Whether you’re looking for love or just a bit of Off-Broadway fun, the saucy comedy “Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage” could be what you seek. Sophia’s Downstairs Theater hosts the play by Ken Davenport and Sarah Saltzberg, which is based on the similarly titled book by the real “Miss Abigail” — Abigail Grotke.
Eve Plumb (of “The Brady Bunch” fame) stars here as a fictionalized version of Miss Abigail: an old-fashioned relationship guru to celebrities and common-folk alike. Manuel Herrera co-stars as her determinedly doting assistant Paco. Quoting from her collection of classic guides to love, Miss Abigail doles out the hard facts of love and how to find it, while learning a few lessons herself.
The fourth wall between actors and audience is non-existent in this hilarious and instructional play, which relies heavily on audience interaction. Whether shouting out suggestions for appropriate first dates or sharing their own true-life love stories, the audience collectively acts as a third cast member.
It’s easy to see how much fun Plumb and Herrera have, not only with bringing their characters to life, but also in dealing with the variables of audience participation. But whether their audience is silly or serious, bashful or brazen, both actors stay in character and on-target with impressive improvisation.
The stage at Sophia’s provides a cozy atmosphere for this Off-Broadway show. The recreation of Miss Abigail’s home library — consisting of guides to love from bygone eras — is more functional than your standard set. Books and manuals are pulled from the shelves and consulted throughout the evening, adding another dimension to the show.
The lively, lighthearted nature of “Miss Abigail’s Guide” makes it the perfect destination for a date, girls’ night out or bachelorette party. But that’s not to say this isn’t one for the fellas. The script’s humor (laced with innuendo and sight gags) will appeal to audience members of any gender and orientation — which was proven by the diverse and sold-out audience at the reviewed performance.
Tickets to see “Miss Abigail’s Guide” are regularly $75. But TicketNews readers can save 40 percent on tickets when they use the “Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage” discount code, ABIGAILTN.
Sophia’s Downstairs Theater is located at 221 West 46th Street in New York, NY. “Miss Abigail’s Guide” is 90 minutes long and runs Wednesday at 2 p.m.; Thursday and Friday at 8 p.m.; Saturday at 2, 5 and 8 p.m.; and Sunday at 3 and 7:30 p.m.
“Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage” was reviewed in participation with TicketNews’ Discount Theatre Program, which provides unique discount codes for Broadway, Off-Broadway, and other theatrical productions. For more information on the program or enrolling a production, visit our Discount Theatre Program page or e-mail Liz Hoffman.