Entertainment » Theatre

Sex and the Second City

by Kayla Miller
EDGE Media Network Contributor
Sunday Nov 20, 2011
Ed Kross and Amy Roeder in "Sex & The Second City"
Ed Kross and Amy Roeder in "Sex & The Second City"   (Source:Michael Brosilow)

The Second City, responsible for some of today's most well known comedy heavy hitters, tackles the question of love in a digitized era in "Sex and the Second City". The play follows four central characters, documenting their mishaps as they maneuver the virtual waters of online dating.

An interesting fusion of improv comedy and traditional theater, "Sex and the Second City" melds The Second City's unique style of improvisation with a plot that asks, Is it possible to find love--or even normalcy--online?

Suspended over the Alliance Theatre's intimate Hertz Stage, a giant iPhone looms in portrait view over the protagonists. "iLove", an online dating service app, plays at intervals throughout the show, introducing the audience first to Dorinda via her "iLove" profile. As Dorinda, an "iLove" veteran who's been on plenty of first dates but never a second, Amy Roeder is smart and charming, hilariously revealing the seemingly endless foibles of Dorinda's dating life; Roeder kept her hometown audience laughing throughout the show.

We're also introduced to Edrick (Ed Kross), another longtime (and still lonely) "iLove" member, who reads as creepy despite his good intentions. Alongside sketches revealing the depths to which these hopeful "iLove" members will plunge in their search for love, the show follows the hot-and-cold relationship between Allie and Travis (Angela Dawe and Zach Muhn).

With some key help from the audience, Allie and Travis struggle to find a comfortable place in an all-too-realistic parody of the idiosyncrasies rampant in human relationships, fumbling through an engagement and the baggage that comes with it.

With some key help from the audience, Allie and Travis struggle to find a comfortable place in an all-too-realistic parody of the idiosyncrasies rampant in human relationships, fumbling through an engagement and the baggage that comes with it.

"Sex and the Second City" weaves elements of improv into its plot structure, involving the audience in its own mimicry of social codes and conventions. By leaving no comedic stone unturned, this refreshing meld of social commentary and romantic "dot comedy" feels very familiar to its audience, though for more reason than its Atlanta-based storyline. The characters are relatable and vaguely remembered, human in their reflections of the silliness innate to the intricate, complicated, and downright sloppy details of human emotion.

Ultimately, "Sex and the Second City" questions the authenticity of online dating sites, not only on the level of human farce, but with a conclusion that seems to point its audience toward something less LCD and more organic.

In an age of sexting, when love is paid for with memberships and attained by profile hits, when countless hours of free porn stream online in seconds, "Sex and the Second City" questions the sincerity of digital matchmaking, suggesting instead that ultimately, it may just come down to fate.

"Sex and the Second City" acts as a mirror to our own current obsession with technology, our equations of love and sex, and all the muddled details in between, revealing too easily the ridiculousness of human behavior, especially when things like sex and love are added to the mix.

"Sex and the Second City" runs through December 18 at the Alliance Theatre, 1280 Peachtree Street NE, in Atlanta. For info or tickets, call 404-733-4650 or visit www.alliancetheatre.org

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