REVIEWS AND PRESS
"The Twelve Dates of Christmas isn't some treacly, over-sentimentalized and formulaic Hallmark Channel holiday movie. Rather, it's a heartfelt and authentic look at one woman's foibles, both professionally and romantically, set against the backdrop of a series of festive celebrations."
—Jeffrey Ellis, Broadwayworld.com (Read Full Review)
"The Twelve Dates of Christmas is not just a clever twist on the title of the familiar “Twelve Days….” tune but a fully contemporary and feminist take on dating in urban America in the 21st century. . . It’s a sassy romp, on the surface, but written with considerable insightful depth."
—Jim Cavener, Citizen Times (Read Full Review)
"With its rueful comedy and open ending, "The Twelve Dates of
Christmas" isn't a Hallmark Channel kind of show. But …
could appeal to singles and former singles who know that holidays
can amplify the changes that dating puts a person through."
—Jim Higgins, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel (Read Full Review)
"Mary (is) more of an earthy dame than a delicate, refined 30-something.
She’s the saucy heroine the audience roots for. . .
She needs a sympathetic sounding board for her dating life antics. We are on her side."
—Patricia Furnish, Mountain Xpress (Read Full Review)
"Ginna Hoben’s one-woman show The Twelve Dates of Christmas . . . is a delicious mixture of bitterness and cheer, cynicism and hope, cocoa and whiskey."
—Michael Poandl, Asheville Movies, Asheville Stages (Read Full Review)
"'The Twelve Dates of Christmas' is cheeky holiday fun that adults can
enjoy during a season filled with sentimental family shows."
—Alexa Chipman, The Sonoma County Gazette (Read Full Review)
"Mary is a fully-formed character, neither perfect nor a
walking disaster. She owns her choices, recognizes the bad ones
she makes, revels in the good ones, and keeps plowing forward through
the ups-and-downs of dating with her sense of humor intact."
—Harry Duke, North Bay Stage and Screen (Read Full Review)
"Next Act has served up a delicious treat that is a fine alternative to traditional holiday fare… The show is an overflowing cornucopia of joy, laughter and heartbreak as seen through the eyes of a single woman."
—Anne Siegel, Shepherd Express (Read Full Review)
"An introspective snapshot of one woman's life, rather than the sweeping "goodwill toward men" sentimentality… (Twelve Dates) does indeed serve up laughs and the rush of new love - a yummy buffet of the warm feelings one craves at the holidays."
—Kelsey Lawler, BroadwayWorld.com (Read Full Review)
"Thankfully the script doesn't offer a Hollywood ending for the sake
of closure. Instead, there is a feeling of cautious optimism —
maybe even hope – which is a good fit for holiday fare. "
—Gwen Rice, OnMilwaukee (Read Full Review)
Renita James, by Chris Bartelski
Susie Duecerk, Next Act
Photo by Ross Zentner
"With its brassy adult language, Hoben’s script is delicious... The Twelve
Dates of Christmas would make a great date play. With its rebellious humor
and sense of hope, it also has the power to satisfy the lonely heart yearning
for a little holiday romance."
—Kai Elijah Hamilton, Mountain Xpress (Read Full Review)
"…the kind of inside scoop usually reserved for close friends and confidants over tears of laughter and glasses of wine."
—Citizen Times, NC (Read Full Review)
"What sets The Twelve Dates of Christmas apart ... is one obvious element: Hoben's clever way with words and her honest portrayal of Mary's life, stories told with such universal good humor and a frank assessment of what life is really like... "
—Jeffrey Ellis, BroadwayWorld (Read Full Review)
"(Twelve Dates) has a solo type of Sex and the City premise, but without the pure outrageousness and high fashion of those girls' exploits ... These tales of dating disasters leave us with (a) note of hope."
—Kerry Clawon, Akron Beacon Journal • Ohio.com (Read Full Review)
"This is a totally delightful script."
—Brad Rudy, Atlanta Theatre Buzz • Atlanta, GA (Read Full Review)
"This is not a present wrapped up neatly with a bow.
There's a sense of hope and of good things to come, but we know
as well as Mary does that there can be calamity around every corner.
Somehow, the play makes that seem like a comfort."
—Will Amott, Stage Talk Magazine (Read Full Review)
"The 12 Dates of Christmas is worth more than a look – it's worth a place as a Christmas tradition. Like A Christmas Carol and its ilk, this is one I would brave the snowy streets again to see next December."
"Equally refreshing is Hoben's decision to eschew the neat little bow that wraps so many a romantic–comedy under the proverbial tree. What remains is a play that is thoughtful and reflective, if sweet enough to jerk a tear or two."
