Just like a true blind date, with Blind Date at The Arts Club Theatre Company BMO Stage what’s about to unfold is a mystery.
The premise of the mainly improvised Blind Date is a blind date between a couple, who don’t know each other. In this case, they really do not know each other, the male partner is selected from the audience to go on the date with Mimi (played in this performance by Tess Degenstein). During a pre-show mingle the cast; Degenstein, Lili Beaudoin, Ali Froggatt (who all play Mimi on different nights) and Jeff Gladstone, get to know the audience. People putting themselves (or being pushed) forward to participate in Blind Date. Starting out a small cafe the date progresses through the course of the evening.
On this night, recently-married Ben, a 30something construction manager, has been selected, after prodding from wife Megan. The uncomfortable awkwardness that Ben feels makes for some nervous laughter and outright hilarity. While Mimi asks him about himself, Ben loosens up and shares more about his life, which allows a seasoned improvisor like Tess Degenstein to grab tidbits to keep the play humourously moving along on its loose outline.
As skilled as she is, her scene partner is the key to the success of the show, I’m sure in the 700+ performances the troupe has completed there have been more than a few ‘dates’ that have gone awry. Anything can happen in improv and in this performance, the quantity of beer that Ben consumed, smartly used to avoid answering or to allow himself time to think of an answer, became part of the show. Late in the play Ben was forced to make a trip to the washroom, a first amongst Blind Date performances according to Degenstein.
The skill of the cast to improvise and roll with the punches ensures that each night is a fresh and unique performance. Check out Blind Date more than once to find out how different guest performers and different Mimis influence the outcome of your blind date experience.
Blind Date plays until December 30, 2018 at Goldcorp Stage at the BMO Theatre Centre, 162 East 1st Avenue. Showtimes and Tickets available online at artsclub.com