Who says dating in New York City is an impossible chore? For Bobby Goldman (Nancy Opel), Manhattan is a metropolis of endless, masculine opportunity. After her famous screenwriter husband passes away, Goldman seeks advice from her therapist (Alan Muraoka) who—in no uncertain terms—tells her that the best way to cope is by having sex…lots of it. Goldman follows orders and quickly creates multiple online profiles, all of which use the handle “Curvy Widow”.
Goldman, who wrote the book to this charming musical, is an actual widow who claims that 98% of her show is based on truth. In YouTube clips and audience talkbacks, she is a spitfire who is unabashedly man crazy.
Overall, the brisk 90 minute romp is pleasant enough, thanks largely in part to Opel. This stage veteran knows how to command a stage and work the laughs—one just wishes for more of them.
Goldman’s natural personality lends itself to great humor, but all too often, the jokes are a bit on the generic side. At one point, Opel asks a man at the supermarket– who she has dubbed “Per Se”- (Christopher Shyer) to prove that he is separated. He reaches into his shopping basket, revealing a Hungry Man frozen dinner. Funny? Maybe in 1985.
Drew Brody’s music and lyrics adequately serve to move the story along, but you’re not likely to walk out with any memorable tunes stuck in your head.
Still, there is enough liveliness and zeal to appeal to theatergoers-especially to those who may have suffered the passing of a loved one. It is also refreshing to see an entire cast over the age of forty, each of whom are presenting a story that is about embracing life in the face of sadness. There is an underlying message that being single is absolutely fine. It’s a perfect anti-conformist notion that bucks societal pressure to either find Mr. or Mrs. Right or suffer loneliness. Sometimes, a party of one is more than enough.