Theresa Rebeck's 90-minute monologue
Through Feb. 24 at Montgomery Theater, 124 N. Main St., Souderton. Tickets: $20. 215-723-9984 or www.MontgomeryTheater.org
Bad Dates begins with an introduction to one woman's array of shoes and clothes: classy, earthy, trashy, cute, dangerous, dowdy. If that's enough description to turn you away from Montgomery Theater's textured production and Sarah Sanford's equally complex performance as single mom/restaurateur Haley Walker, perhaps you could benefit most from Haley's excursion into the land of deceptive first impressions.
Dating stinks, dating after a certain age is worse, but dating while trying to raise a child, run a business, and evade past mistakes before they catch up, that's even harder. Rebeck cares enough about Haley to give her confidence, competence, humor and introspection, all while battling insecurity, incompetence, black moods, impulsivity and a noirish plot twist. Director Jessica Bedford, in turn, cares enough to keep her that way, resisting the temptation to leaven Rebeck's message with ditzy demeanor or frothy design.