Blind Date

by Marinka on December 6, 2010

Last Thursday, my Papa (Awesome Dude in the comments, for those of you who are new here from the pedophilia episode) revived our short but glorious career as theater critics and attended Blind Date, a show that is visiting New York City from Toronto.

We were given two free tickets to see the show, despite Papa’s protestations that we should be paid because “we have an established audience.” Who’s we, Papa?

The day of the performance I Googled the show and went into mild cardiac arrest when I learned about the premise. The Parisian Mimi is waiting for her blind date to show up. When he doesn’t, she takes a volunteer from the audience for an evening of improv.

I hate that sort of shit, I really do. Because I firmly believe that there should be a divide between audience member and actor and this whole “blurring of the lines” is some kind of a violation of a fiduciary duty and totally unethical. I very sternly warned Papa not to go on stage. Twenty minutes later, we were sitting in the second row, and when Mimi said “I will peek out ze date from audiens!” Papa yelled out “sure!” Let me know if you’d like him to accompany you to any theatrical events in the future. Fortunately, Mimi picked someone less related to me.

(By the way, and I must share this now because otherwise I will be forever traumatized by this. When we were waiting in the lobby before the show started, where they had two angels from Heaven walking around pouring wine for anyone who looked parched, Mimi came out to chat with the audience. She saw that Papa was not having any wine and she asked him why not? “I do not wish to have any,” he explained. “You don’t touch the stuff?” she asked, as I glugged away. “I like to touch other things,” he explained, heavy with meaning. “Ahh, I see,” she elbowed me with a wink, “you are going to have a good night tonight, I can tell.” “HE’S MY FATHER,” I said, a little too loudly. And then I had about eight more glasses of wine. Or absinthe. Who the hell knows.)

Anyway. Although Papa wasn’t selected as the date (or maybe because of it), the show was spectacular. Norm was the guy selected for the date. It was hysterically funny, both Papa and I were laughing out loud (and we’re a tough crowd) and it was also strangely moving. The rules were that if either Norm or Mimi (or Norm’s wife) had a problem with whatever was going on, they would call a time out, go to the stool on the side of the stage and discuss what was going on.

It was during one of those “time outs” that Papa enraged me by whispering, “that guy’s an actor,” referring to Norm, Mimi’s date.

“I don’t think he is,” I hissed.
Papa was convinced and every once in a while he’d whisper further evidence that Norm was an actor, like Al Pacino (in case I didn’t have a reference point for actor.) It made me absolutely insane.

After we left the theater Papa said, “I can’t believe how stupid you are that you think it’s really just some guy from the audience. He’s a highly trained actor. What we just saw was a scripted play.”
“I don’t think it was.”
“Don’t worry, I won’t tell anyone that you thought it was real improv. That would be embarrassing for you.”

So I did what any normal person would do and emailed the nice publicist lady about it. She confirmed that Norm was not an actor.

Papa is not convinced. And he said that if I go back, I’ll see the exact same show. I’m so livid, I’m sort of tempted to do it.

But seriously, you should go. You can get discount tickets here, use code MIMI for $25 ticket. It’s open seating, so there are no bad seats. And you get wine! WINE!


And here’s Papa’s “review”!

What Keeps a Man (and Us) Alive?

Was not answered in this very famous Brecht song from The Threepenny Opera.  We had a better understanding of what keeps us alive last week, when we saw Blind Date.

The night was cold and nasty, the theater was far off on the West Side and off and off Broadway.

Both of us, I and Marinka were incautiously pessimistic about the show we were chosen to see on that evening.

But our prayers were answered.

We all are kept alive by the good surprises that life is throwing our way.

The theater and the show happened to be excellent.

The theater is a charming small studio-type space sat up in a way that is reminiscent of the staging of the famous Cabaret musical on Broadway years ago; it has very warm and intimate atmosphere.

This is Faux Improvisation show.

An evolution of the old Eastern European Jewish shtick (Yiddish: שטיק): the Country Fair would be a stage where two Jewish actors are standing back to back to each other at some distance, then one of them would pull the watch from the pocket and yell to another in a very loud voice “Zeiger Moishe what is in my left hand?”  And Moishe would answer, “A watch.” Omitting the fact that the word “Zeiger” means exactly that Yiddish.

The crowd would rave and the actors would get their cut from the pickpockets later that day.

But that was in the old not so good days.

Now, it is a story of the blind date of charming, still young French expat meeting her “date”  in the Manhattan cafe who was chosen “randomly” from the audience at the beginning of the performance.

Going through the plot would spoil the show for the people who are going to see. The plot is very life like and allows you to try to be intuitive.

I believe that parents of the actress, Rebecca Northan should be very proud of her because she is exuding tremendous amount of sexuality along with equally sizable evidence of proper Jewish education.

Her partner on stage is very well professionally unkempt as it is required by his part.

Each of them is a very good actor.

I do not know if there is a market for this type of show in this city, but I would go to see it again, even knowing the plot.

Just like old peasants in the medieval times would see a puppet show with defined characters and a very predictable plot.

If you are in the City this month and decide to go and see it yourself, you will be rewarded.

Hey, guess what? I’m proving sage advice at The Mouthy Housewives . Today, I help a wife whose husband thinks that “working” in an “office” is exhausting. After you’re finished laughing at that, please check it out.

