Get Cultured — February 12, 2016 at 3:40 pm

“yeah, i met this girl…” Highlights the Struggles of Dating

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Yeah I Met This Girl 2 - Zina Wilde - Dan McVey Photo Credit A. Raymond

Dating in the 21st century, am I right? Man or woman, gay or straight, no matter race or color, chances are if you are single and in the mix of the mingle, you’ve gone through your share of winning dates. That also means you’ve gone through your share of regrets, terrible dining experiences, and heartbreaks. These amplify in numbers when your address ends with New York, NY. This city and its boroughs bring a speed to life that makes it near impossible to establish a long term relationship without rushing things at first. People move-in together faster, start sharing finances before they even know their past, and by the time the rose colored glasses get shattered, you’ve lived a life together in a small apartment throughout a short period of time. One of the first articles I ever wrote was about how taxing the dating world has become, and is not more apparent than in Anthony Raymond’s yeah, i met this girl… and the lives of his three main characters.

A fresh take on this kind of story, the play itself is from the men’s perspective. Not because the men are the focus, because they may be the leads, but I don’t necessarily think they were the focus. It is because instead of being an ideal of a man, these three characters were as real to me as the people I spent my twenties with. These are people, characters, that represent more than just what you think somebody should be or act, they are organic. It’s the women who are ideals here, types, people, that pass through lives with their unique yet familiar traits.  Anthony Raymond did a great job of creating a group of people in which we could lose ourselves and enjoy watching. His words flowed so well line to line, that at no moment you roll your eyes at a piece of dialogue that seemed forced. What I am trying to say is I think Raymond has a mastery of realistic dialogue that many lack out there. Most plays do not apply this way of speaking, instead they bask in stylish rhythms or create their own language. It’s the beauty of theater, the way you can manipulate the language to create new ones inside of the already established. Raymond’s dialogue is not where style lies, it’s in his structure, and what a great job he did of enforcing it by sitting on the director’s chair himself.

Yeah I Met This Girl - Stacey Roca - Eric Doviak Photo Credit A. Raymond

I want to point out how impressed I was at the daring nature of this project. Weaving from genre trope to genre trope without being cliche, the same way they went from relationship to relationship. Using references to strengthen the emotional impact of the fleeting liaisons they go through, like the jaw dropping use of James Joyce ULYSSES (which completely blew me away and won’t spoil it here) or the conversation where they only use the banalities we tell each other to better the mood. It is through these moments we realize the real frailties of men’s psyche. It’s through these scenes we see how the wall of masculinity we put up through years of indoctrination just ends up leaving us with the possibility of loneliness. A possibility that gets closer and closer every time we put a new layer to our walls. Standing ovations for the ensemble in this piece (Eric Doviak, Chris Heard, Dan McVey, Amanda Kristin Nichols, Stacey Roca, Zina Wilde), they all went into this with no fears, leaving their heart and soul on every painful realization or joyous conquest.

While some parts dragged, that wasn’t enough to deter from my admiration. This play hits me like a ton of bricks, and I’m not a single man. I’m a hopeless romantic in a steady relationship. After the show, I looked at my fiancé, and I couldn’t stop smiling. Why? Was it because I felt she saved me from all of that? Or was it because the play made it obvious how hard it can be to find that perfect partner? It just made me realize that when Eve is looking at the stars, I’m only looking at Eve. Elsinore County Productions really did it with this play, and just for a boost, it is the best use of the Under St. Marks Theater I’ve seen in a long time. SO get yourself there as soon as you can, “yeah, i met this girl” will be finishing its run on February 14th. I don’t know if it’s a great Valentine’s Day date, but it is an outstanding show which automatically makes it a good option.

*All images via A. Raymond

Out of 4 stars:

4 stars

Twisted Talk: What were your thoughts about ‘yeah, I met this girl…’? What do you thinking of dating in NYC? Discuss below!

 

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