Bad with Money

Theater, Drama
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Bad with Money
Photograph: Courtesy Allison Michael Orenstein
Ben Rimalower

Bad with Money. The Duplex (Off-Off Broadway). By Ben Rimalower. Directed by Aaron Mark. With Rimalower. Running time: 1hr. No intermission.

Bad with Money: In brief

Vividly personal monologist Ben Rimalower follows up on his hit 2012 coming-of-gay tale, Patti Issues, with an account of the dark paths that debt has led him down. Aaron Mark directs.

Bad with Money: Theater review by Jenna Scherer

There’s so much confessional theater out there, it’s easy to think we’ve gone past fussing over taboos. But there remains one topic that dare not speak its name: money. Solo performer Ben Rimalower (Patti Issues) exorcises his financial demons in this one-man show, a purgative hour-long monologue in which he entertainingly (and excruciatingly) itemizes his monetary sins.

Rimalower’s financial odyssey starts out innocently enough: maxing out his low-limit teenage credit card, swiping CDs from the record company where he works. But before long, it’s unreported grand larceny with his boss’s Visa and a gradual erosion of the trust of everyone around him. Rimalower is light, funny and unabashed when he talks about dark stuff such as alcoholism and his foray into prostitution; it’s his compulsive, corrosive spending habits that are the source of shame. “You’re not supposed to talk about money,” he says. “It’s tacky.” Rimalower’s choice to do just that is a brave one, and—in a time when many people suffer in silence under crushing debt or find themselves unable to live within their means—a vital one.—Theater review by Jenna Scherer

THE BOTTOM LINE Ben Rimalower accounts for chronic overspending.

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Ben Rimalower's bold, ballsy and vulnerable storytelling (which I loved in Patti Issues) delved into a deep, shame-y corner that nobody wants to talk about. Despite or, perhaps, because of our cultural discomfort around the topic of money, BAD WITH MONEY is both compelling and relatable as a narrative for Gen-X/Yers and a much-needed opening to the othered experience of dealing with money in our time. I highly recommend this show for anyone who has ever racked up credit card debt, borrowed or lent money or felt guilty about spending money...oh wait- that's all of us. 

Anyone whose life is impacted by addiction, directly or indirectly, needs to see this.  Rimalower opened my eyes to many issues facing my friends and family who live with addiction everyday.  I could not fully appreciate their side of the story until I saw this show.  Rimalower is incredibly brave in discussing the demons he faces and I was so glad to have shared his story, which I think is more common in our society today than many think or recognize.  He's also pretty damn witty which makes hearing Ben's difficult story entertaining as well as thought provoking.  I loved it and I look forward to seeing Rimalower's next production.

Loved it! Totally bold and courageous story telling! It's funny, touching, terrifying, and painfully exposed at times. Seen it twice and it was even better the second time around. Challenging and super entertaining - what theatre should be!! 

I wish I were able to be as humiliatingly honest as Ben Rimalower, and be funny at the same time. You may never find yourself in the situations he created, but you don't have to be an addict of any kind to relate to the power his needs have over him. I cringed—a lot. I felt admiration and appalled at the same time.  I also laughed–a lot. I recommend it.

In-depth and poignant, Rimalower's latest solo work addresses the topic of money head-on with wit and honesty, easily asking the hard questions in an intimate room of strangers.

Just a sociopath suckin up all the oxygen in the room. An ego totally out of control. What a total waste of time and money. Needs to be in intensive therapy and leave the public alone .... Oy! What a mess ...