For more than a decade, Rebecca Northan has delighted audiences across North America and in England with her fun-filled show called Blind Date. She’ll be starring in it when it opens at Centaur Theatre April 9 and it’s a format that is full of surprises because much of the 90-minute spectacle is improvised. It runs until April 28.
The idea is simple: a chosen audience member is selected for a proverbial one-night stand and Northan rollicks her way through the piece, propelled by winks, hints, suggestive and seductive lines, and lots of laughter. There is a basic format that has been tried and tested through hundreds of performances, and Northan uses her acting and improvisational skills to adapt to the situations as they develop.
Audience participation is part of the play, and the selection process is more or less organic.
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Producers do not want to reveal how it’s done since this is part of the spectacle, which begins even before the house lights are dimmed. It might end in bed, occasionally at the altar, even at the maternity ward. The scenario develops depending on the participant, the moods, the interaction, Northan’s imagination and wit, and what comes up, so to speak.
The plays stars Northan as the fictional Mimi, with her clown-like red-nose. There is a small cast on stage with her that, among other things,
re-adjust the set.
Queer performances are slated for Thursday nights April 11, 18, and 25, when David Benjamin Tomlinson and Julie Orton take over the central role.
Blind Date was originally commissioned as a 10-minute piece at Toronto’s Harbourfront as part of World Stage. It was a smash hit and since 2009 has been touring across Canada, in the U.S. and selling out in Toronto, on Broadway, and in London’s West End. A Blind Date company is touring in Norway. Says Eda Holmes, Centaur’s Artistic and Executive director: “No matter who shares the stage with Mimi or Mathieu, we the audience absolutely identify with them.
“We’re not flies on the wall merely watching the miraculous birth of a new relationship; we’re falling in love too in this uniquely shared theatrical experience.
“It’s easy to understand why the play is so popular wherever it goes … it’s a love fest, and it’s brilliant.”
Afternoon matinees are slated for April 14, 17, 20, 21, 24, 27, and 28. Tickets cost $44 and may be purchased online at centaurtheatre.com or by calling 514-288-3161.