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

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

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 regarding the awkwardness that is included with approaching possible love passions in individual and achieving to discern a person’s singlehood into the beginning. But placing apart the truth that perhaps the many complex algorithm can’t constantly anticipate 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 form of on their own for 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 can also be dangerous, making them available to harassment or even worse from toxic males whom feel emboldened because of the privacy of this online.

Yet, online dating sites remains popular, hence 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 located in component on her behalf very very very own experiences, the task is actually a sketch-comedy that is extended, featuring musical figures, improvisatory portions with market involvement, and interactive elements (the show possesses its own OkCupid-like software that everybody is encouraged to install and create pages on prior to the show). In the place of a plot, there is a character arc of kinds: Robyn (played in this premiere that is off-Broadway Kaitlyn Ebony), finding by by by herself obligated to try OkCupid the very first time, chooses to see just what is best suited in the application 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 alleged test has been built to fail through the outset. The cynicism and despair underlying Robyn’s overelaborate ruse is periodically recognized for the show, with items of pathos associated with tips of the troubled romantic past and recommendations that she’s got difficulty making deep connections with people as a whole peeking through the laughs.

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

Robyn’s findings of seeing most of the exact exact same expressions and character faculties 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. also the creepiest of communications Robyn gets on OkCupid are turned into cathartically amusing songs (published by Sam Davis, with words by Norris, Caeti, Ladewig, and Amanda Blake Davis). If any such thing, the two improvisatory segments — one out of that the performers speculate how a date that is first two solitary market people would get according to their pages and reactions for their concerns, one other a dramatization of a gathering user’s worst very very very very first date — grow to be the comic features associated with the show (or at the least, these people were in 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 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 using the feeling that is appropriate of overload.

#DateMe is really so entertaining when you look at the minute that just do you realize afterward exactly exactly exactly just exactly how trivial 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 into the predominance of social networking in particular, motivating a change more toward immediate satisfaction than in-depth connection. Similar to regarding the very very first times dating apps will likely give you on, #DateMe: an experiment that is okCupid a completely enjoyable periods without making you with much to remember after it is over.

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