.

Free parking is available at the Culbreth Road Parking Garage.

For information, visit www.virginia.edu/drama.