BWW Reviews: 2013 Capital Fringe Festival's GODIVA DATES & ONE NIGHT STANDS, An Incredible Poetic Performance
Upon first glance, Godiva Dates & One Night Stands may appear to be one more in a long litany of single-character shows which seek to explore the aftereffects of romantic encounters. And in many ways it is. But to describe Godiva Dates & One Night Stands as your stereotypical one-person show would be to sell author Regie Cabico's tour-de-force performance and this exciting piece unbelievably short. Writer and performer Regie Cabico's search for love is uniquely expressed through a combination of poetry and stand-up comedy displaying incredible timing and raw emotion. Godiva Dates & One Night Stands is the antithesis of the stereotypical love story and consequent self-exploration.
Currently being performed as part of the 2013 Capital Fringe Festival, Godiva Dates & One Night Stands features Cabico divulging his one night stands and then emotionally interpreting the experience through poetry. It's an interesting twist from most one-person shows. Godiva Dates & One Night Stands highlights Cabico's talent as a both a storyteller and poet. Sometimes funny, sometimes sad, Cabico's eloquence as a poet is extraordinary in the level of depth he reveals about himself and about where he finds his life.
Regie Cabico gives an incredible performance in Godiva Dates & One Night Stands and that can't be overstated enough! His expression through poetry is intermixed with vivid emotions and pop culture references. What's most interesting about Godiva Dates & One Night Stands is that on the surface each vignette may at first appear to be casual encounters and nothing more; however, when poetically interpreted Cabico is able to explore their lasting effect on his psyche.
Throughout Cabico's poetry we don't just see someone who's had several passionate and casual encounters, but a man longing to find a relationship. In sharing his vulnerability, loneliness and trials and tribulations of dating in the era of Facebook and smartphones, Cabico is able to establish a bond with the audience. Whatever our differences, we've all felt the desired to be loved and struggled to satisfy that need. By the show's conclusion, with the set consisting of a chair, table, two wine glass, a bottle of red wine and a Whitmans Sampler we get the feeling that we're not watching a performance but rather meeting up with an old friend.
One issue with Godiva Dates & One Night Stands that's a bit problematic and needs to be addressed is the show's begining. Initially, I found myself failing to grasp the structure of Godiva Dates & One Night Stands and would have appreciated greater clarity at the beginning regarding the show's format. Once I established that each poem was more-or-less commenting on Cabico's experience I was able to enjoy the piece more. Director Matt Ripa and Cabico would be well-advised to fix this issue as it could greatly strengthen the piece. Aside from that the transitions in the show were flawless and well executed. Additionally, Elliot Lanes's lighting design was a wonderful compliment in several key moments during the show.
Cabico's performance style may not be for everyone. Coarse language and colorful depictions of sexually explicit scenarios inhabit Godiva Dates & One Night Stands, not to mention that the topic of one night stands may not be socially acceptable to everyone. But for anyone who's ever struggled in a relationship, or tried to find someone special, Godiva Dates & One Night Stands is worth seeing. Cabico's style as a performer is unique and it's refreshing to see such a new approach to interpreting a subject as common as relationships.
Running Time: 75 minutes with no intermission.
Godiva Dates & One Night Stands has three more performances through November 9, 2013 in this year's fallFRINGE. For further details and tickets, consult the Fringe website.
Graphic: Courtesy of Capital Fringe Website.