06 Jan #DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment Takes Comic Aim at Online Dating Sites Society
Robyn Lynne Norris’s free-form satire makes its premiere that is off-Broadway at Westside Theatre.
Go on it from a veteran: on the web suuuuucks that are dating. Yes, apps like OkCupid, Tinder, and Hinge reduce from the awkwardness that is included with approaching prospective love passions in individual and achieving to discern somebody’s singlehood within the place that is first. But placing apart the reality that perhaps the many complex algorithm can’t constantly anticipate in-person chemistry, forcing potential daters to boil on their own right down to a self-summary leads people to not just put across an idealized type of by themselves for general 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 ladies especially, online dating sites could even be dangerous, making them available to harassment or even even worse from toxic men whom feel emboldened because of the privacy regarding 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 the 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 possesses its own OkCupid-like application 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 off-Broadway premiere by Kaitlyn Ebony), finding by by by by by herself obligated to try OkCupid the very first time, chooses to see just what is most effective from the application 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 experiment that is so-called been built to fail through the outset. The cynicism and despair underlying Robyn’s overelaborate ruse is sporadically recognized through the entire 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 as a whole 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 a number of the exact exact same expressions and character characteristics on pages result in faux-educational sections where 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). Of course any such thing, the two improvisatory segments вЂ” one in that your performers speculate how a very first date between two solitary market users would get according to their pages and reactions for their concerns, one other a dramatization of an audience user’s worst very very first date вЂ” turn into the comic shows of this show (or at the least, these were in the performance we went to).
It surely assists that the cast вЂ” which, along with Black, 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, 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 sense of multimedia overload.
#DateMe can be so entertaining into the minute that just afterwards were you aware just just just just just how trivial 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 into the predominance of social media marketing most importantly, motivating a change more toward immediate satisfaction than in-depth connection. Like the majority of of this very very very first times dating apps are going to give you on, #DateMe: an experiment that is okCupid a perfectly enjoyable periods without making you with much to remember after it really is over.