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Miss Abigails Guide offers insight into romance of the yesteryear

If you’re seeking an idea for a fun time with your friends or a date night, “Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage” is a good solution – and she might even offer insight into some of life’s biggest mysteries.

Miss Abigail (Laurie Birmingham), and her assistant, Paco, (Mauricio Perez) start the evening with promising assurance that the laughter will continue long after the show. The audience was suspicious of the handsome Hispanic man (Paco) that was cleaning around the stage, cleaning the bookcase and dancing along to the music. Just as the audience began to wonder, Miss Abigail, a middle-age woman with glasses and a red dress came out and announced that she would be sharing her secret remedies about romance.

She explained that after seeing the Brad Pitt-Jennifer Aniston breakup she was moved to help today’s society with romantic dilemmas. She wanted to share the advice given to her years ago when the divorce rate wasn’t 50 percent. After being married to her wonderful husband, Robert, for 25 years she wanted everyone to look at a past era’s guides and manuals to help with the woes of today.

Miss Abigail’s Guide to Dating, Mating and Marriage is based on a book of the same name that pokes fun at advice given several era’s ago. Even though the advice is subjective, it makes for entertaining theater. Even her surprise Jennifer Aniston or “Crennifer” phone calls during the set made us laugh as she gave the desperate “Crennifer” advice such as: “No you shouldn’t drive by because he (Brad) will still recognize you and your car.” The progress of Paco’s infatuation with the much-older Miss Abigail builds for an ending that may not suit the audiences’ taste because of its predictability. However, it is his infatuation that becomes the center of attention.

While the simple bookshelf and couch setting called for an intimate performance, there wasn’t anything intimate about the audience participation, which the show relied on for its energy. The show went by quickly, since audience members were having fun and not keeping track of the time. While many may assume that married couples got the most out of the show, one might argue that the show is also fit for those who are dating and single. Miss Abigail provides advice given from the yesteryear that helped her marriage last, and it’s her ideal marriage that becomes the inspiration to remember her rules and advice. The advice became quite memorable as souvenir cards were passed out throughout the show for audience members to keep and refer to when needed.

The audience participation allowed for fun, non-embarrassing moments, as it was minimal. In the first round of participation, Miss Abigail taught three women a dance made up of gestures she once used herself. While many may be embarrassed to come on stage, the small stage makes the dancing and laughing much more enjoyable. As the women were learning their moves, audience members started eyeing each other in hopes of not getting caught practicing some of them themselves.

Miss Abigail’s “Ten Commandments for Couples” and her “DLDOW” rules were printed on business cards, and one lucky member of the audience received these rules on a large poster board, as well as the business card. As Miss Abigail reminisced about her late husband, she reassured the audience that romance is still possible if they follow the advice and rules she reiterated throughout the show.

Toward the end of the show, she took love-and-sex questions from the audience (cards that audience members filled out in the beginning), which she answered candidly. Because they vary from show-to-show, the questions and answers both can be surprising. For anyone who is or has ever been in a relationship or for anyone looking for some laughs with friends, Miss Abigail’s is the type of show that packs laughter and advice.

The show runs through Sunday, with 7:30 p.m. shows Wednesday through Saturday, a show at 2 p.m. on Saturday and the final showing at 4 p.m. on Sunday. Tickets start at $29.50.