DateMe: an experiment that is okCupid Comic Aim at Internet Dating Community

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

Go from the veteran: on line suuuuucks that are dating. Yes, apps like OkCupid, Tinder, and Hinge cut down in the awkwardness that is included with approaching possible love passions in individual and achieving to discern a person’s singlehood when you look at the place that is first. But placing apart the truth that perhaps the many complex algorithm can’t always predict in-person chemistry, forcing potential daters to boil on their own right down to a self-summary leads people to not just placed across an idealized form of by themselves for 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 could even 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 located in component on the very very own experiences, the task is simply a sketch-comedy that is extended, featuring musical figures, improvisatory segments with market involvement, and interactive elements (the show features its own OkCupid-like software that everybody is encouraged to install and create pages on prior to the show). As opposed to a plot, there is a character arc of kinds: Robyn (played in this premiere that is off-Broadway Kaitlyn Ebony), finding by herself forced to try OkCupid the very first time, chooses to see just what is best suited in the software by producing 38 fake profiles. If it appears overzealous, a few 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 through the entire show, with components of pathos concerning tips of a troubled romantic past and recommendations that she’s got difficulty making deep connections with people generally speaking peeking through the laughs.

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

Robyn’s findings of seeing lots 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 amusingpublished by Sam Davis, with words by Norris, Caeti, Ladewig, and Amanda Blake Davis). And in case such a thing, the two improvisatory segments — one out of that your performers speculate how a very first date between two solitary audience people would get centered on their pages and responses for their concerns, one other a dramatization of a gathering user’s worst very first date — turn into the comic shows associated with show (or at the least, these were during the performance we went to).

It really assists that the cast — which, along with 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 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 can be so entertaining into the minute that just do you realize afterward 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 in particular, motivating a change more toward immediate gratification than in-depth connection. Similar to associated with 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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