Bad Dates

Lousy break

In the category of Bad Dates, you can bet that actress Helen Merino now lists Sunday, March 12. That's when the star of the comedy Bad Dates, still feeling the glow of the show's opening at the Zachary Scott Theatre Center on Saturday (by all accounts a tightly performed delight), was headed to a SXSW screening of The Cassidy Kids at the Paramount and took a bad step into a pothole that left her foot sore and swelling rapidly. A trip to the doctor on Monday – it would be the 13th, ouch! – confirmed her worst fears: a broken foot that would need to be in a cast for six weeks, making the wearing of and walking in multiple pairs of stiletto heels – an essential part of the show – impossible. Zach artistic director Dave Steakley, who directed Bad Dates, quickly cancelled the second weekend of performances and launched a national search for an emergency replacement. Fortunately, he found one close to home: Jill Blackwood, who had that very weekend wrapped up her run as Hope Cladwell in Zach's production of Urinetown: The Musical. Steakley, who had already moved on to rehearsals for The Exonerated, which was set to open at Zach just three weeks after Bad Dates, pulled a few weeks of double duty, reworking Dates by day while prepping Exonerated by night. Both open this weekend. In the meantime, Merino is healing and hoping to slip back into the Manolo Blahniks once the six-week mark is passed. For more information, call 476-0541 or visit

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 40 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

More by Robert Faires
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Last Bow of an Accidental Critic
Lessons and surprises from a career that shouldn’t have been

Sept. 24, 2021

"Daniel Johnston: I Live My Broken Dreams" Tells the Story of an Artist
The first-ever museum exhibition of Daniel Johnston's work digs deep into the man, the myths

Sept. 17, 2021


Bad Dates, Helen Merino, Zachary Scott Theatre Center, The Cassidy Kids, Zach, Dave Steakley, Jill Blackwood, Urinetown:The Musical, The Exonerated

One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Eric Goodman's Austin FC column, other soccer news

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle