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

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

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

Go on it from a veteran: on the web dating suuuuucks. Yes, apps like OkCupid, Tinder, and Hinge reduce in the awkwardness that accompany approaching prospective love passions in individual and achieving to discern a person’s singlehood within the beginning. 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 placed across an idealized type of by themselves 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 females especially, online dating sites can also be dangerous, making them available to harassment or even even worse from toxic men whom feel emboldened because of the privacy associated with online.

Yet, online dating sites 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 her behalf very 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 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 herself obligated to try OkCupid the very first time, chooses to see just what is most effective in the application by producing 38 fake pages. If it appears overzealous, a number of her guidelines — including never ever fulfilling some of the individuals she converses with online — declare that this alleged test has been made to fail through the outset. The cynicism and despair underlying Robyn’s overelaborate ruse is sometimes recognized through the entire show, with items of pathos associated with tips of the troubled past that is romantic recommendations that she’s got difficulty making deep connections with individuals generally speaking peeking through the laughs.

For the many part, however, #DateMe is content to steadfastly keep up a frothy tone while doling down its insights

Robyn’s findings of seeing a number of the exact exact exact same expressions and character characteristics on pages result in faux-educational sections where the other countries in the eight-member cast, donning white lab coats (Vanessa Leuck designed the colorfully varied costumes), break people on to groups. Perhaps 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). And when such a 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 with bbwpeoplemeet their concerns, one other a dramatization of an audience user’s worst very very very first date — turn into the comic shows associated with the show (or at the very least, they certainly 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, 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 just just how shallow 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 to your predominance of social networking most importantly, motivating a change more toward immediate satisfaction than in-depth connection. Similar to associated with the first times dating apps will likely 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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