— Jon Boughtin, DCTheatreScene.com • Washington, DC (Read Full Review)
"Make no mistake, TWELVE DATES is not a stage version of the "chick flick";
audiences of all ages and genders will enjoy getting to know this character."
—Ellen Wilson Dilks, Stagemagazine.org (Read Full Review)
"That's what makes this play so endearing. Male or female,
most of us see bits and pieces of our own lives in Hoben's wonderful,
—David Lyman, news.cincinnati.com • Cinncinnati, OH (Read Full Review)
"Relatable and funny and vulnerable. Mary cries. So does the audience.
Mary laughs. So does the audience."
—Deona Landes Houff, Staunton Newsleader.com • Staunton, VA (Read Full Review)
Deena Marie Manzanares
Photo by Robert Holman
Maggie Lakis, Act II Playhouse
Photo by Mark Garvin
Photo by Joseph Rey Au
"A hugely enjoyable evening. Not a saccharin night out by any means, but nevertheless a feel-good play that certainly set me up for the festive season."
— Selwyn Knight, thepublicreviews.com • Birmingham, England (Read Full Review)
"The perfect pre-Christmas treat… Hoben brings the audience right in, confiding the awkward, adorable, and embarrassing stories to her friends, the audience… Just when we expect Mary to act a certain way, she asks the audience for retrospective advice, a sensible bonus that contributes to the girl-talk-over-the-kitchen-table vibe of the play."
— Lisa Mulch, Columbus Underground • Columbus, OH (Read Full Review)
"If you’re looking for a good laugh, don’t miss The Twelve Dates of Christmas,
… “Twelve Dates” is merry, amusing, touching and inspiring."
— Lauren Housman, High Plains Reader • Fargo, ND (Read Full Review)
"As the story, with all its rich and glorious twists and turns
moves forward, so we warm to (Mary) more and more. The downs become
more shared, and the laughs, bigger. Indeed we warm so much to this character
that we demand a happy ending; but Hoben's script is more skillful,
enabling (lead actress) Gain to toy with our comfortable sentimentality;
hooks us, reels us in, and we’re hers. This is FUN."
— Alexander Ray Edser, Reviewsgate.com • Birmingham, England (Read Full Review)
"NET has paired Santaland with a new piece, and Ginna Hoben’s The Twelve Dates of Christmas is refreshing in the hands of charming Annie Kalahurka as Mary. The piece ends with a modest promise of better things to come … but it’s not all tied up neatly. Kalahurka handles the monologue with a lot of variety and spark, making this piece very entertaining."
— Rick Pender, City Beat • Cincinnati, OH (Read Full Review)
"In short, (The Twelve Dates of Christmas) gives hope. And isn’t hope what Christmas is really all about? So if you prefer to have your Christmas message wrapped in a show with a punch more like a vodka tonic than a sugary sweet candy cane, "12 Dates" is for you - whether you are dating or not."
— Mary Burruss, Culture Nuts • Charlottesville, VA (Read Full Review)
"(The Twelve Dates of Christmas) is a fun, flirty romp through the highs and lows
of one New York actress's quest for happy couplehood."
— Candace Chaney, Lexington Herald-Leader (Read Full Review)
"The performance is perfection and ends all too soon
without a contrived conclusion."
— Tony Kiss, Asheville Citizen-Times • Asheville, NC (Read Full Review)
"Ginna Hoben, actress, got up on the Blackfriars Playhouse stage,
put her talent and creative vision on the line and earned for herself
yet a fourth title — Ginna Hoben, success."
— Charles Culbertson, Staunton Newsleader (2011) • Staunton, VA (Read Full Review)
"(The Twelve Dates of Christmas) doesn't fall prey to the typical clichés of heartbreak sagas or holiday theater, and touches on the reality of disappointment without crossing over into doom and gloom."
"In one regard, Ginna Hoben outdoes Dickens: sure, things ended badly for Scrooge and Belle, but Ginna's got a dozen tales of relationships gone awry. Yet she hangs in there,
and in The 12 Dates of Christmas, the broken-hearted yet ever-hopeful
Ginna teaches us that the best gift during the holidays is a friend
... of any age."
— Michael Bigelow Dixon, Dramaturg • Lexington, KY
"witty, funny...light-hearted and touching"
— Charles Culbertson, Staunton Newsleader (2010) (Read Full Review)
"The play is hilarious. I don't believe I've ever laughed as much
(or as audibly)..."
— Mid-Atlantic Traveler • Charlottesville, VA (Read Full Review)
"Hoben has created a woman’s show to join the annual, male-dominated Christmas lineup, but like Santaland Diaries, it is a tale of real life and holiday hope touching us all."
— Eric Minton, Shakespeareances.com • Clifton, VA (Read Full Review)