One year ago ...

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{ 21 comments… read them below or add one }

December 6, 2010 at 8:13 am

“I like to touch other things,” Funniest thing ever.

Do you realize that you are living in a sitcom? At least you are in my head.


December 6, 2010 at 9:35 am

What, with unemployment numbers so high, someone has the gall to outsource jobs to undocumented audience members? What does the actors’ union think of this? With all the out-of-work actors in New York, I find the use a scab (if, in fact, he’s not a plant as Papa suspects) very troubling, anti-labor, anti-American, and possibly anti-semitic, as Papa was Passed-Over for the role.


CoftheU December 6, 2010 at 11:04 am

What if you go to see it again and its a different guy but he really is an actor because they have like 4 or 5 of them that rotate? You STILL wouldn’t know for sure and you’ll wonder and wonder and wonder just like I will be from now until the end of time. Thanks, Awesome Dude.


the mama bird diaries
December 6, 2010 at 12:12 pm

I would have paid money to have your father chosen to be in the show.


annie December 6, 2010 at 12:26 pm

I almost stopped reading when you said Papa wasn’t chosen. You totally should have lied to us and “improved” what might have happened.


December 6, 2010 at 12:43 pm

**gasping with laughter** OMG. “I believe that parents of the actress, Rebecca Northan should be very proud of her because she is exuding tremendous amount of sexuality along with equally sizable evidence of proper Jewish education.”



December 6, 2010 at 2:07 pm

Your Papa is very convincing in his review that Norm is really not Norm. But then again, he does like to touch many other things.


Suze December 6, 2010 at 3:15 pm

I can tell anyone reading this – and most importantly Papa, it was NOT and actor. It will be a very different show every time you see it, and thus it’s remarkable charm.

Mimi blogs about every show afterward on her facebook page:!/

Enjoy!! 🙂


jody quine December 6, 2010 at 3:20 pm

That’s so funny. I’ve known ‘mimi’ for 20 years. We started out as improvisers together. Check out her fb page to see the responses from other dates she’s met and made a star on the particular night they were lucky enough to be plucked from obscurity. Rebecca Northan is an incredible talent. So much one so that she makes regular people seem like Al Pacino.
So glad you liked the show! Tell your friends!!!!/notes.php?id=1122120614&notes_tab=app_2347471856


Paul Cowling December 6, 2010 at 3:51 pm

Just read the review from father and daughter, and I feel compelled to clarify Papa’s misconception of the show. The “date” that is pulled out of the audience each performance is NOT an actor and DEFINITELY NOT a plant. He’s just a guy like you and I, Papa. Not someone who knows the show, or has a script he can call upon or anything like that. Rebecca’s show has been performed here in Canada a lot, and I can guarantee you that there has never been a script or anything of that kind involved. It’s just Rebecca and whoever gets picked for the night. Really. Trust me on this one. Go again and see. Really, if it’s exactly the same show you saw that first time, email me and I will personally send you the money you spent on the tickets. I give you my word. And just as an aside, it is a tremendous compliment to the talent of Rebecca Northan that you honestly thought you were seeing a rehearsed performance. I believe she is an enormous talent, and I think she is a great asset to the Canadian Theatre and theatre of all kinds. And if you haven’t seen this show yet, don’t miss it. It is amazing…


Anna Tinker December 6, 2010 at 4:38 pm

Love the reviews by Marinka and Papa! Rest assured, this is improve to the core. Rebecca’s roots are in improv and I know she wouldn’t compromise. So proud that Rebecca Northan is a big hit not only in Canada, but abroad. I wish I could come to see the show!


Awesome dude December 6, 2010 at 6:36 pm

Once paranoid, never sane…….

Later entries look just like damage control.


December 6, 2010 at 11:49 pm

I wish I lived in NYC. Norm sounds quite fetching.


Michael Rubenfeld December 7, 2010 at 1:47 am

Just to echo the other comments to say that the person chosen from the audience is definitely not an actor — if they were actors, the show would not be as magical as it is.


Norm Gorcys December 7, 2010 at 8:33 am

This is Norm. Tell your Dad I am NOT an actor but thanks for the compliment! (Al Pacino? Wow.) If he he still doesn’t believe you tell him to come visit me in my cubical one afternoon. But seriously, all the credit goes to Rebecca who made me feel totally comfortable while on stage for the first time in my life. My wife, Shakti, providing support from the audience was a big help ad well.


Marinka December 7, 2010 at 9:59 am

Your cubicle at the Actors’ Studio, I presume?

Seriously, well done.


Brian smith December 7, 2010 at 10:52 am

Norm is not an actor. A narcissistic ass, yes. But not an actor.


December 7, 2010 at 12:21 pm

I love awesome dude’s reviews.

And I busted out laughing when you were elbowed/nudged/nudged about having a “good time” later.

Pure heaven…thank you for this!


Ann's Rants
December 7, 2010 at 3:09 pm

It’s “Shit My Dad Says” Yiddish version.


dusty earth mother December 7, 2010 at 3:58 pm

I have nothing else to say at this juncture.


December 8, 2010 at 12:39 am

Read this out loud to my husband who is at this moment busting a gut…software engineers have a sense humor apparently, who knew?


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