• By: Jennifer Hartley

Head to Hudson for a Great Blind Date

It takes an incredible combination of wit and talent to create what Rebecca Northan has ingeniously done in her play Blind Date. It is an innovative piece of theatre that brilliantly mixes improvisation with traditional theatre. It has had successful runs in London, New York, Toronto and across Canada for very good reason and is currently playing at the Hudson Village Theatre, in quaint Hudson, Quebec, a mere one hour and 20 minute drive from Ottawa.

ChristyBruce_&_MichaelPhillips_Kamloops_1The show opens with Mimi, the beautiful, charming, charismatic protagonist, dressed in a fabulous red dress and heels… and a red clown’s nose, to lighten things up (not that the play actually needs it). She is sitting at a table in a bistro with a glass of wine, chatting with the audience, waiting for her blind date to arrive. When he doesn’t show up, Mimi decides to create her own blind date and plucks an unsuspecting fellow from the audience to stand in for the no-show.

Blind Date is funny, unpredictable and even though it is improv, Mimi manages to guide the show to capture all the angst and tension (both uneasy moments and sexual tension) that can exist in a blind date. In the process, she has every man wishing he had been the chosen one.

There are two strains to the play that weave together throughout the 90-minute show. There is the play (or blind date) and then there is the “time-out” portion, where Mimi checks in with the man to make sure he is comfortable with where things are heading in the play. She also makes sure the girlfriend or partner is relaxed with what is taking place on stage. Both components are perfectly improvised and steered by the talented Christy Bruce.

ChristyBruce_&_MichaelPhillips_Kamloops2There are some pre-conceived plot elements (such as an encounter with police with hilarious outcomes) and the basic first date storyline, but the improv definitely takes centre stage. As you might expect, there are some awkward moments, but Bruce smoothes them over with ease and makes you laugh doing it.

Blind Date is just fantastic and worth the drive to charming Hudson. It runs until June 28 at the Hudson Village Theatre.