Robyn Lynne Norris’s free-form satire makes its off-Broadway premiere during the Westside Theatre.
Go on it from the veteran: on line dating suuuuucks. 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 somebody’s singlehood into the beginning. But placing apart the fact perhaps the many complex algorithm can’t constantly anticipate in-person chemistry, forcing potential daters to boil by themselves down seriously to a self-summary leads people to not merely placed across an idealized form of by themselves for 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 even even worse from toxic males whom feel emboldened by the privacy for the Web.
And yet, internet dating remains popular, therefore which makes it a target ripe for satire. Enter #DateMe: an experiment that is okCupid. Conceived by Robyn Lynne Norris, whom cowrote the show with Bob Ladewig and Frank Caeti, and situated in component on her behalf very very very very own experiences, the job is simply a sketch-comedy that is extended, featuring musical figures, improvisatory sections with market involvement, and interactive elements (the show possesses its own OkCupid-like software that everybody is encouraged to install and create pages on ahead of the show). In the place of a plot, there’s a character arc of types: Robyn (played in this premiere that is off-Broadway Kaitlyn Ebony), finding by by herself obligated to test OkCupid the very first time, chooses to see just what is most effective in the application by producing 38 fake pages. If that appears overzealous, several of her guidelines — including never ever fulfilling some of the individuals she converses with online — 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 through the entire show, with items of pathos concerning tips of a troubled romantic past and recommendations that she’s got difficulty making deep connections with individuals in basic peeking through the laughs.
When it comes to many part, however, #DateMe is content to keep a frothy tone while doling away its insights.
Robyn’s findings of seeing most of the exact exact same expressions and personality characteristics on pages result in faux-educational portions where the remaining portion of 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 songs that are amusingcompiled by Sam Davis, with words by Norris, Caeti, Ladewig, and Amanda Blake Davis). And in case such a thing, the two improvisatory segments — one out of that your performers speculate how a very first date between two solitary market users would get centered on their pages and reactions with their concerns, the other a dramatization of an audience user’s worst very very very first date — turn into the comic shows associated with the show (or at the very least, they certainly were during the performance we went to).
It surely assists that the cast — which, along with Ebony, includes Chris Alvarado, Jonathan Gregg, Eric Lockley, Megan Sikora, Liz Wisan, Jillian Gottlieb, and Jonathan Wagner — are highly spirited and game. Lorin Latarro emphasizes a feeling of playfulness inside her way and choreography, specially 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 japan cupid that is appropriate of overload.
#DateMe can be so entertaining when you look at the minute that just do you realize afterward just exactly just how trivial 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 doesn’t 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. Similar to associated with the very very first times dating apps are going to deliver you on, #DateMe: An OkCupid test provides a perfectly enjoyable break without making you with much to remember after it really is over.