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#DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment Takes Comic Aim at Internet Dating Customs

#DateMe: An OkCupid Experiment Takes Comic Aim at Internet Dating Customs

Robyn Lynne Norris’s free-form satire makes its off-Broadway premiere in the Westside Theatre.

Go on it from a veteran: on line suuuuucks that are dating. 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 into the beginning. But placing apart the fact perhaps the many algorithm that is complexn’t constantly anticipate in-person chemistry, forcing potential daters to boil on their own right down to a self-summary leads people to not merely placed across an idealized form of by themselves for general general general 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 ladies especially, internet dating could even be dangerous, making them available to harassment or even even even worse from toxic males whom feel emboldened because of the anonymity for the online.

Yet, internet dating remains popular, therefore which makes 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 situated in part on the 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 possesses its own OkCupid-like software that everybody is encouraged to install and create pages on ahead of the show). Rather than a plot, there is a character arc of types: Robyn (played in this premiere that is off-Broadway Kaitlyn Ebony), finding by by herself obligated to try OkCupid the very first time, chooses to see just what is most effective in the software by producing 38 fake pages. If it appears overzealous, several of her guidelines — including never ever fulfilling some of the individuals she converses with online — declare that this experiment that is so-called been made to fail through the outset. The cynicism and despair underlying Robyn’s overelaborate ruse is sometimes recognized for the show, with items of pathos associated with tips of a troubled past that is romantic recommendations that she’s difficulty making deep connections with individuals as a whole peeking through the laughs.

When it comes to part that is most, however, #DateMe is content to keep a frothy tone while doling away its insights

Robyn’s findings of seeing most of the exact exact exact 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. also 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). And in case any such thing, the two improvisatory segments — one in that your performers speculate how a date that is first two solitary market users would get predicated on their pages and reactions with their concerns, one other a dramatization of a gathering user’s worst very very first date — turn into the comic features regarding the show (or at the very least, these were during the performance we went to).

It really 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 in her own way and choreography, particularly with a group, created by David L. Arsenault, that mixes the aesthetic of living spaces and game shows; and projections by Sam Hains that infuse the show with all 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 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 towards the predominance of social networking most importantly, motivating a change more toward immediate satisfaction than in-depth connection. Like the majority of associated with the very first times dating apps will probably deliver you on, #DateMe: An OkCupid test provides a completely enjoyable break without making you with much to remember after it really is over.

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