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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 during the Westside Theatre.

Go on it from a veteran: Online dating suuuuucks. Yes, apps like OkCupid, Tinder, and Hinge reduce in the awkwardness that accompany approaching possible love interests in individual and achieving to discern somebody’s singlehood within the vietnamcupid PЕ™ihlГЎЕЎenГ­ place that is first. But placing aside the truth that 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 public usage, but additionally encourages visitors 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 worse from toxic men whom feel emboldened by the privacy of this Web.

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 own experiences, the task is simply an extended sketch-comedy show, featuring musical figures, improvisatory portions with market involvement, and interactive elements (the show features its own OkCupid-like software that every person is encouraged to install and create pages on ahead of the show). In the place of a plot, there is a character arc of types: Robyn (played in this off-Broadway premiere by Kaitlyn Ebony), finding by by herself forced 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, a few of her guidelines — including never ever fulfilling some of the individuals she converses with online — declare that this so-called test has been built to fail through the outset. The cynicism and despair underlying Robyn’s overelaborate ruse is periodically recognized through the show, with components of pathos associated with tips of a troubled romantic past and recommendations that she’s got 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 up a frothy tone while doling down its insights.

Robyn’s findings of seeing most of the exact same expressions and character faculties 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 amusingcompiled 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 single market people would get centered on their pages and reactions with their concerns, one other a dramatization of an audience user’s worst very first date — turn into the comic shows of this 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 inside her way and choreography, particularly 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 using the appropriate sense of multimedia overload.

#DateMe can be so entertaining within the minute that just do you realize afterward just just just exactly 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. Similar to associated with very very first times dating apps will likely deliver you on, #DateMe: an experiment that is okCupid a completely enjoyable break without making you with much to remember after it is over.

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