"Some Girl(s)", now playing at chummy Unicorn Theatre in Catasauqua, is a reedy, often tedious, seldom funny, but ultimately irresistible comedy staged with unbridled presumption and  panache by Torchlight Players, one of the many newer troupes to raise its curtain in the Lehigh Valley.

One can think of no good reason any company's selection committee would choose this particularly sordid Neil LaBute tale to showcase its foolhardy young cast.  The play is relentlessly wordy, redundant, and monophonic.  Its lead character is utterly unsympathetic.  The entire affair is doggedly misanthropic.

Still, Torchlight from the outset seems determined to overcome the lassitude of the material, and each performer proves fit for the formidable challenge of keeping an audience focused on the cramped, foot-lighted stage for 130 minutes encompassing five painfully revelatory two-person vignettes that unmask a young man lacking in conscience, character, and charisma who, in the waning days before his wedding, visits and torments, for one last time, all the women he has previously abused, misused, and refused.Girls

Let's simplify that: a man known to us only as Guy inflicts himself upon his former flames in bed-sitting rooms around the country, apparently as part of some sadistic self-expiating ritual prior to his entering into a permanent relationship with his latest victim.  

We meet five of these poor souls --- the public school girl he jettisoned for a more promising prom date; his philandering college professor; a sexually adventurous partner; his best friend's kid sister; and one woman he perhaps actually cared about.  (Don't get excited; I said, "Perhaps.")

The story alone, such as it is, could never have kept my mind from jumping ship. And certainly nothing about the character of Guy was redeemable enough to keep the show afloat.

But there's no denying the sassiness and pep of every one of these fresh-faced players who made it impossible not to stay aboard for the whole rocky voyage.

Nicole Anderson  neatly manages to direct and to act in this revolving door of a play; she does both creditably, even kicking things off as the first of the unfortunate young ladies, followed smartly by Jade Neff, Stacey Ziegler, Ash Miller, and Hannah Arnold, all equally gifted troupers.

Brian Welsko, as Guy, contrives not only to embody a truly smarmy individual,  but also to elicit and then convincingly listen to one brutally difficult harangue after another, delivered flawlessly by each of his cast-asides.

To make sure even the most jaded among us wouldn't deboard this vessel with even a smidgen of sympathy for Guy, LaBute has thrown in a surprise near the end that may have been jolting when the play premiered in 2006, but that in our era of compromised privacy doesn't seem all that shocking.

Performances are 3 p.m. May 28 and June 4 and 8 p.m. June 3 at Unicorn Theatre, 417 Front St., Catasauqua.  Tickets are $20 and can be reserved by emailing This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .
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