Some Girl(s)

Review by Willard Manus

The odd title matches the oddity of the play. In Neil LaBute's latest work, which comes to the Geffen Playhouse after runs in London and New York, Guy (the charismatic Mark Feurstein), revisits ex-girlfriends in four cities, Seattle, Chicago, Boston and L.A. A generic hotel room serves as their meeting place and eventual battleground (the nifty design is by Sibyl Wickersheimer), as old wounds are reopened and blood is spilled. Guy is the one who did the damage, having abruptly walked out on each of them just when marriage was in the offing. Now, it would appear, he wants to make amends, heal the hurt and resentment.

The women, played masterfully by Paula Cale Lisbe, Justina Machado, Rosalind Chao and Jaime Ray Newman, react to his peacemaking overtures in different ways. One erupts in anger, another tries to humiliate him sexually, and so forth. The need for revenge is eventually what unites them, especially when each begins to see the handsome, charming Guy for what he is, a pathological liar and Don Juan.

LaBute, who often writes about the nasty things men do to women (Bash, The Shape of Things), has a surprise up his sleeve that really nails Guy's manipulative personality. Like so much of SOME GIRL(S) in general, it has a comic, bittersweet edge to it.

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