Robyn Lynne Norris’s free-form satire makes its premiere that is off-Broadway at Westside Theatre.
Go on it from the veteran: on the web suuuuucks that are dating. Yes, apps like OkCupid, Tinder, and Hinge reduce regarding the awkwardness that is included with approaching prospective love passions in individual and achieving to discern another person’s singlehood into the place that is first. But placing apart the fact 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 merely placed across an idealized type of by themselves for general general general public usage, but additionally encourages individuals to latch on the many surface-level aspects to quickly see whether someone’s worth pursuing romantically. For females especially, internet dating can also be dangerous, making them available to harassment or even even worse from toxic males whom feel emboldened because of the privacy for the 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 Bob Ladewig and Frank Caeti, and situated in component on her behalf very very own experiences, the job is actually an extended sketch-comedy show, featuring musical figures, improvisatory sections with market involvement, and interactive elements (the show features its own OkCupid-like software that everybody else is encouraged to install and create pages on prior to the show). In the place of a plot, there is a character arc of types: Robyn (played in this off-Broadway premiere by Kaitlyn Ebony), finding herself obligated to try OkCupid the very first time, decides to see just what is most effective in the software by producing 38 fake pages. If it appears overzealous, a few of her guidelines — including never ever fulfilling some of the people 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 sporadically recognized through the entire show, with items of pathos associated with tips of a troubled romantic past and recommendations that she’s got difficulty making deep connections with individuals as a whole peeking through the laughs.
For the many part, however, #DateMe is content to steadfastly keep up a frothy tone while doling away its insights.
Robyn’s findings of seeing lots of the exact randki christianconnection same expressions and character characteristics on profiles result in faux-educational portions when 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. Also the creepiest of communications Robyn receives on OkCupid are turned into cathartically songs that are amusingpublished by Sam Davis, with words by Norris, Caeti, Ladewig, and Amanda Blake Davis). And when such a thing, the two improvisatory segments — one out of that your performers speculate how a first date between two solitary market people would get centered on their profiles and reactions with their concerns, one other a dramatization of an audience user’s worst very first date — grow to be the comic shows associated with the show (or at the least, they certainly were in the performance we went to).
It surely assists that the cast — which, as well as 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 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 feeling that is appropriate of overload.
#DateMe can be so entertaining into the minute that just do you realize afterward exactly exactly exactly just 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. Similar to associated with the very first times dating apps will probably deliver you on, #DateMe: an experiment that is okCupid a completely enjoyable periods without making you with much to remember after it’s over.