Eddie and Dave at The Atlantic Theater, Directed by Margot Bordelon
The New York Times
By the way, “Eddie and Dave” does feature one notable female
character other than MTV VJ. That’s Valerie Bertinelli, the sitcom
star who married Eddie, played here by Omer Abbas Salem.
The outfits worn by Mr. Salem, it should be noted, are models of
understatement compared to the get-ups of the Van Halen boys.
Though she is inflected with ripples of silly celebrity shallowness,
Mr. Salem’s Val nonetheless registers as the sanest person in the
room. Even when it’s cross-dress-up time, it evidently takes a
woman to be an adult in the excessive ’80s.
Included here is Eddie’s unlikely marriage to erstwhile TV star Valerie Bertinelli, whom everyone simply calls Val in “Eddie and Dave,” and is played with hysterical feminine charm by Omer Abbas Salem. He towers over Staats, but they don’t let that get in the way of showing tender love for each other.
Valerie Bertinelli — the winsome soap-opera star who married the young guitar god when he was 26 and she was 21 — is played with pursed lips, Daisy Dukes, and teased hair by Omer Abbas Salem, a tall man made even taller in the ’80s heels
The lone woman in the play, Val, a.k.a. the television actress Valerie Bertinelli (for those of you born after 1975) who was married to Eddie for more than 25 years, is portrayed by a very tall man, Omer Abbas Salem who, it must be said, makes an especially auspicious New York debut in both heels and flats.
Portraying the long-suffering Stanzi to his Wolfie is Omer Abbas Salem, who endows One Day at a Time star Valerie Bertinelli with a mischievous smile and hungry eyes.
Theatre is Easy
Staats stipulates in the script that Dave, Eddie, and Alex Van Halen should be played by women, and Eddie’s wife Valerie Bertinelli (played hilariously by Omer Abbas Salem), should be played by a guy.
This Week in New York Blog
None of the actors attempts to impersonate the famous people they portray, instead turning them into eccentric characters who say and do a lot of dumb but endearing stuff, the key word being “dumb.” Eddie and Dave is a highly original mini-soap-rock opera that would delight Wayne and Garth (“Wayne’s World! Excellent!”), a fun and snarky account of a group of grown-up men, and one woman, who are not the brightest bulbs in the chandelier but managed to carve out some pretty successful careers..
The relationship between Eddie and Valerie Bertinelli is most effective at highlighting the gender imbalance in rock music narratives. As Bertinelli, Omer Abbas Salem is given the dialogue that is usually bestowed on the suffering wife stuck at home. Salem’s Bertinelli complains that Staats’ Van Halen works too much and doesn’t spend enough time with his family and Hill’s Roth warns that Bertinelli is going to cause a rift in the band. In Eddie and Dave, the Yoko figure is played by a man, upending the gender role the opposite way and illuminating the inane things women are given to say in movies and plays written by men.