Robyn Lynne Norris’s free-form satire makes its off-Broadway premiere in the Westside Theatre.
Go on it from a veteran: on the web dating suuuuucks. Yes, apps like OkCupid, Tinder, and Hinge reduce regarding the awkwardness that accompany approaching prospective love passions in individual and achieving to discern another person’s singlehood when you look at the beginning. But placing apart the truth that perhaps the many algorithm that is complexn’t constantly anticipate in-person chemistry, forcing potential daters to boil by themselves right down to a self-summary leads people to not merely placed across an idealized type of by themselves 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 associated with online.
Yet, internet dating remains popular, therefore rendering it a target ripe for satire. Enter #DateMe: An OkCupid Test. Conceived by Robyn Lynne Norris, whom cowrote the show with Bob Ladewig and Frank Caeti, and located in component on her behalf very very very very own experiences, the task is actually a sketch-comedy that is extended, featuring musical figures, improvisatory sections 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). In place of a plot, there is a character arc of types: Robyn (played in this premiere that is off-Broadway Kaitlyn Ebony), finding by herself obligated 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 number 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 interracial cupid cynicism and despair underlying Robyn’s overelaborate ruse is sometimes recognized through the show, with components of pathos concerning tips of a troubled past that is romantic 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 up a frothy tone while doling down its insights
Robyn’s findings of seeing a number of the exact exact exact same expressions and character characteristics on pages result in faux-educational sections 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 amusingauthored by Sam Davis, with words by Norris, Caeti, Ladewig, and Amanda Blake Davis). If such a thing, the two improvisatory segments вЂ” one out of that the performers speculate how a date that is first two solitary market users would get predicated on their pages and reactions for their questions, one other a dramatization of a gathering user’s worst very very very first date вЂ” turn into the comic shows of this show (or at the very least, these were in the performance we went to).
It surely 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 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 aided by the appropriate sense of multimedia overload.
#DateMe is really so entertaining into the minute that just do you realize afterward just exactly exactly exactly how shallow its view of internet dating 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 regarding the very first times dating apps are going to deliver you on, #DateMe: an experiment that is okCupid a completely enjoyable break without making you with much to remember after it is over.