TONY exclusive! Solo star Ben Rimalower gets into (his) debt in the new show <em>Bad with Money</em>

Photograph by Allison Michael Orenstein
Ben Rimalower

Ben Rimalower is getting used to pouring his guts out on stage. Back in 2012, he made his debut as a writer-performer in the hit solo show Patti Issues; though slated for five performances, the play wound up running for more than a year, earning raves and propelling Rimalower to tour it around the country and the world. Now TONY has learned that he will return to The Duplex on September 4 for a two-month run of a brand-new show called Bad with Money.

Patti Issues intertwined Rimalower’s love for Broadway icon Patti LuPone with the story of his tormented relationship with his gay father. In Bad with Money, he divulges his secret history of massive overspending, which may sound less personal but is actually more so. The show is described as a “sometimes hilarious, sometimes harrowing” tale of “a journey that takes him through drug addiction, prostitution, fraud and multiple betrayals.” Having seen an early workshop of Bad with Money—Rimalower is a friend of mine—I can attest that this description is true. (Some of the show's breathlessly tragicomic episodes put the graphic in autobiographical.)

Debt is a popular subject right now—see Funny or Die’s new web series The Program, a goof on Debtors Anonymous—and although Rimalower’s story is more extreme than most, he thinks people will be able to relate. “Considering how many people suffer from the same problem, it’s staggering how seldom it’s discussed,” he says. Red ink–stained wretches everywhere may have more in common with him than they suspect.

Bad with Money will premiere at The Duplex on Thursdays at 9:30pm from September 4 through November 6. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased through PurplePass.com.

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