"The play itself is very fun, and I had recently done several very dramatic roles and very heavy plays," she said. "The last play I did was about cancer and the one that I did before that was about a family losing a child. So I was ready to play something lighter. All of my friends kept saying, 'When are you going to do something funny? We're tired of crying in your plays.'
"So I really wanted to do something that was light and would make people laugh. So I liked the character of Hayley. She's a divorced mom and I can certainly relate because I am a divorced mom. And we all have had bad dates in our lives. So I certainly understood what Hayley was going through."
To be held at The Legion Theatre, 114 W. Main St. in Cartersville, the one-woman play penned by Theresa Rebeck is being presented Feb. 18, 19, 25, 26 and March 4 and 5 at 8 p.m. and Feb. 20 and 27 at 3 p.m.
Describing the play as an adult comedy, its director Jeanne Young said "Bad Dates" has been referred to as "Sex and the City" meets "The Sopranos." In addition to re-entering the dating world and raising a 12-year-old daughter, the play's heroine also is juggling working in a restaurant with ties to the Romanian Mafia. All of this provides colorful stories for Vaccaro's character to share with the audience, especially contrasting her romantic hopes with her dating reality.
"With a one-woman show, it could remind some people of stand-up comics that are ... [telling] stories about what they're going through. But because it has this underlying story of her waitressing job, it then feels more like a play," Young said, adding the play contains adult language. "But there's sections of it that do feel like a stand-up comic talking about some dates that she's had that just really went wrong, like her mother fixed her up on a blind date with a gay man, things like that. How do you address that? How do you deal with that and still be pleasant? She [also] dates a gentleman who wants to know how old she is and spends a lot of time talking about his cholesterol level and what he can and cannot eat in a restaurant.
"I really think that when I was casting the play I was looking for somebody that had a little bit of an edge because a sweet person isn't very believable when they're negotiating in a New York restaurant and running a restaurant. So somebody has to have kind of a feeling of power on the stage and a little bit of an edge, where you could see where she could go off on people. So that's why I picked Stacy. She had the right kind of accent. She had the right look. She just had what I was looking for in an actor to play a part like that, that would be believable."
Tickets for the opening night performance of "Bad Dates" are $10. For the remaining shows, the tickets are $18 at the door for all patrons. If purchased in advance, tickets are $15 for adults and $12 for senior adults, students and Pumphouse Players' members. For more information, visit www.pumphouseplayers.com or call 770-387-2610.