Sunday, November 27, 2022

Fringe Review: Unmatched

Who: Levity Theatre Co.
What: Unmatched
Length: 45 minutes
Where: Bridgeworks (200 Caroline Street North)
When: July 21-31 as part of the Hamilton Fringe Festival
Tickets: $12 + $1.75 fee at https://boxoffice.hftco.ca/event/866:578/

“I don’t normally do this,” confesses Caity Smyck, as they follow their date into a make-believe bar bathroom stall, drop to their knees, and raise their eyebrows at the audience.

This is a scene from Smyck’s production, “Unmatched”, a sort of stand-up routine that centres around meeting potential partners online, extremely uncomfortable dates, and our collective hope that if we just keep pushing forwards, eventually, we’ll discover “the one.”

A two-actor production, Eve Beauchamp plays Smyck’s revolving door of trash dates, popping in during each tale to perform as each wildly uncomfortable match. Collected from online submissions and interviews, these bad date stories aren’t necessarily Smyck’s or Beauchamp’s, but experiences they’ve re-created after speaking with dozens of daters- story-sharers that just can’t seem to end a date, no matter how stormy the weather.

Smyck and Beauchamp don’t shy away from a prop, using blankets, screens, chairs, and beer during their trash date re-creations. They also make sure to provide an array of dating experiences, portraying an equal amount of queer stories alongside heterosexual ones.

Smyck speaks directly to their audience-goers, routinely asking questions and making Jim Halpert-style wide-eyes when Beauchamp’s characters make uncomfortable moves. Bubbly and perpetually perplexed, Smyck never loosens their grip on their bravery, jumping from one embarrassing scenario to the next with confidence- and clearly having fun as they go.

A thread brought up during the production is a potential “date” Smyck is on the look-out for, as this online match was supposed to arrive early to catch the performance. Will this date show up? Will Smyck be ghosted? Or will the two of them live happily ever after? I guess you’ll have to go see for yourself.

Sarah Jessica Rintjema
Sarah Jessica Rintjemahttps://www.sarahshotspot.com/
Sarah Jessica Rintjema (she/her) is a music and arts journalist and live music photographer based in Hamilton, Ontario, and working within the GTHA. Besides running a Canadian arts promotional blog titled Sarah's Hotspot where she interviews local artists about recent single, album, and music video releases, Sarah Jessica hosts a podcast called HOTSHOTS where she dives deep into industry issues with local artists, which inspired her weekly radio show on Mohawk College's 101.5 The Hawk every Tuesday at 7PM, called HOTSHOTS On Air. You can contact Sarah Jessica through email, Instagram, or through the contact form on her website. Profile photo by Christopher Arndt.

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