The Horrors of Online Dating


Editorial Review

Fringe's 'Horrors of Online Dating' has no lessons but lots of blood

By Rachel Weiner
Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Not only was Sunday night's performance of "The Horrors of Online Dating" sold out -- they had run out of ponchos. "Sorry about that," the usher said. "Um, just don't sit in the front row."

This is not a show about how hard it is to find someone who really loves kayaking.

Working in the Grand Guignol tradition, Molotov Theatre Group likes to spray a little blood. But the company's new musical -- written by Shawn Northrip and playing at 1409 Playbill Cafe through July 31, past the festival's July 25 end date -- never quite lives up to the promise of its name or its protective gear. It's way too long for a play with no character development and no real suspense beyond what weapon Judy (Jenny Donovan) will use next.

Judy is a sad-sack serial killer whose only confidant is her cat and whose sole source of joy is finding men on the Internet and hacking them to death. A schizophrenic, she bounces on and off anti-psychotic medications that may or may not arouse murderous tendencies.

The best thing about "Horrors" is the puppetry. A giant pill bottle sings an inspired ode to medical side effects. Judy's sexy computer (Julie Garner) and foul-mouthed kitten (Genevieve James) create a persuasive aura of insanity. The torture scenes are surprisingly gross.

There's no lesson here, except that fake blood can shoot about 10 feet if aimed right. It's not great art, but it would make a pretty great blind date. Just be careful. Not everyone looks good in plastic.