The Bachelor may be "trashy" reality TV, but that doesn't mean it can't inspire high art — or at least some pretty slick comedy. That's what The Bachelor: Romance, Roses and Romance, a new comedic play, sets out to prove, and it does a pretty good job.
Showing at New York City's famous Upright Citizens Brigade theater, The Bachelor: Romance, Roses and Romance is a straightforward parody of the show we all know and love. The one-act play follows the trials and tribulations of a single "episode" of The Bachelor, as the final five contestants vie for the affection of one man.
"We're trying to parody something that's beyond parody," explained Leila Cohan-Miccio, who co-wrote the play. But don't click away in disgust, Bachelor fans. This comedy is coming from a place of love: both of the show's writers, as well as many of the performers, are "huge fans of The Bachelor."
"I feel like I buy into everything The Bachelor franchise does," admitted actress Morgan Grace Jarrett. "Even though I watch it from a pretend ironic place, it's not ironic... There have been moments where I've been like — that's the sweetest thing I've ever seen."
That came through in the performance. Yes, the play pokes fun at The Bachelor, but it's never mean-spirited. You can tell there is love behind the mockery.
And the lampooning is pretty darned hilarious. The performance we saw was rough in spots, but it had enough laugh-out-loud moments to make up for it. All of the girls — from Britt (Kate Riley), who had already been on a billion other seasons of the franchise, to Mary Anne (Jocelyn DeBoer), who can't get along with other woman (not even her own daughter) — are fantastic exaggerations of traits any Bachelor fan will recognize, and the bachelor character, played by Justin Tyler, had just the right mixture of blow-hard sentiment and genuine desire to make a connection to be believable, yet funny.
Perhaps the best performance was Timothy Dunn as Chris Harrison, whose forced smile becomes more and more strained until he finally bursts into the raging rant that we all believe the real Chris Harrison might have buried deep inside.
The funniest part of the play, though, were the numerous one-liners that manage to capture essential truths about The Bachelor. And if you want to know what they are, you'll have to see the show.
If you're in the NYC area and want to see The Bachelor: Romance, Roses and Romance, there is another performance on January 18th, 2012 at 9:30 pm. Tickets are only $5, and you can reserve them at the UCB website.