Robyn Lynne Norris’s free-form satire makes its premiere that is off-Broadway at Westside Theatre.
Go from the veteran: on line suuuuucks that are dating. Yes, apps like OkCupid, Tinder, and Hinge reduce regarding the awkwardness that is included with approaching possible love passions in individual and achieving to discern a person’s singlehood into the place that is first. But placing apart the reality that perhaps the many algorithm that is complexn’t constantly anticipate in-person chemistry, forcing potential daters to boil on their own right down to a self-summary leads people to not merely placed across an idealized form of on their own for general general general general public usage, but in addition encourages visitors to latch on the many surface-level aspects to quickly see whether someone’s worth pursuing romantically. For females especially, online dating sites can also be dangerous, making them available to harassment or even even worse from toxic males whom feel emboldened because of the privacy of this online.
Yet, internet dating remains popular, therefore rendering it a target ripe for satire. Enter #DateMe: an experiment that is okCupid. Conceived by Robyn Lynne Norris, whom cowrote the show with my transsexual date online Bob Ladewig and Frank Caeti, and located in component on her behalf very own experiences, the task is actually a sketch-comedy that is extended, featuring musical figures, improvisatory portions with market involvement, and interactive elements (the show features its own OkCupid-like software that everybody is encouraged to install and create pages on ahead of the show). Rather than a plot, there is a character arc of types: Robyn (played in this premiere that is off-Broadway Kaitlyn Ebony), finding by by by herself forced to try OkCupid the very first time, chooses to see just what is best suited in the software by producing 38 fake pages. If that appears overzealous, a few of her guidelines вЂ” including never ever fulfilling some of the individuals she converses with online вЂ” declare that this alleged test has been built to fail through the outset. The cynicism and despair underlying Robyn’s overelaborate ruse is periodically recognized for the show, with components of pathos associated with tips of the troubled past that is romantic recommendations that she’s got difficulty making deep connections with individuals generally speaking peeking through the laughs.
When it comes to many part, however, #DateMe is content to keep up a frothy tone while doling away its insights
Robyn’s findings of seeing a number of the exact exact exact same expressions and character faculties on pages result in faux-educational sections when the other countries in the cast that is eight-member donning white lab coats (Vanessa Leuck designed the colorfully diverse costumes), break people on to groups. Perhaps the creepiest of communications Robyn gets on OkCupid are turned into cathartically amusing songs (compiled by Sam Davis, with words by Norris, Caeti, Ladewig, and Amanda Blake Davis). Of course such a thing, the two improvisatory segments вЂ” one in that the performers speculate how a very first date between two single market people would get centered on their pages and reactions with their concerns, one other a dramatization of a gathering user’s worst very very very first date вЂ” grow to be the comic shows regarding the show (or at the very least, these were during the performance we went to).
It really assists that the cast вЂ” which, along with Ebony, includes Chris Alvarado, Jonathan Gregg, Eric Lockley, Megan Sikora, Liz Wisan, Jillian Gottlieb, and Jonathan Wagner вЂ” are highly spirited and game. Lorin Latarro emphasizes a feeling of playfulness in her own way and choreography, particularly with a collection, created by David L. Arsenault, that mixes the aesthetic of living spaces and game programs; and projections by Sam Hains that infuse the show utilizing the feeling that is appropriate of overload.
#DateMe can be so entertaining into the minute that just do you realize afterward exactly just just exactly how shallow its view of online dating sites in fact is. Today for this viewer at least, it was disappointing to notice the show’s blind spot when it comes to race and how discrimination still plays out on dating apps. As well as on a wider degree, the show does not link the increase of dating apps to your predominance of social media marketing in particular, motivating a change more toward immediate satisfaction than in-depth connection. Like the majority of associated with the very very very very first times dating apps will likely deliver you on, #DateMe: An OkCupid test provides a completely enjoyable break without making you with much to remember after it is over.