Robyn Lynne Norris’s free-form satire makes its off-Broadway premiere during the Westside Theatre.
Go from the veteran: Online dating suuuuucks. Yes, apps like OkCupid, Tinder, and Hinge reduce from the awkwardness that accompany approaching prospective love interests in individual and achieving to discern another person’s singlehood within the first place. But placing aside the reality that perhaps the many complex algorithm can’t constantly predict in-person chemistry, forcing potential daters to boil by themselves down seriously to a self-summary leads people to not just placed across an idealized type of by themselves for general public usage, but in addition encourages individuals 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 open to harassment or even worse from toxic males whom feel emboldened by the privacy for the online.
Yet, internet dating remains popular, hence 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 located in component on the very very very own experiences, the task is actually a sketch-comedy that is extended, featuring musical figures, improvisatory sections with audience participation, and interactive elements (the show features its own OkCupid-like software that every person is encouraged to install and create pages on ahead of the show). In place of a plot, there is a character arc of kinds: Robyn (played in this off-Broadway premiere by 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 it seems overzealous, a number of her rules вЂ” including never ever fulfilling any of the individuals she converses with online вЂ” declare that this so-called test has been made to fail through the outset. The cynicism and despair underlying Robyn’s overelaborate ruse is periodically recognized through the show, with components of pathos associated with tips of a troubled romantic past and recommendations that she’s got difficulty making deep connections with individuals generally speaking peeking through the laughs.
For the many part, however, #DateMe is content to keep a frothy tone while doling down its insights.
Robyn’s findings of seeing a number of the exact same expressions and character faculties on pages result in faux-educational portions when the remaining portion of the eight-member cast, 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 amusingpublished by Sam Davis, with words by Norris, Caeti, Ladewig, and Amanda Blake Davis). Of course any such thing, the two improvisatory segments вЂ” one in that your performers speculate how a date that is first two solitary market users would get according to their pages and reactions for their concerns, one other a dramatization of a gathering user’s worst very very first date вЂ” turn into the comic features for the show (or at the least, these people were during the performance we went to).
It really helps 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 inside her way and choreography, specially with a group, created by David L. Arsenault, that mixes the aesthetic of living spaces and game programs; and projections by Sam Hains that infuse the show because of the appropriate feeling of multimedia overload.
#DateMe can be so entertaining within the minute that just afterward are you aware just how shallow its view of online dating sites in fact is. Because of this viewer at the very least, it absolutely was disappointing to see the show’s blind spot in terms of battle and exactly how discrimination nevertheless plays away on dating apps today. As well as on a wider degree, the show does not link the increase of dating apps into the predominance of social media marketing in particular, motivating a change more toward instant satisfaction than in-depth connection. Similar to associated with very very first times dating apps will likely deliver you on, #DateMe: An OkCupid test provides a completely enjoyable periods without making you with much to remember after it’s over.