Los Angeles Theater Review: FUCK TINDER: A LOVE STORY (Sacred Fools Theatre in Hollywood)

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by Tony Frankel on June 13, 2017

in Theater-Los Angeles


About a decade ago, I was having a miserable time dating. The age of electronica was firmly in place, and chat rooms, lengthy bios, and requested cock shots were making me ill, and the cost-benefit was low to say the least. To quote Rodney Dangerfield, I gave up dating because the eight hours of bullshit wasn’t worth the eight seconds. So, I turned to celibacy for two years until I met the love of my life. Now, I’ve been married eight years, and I’m slowly turning back to celibacy (oy, marriage!). But already I digress.

Well, things have really changed. With every minute in this fast-paced world now at a premium, Corporate America (sorry, greedy millennials) have figured out how to speed up connections. Now that we are firmly ensconced in the age of anxiety (sorry, technology) who has time to look for hook-ups (sorry, a meaningful relationship)? That’s why this era gave birth to apps such as Tinder, which — according to its Facebook page — is “the fun way to connect with new and interesting people around you.” Yet Urban Dictionary defines it as “the McDonalds for sex.” I guess the definition depends on whether you’re a guy or a doll. (Grindr, the gay hook-up app, allows you to “chat and meet sexy, attractive and interesting guys for free.” Funny, in my day we called it a quick blow job in the alley.)

But if I can glean anything from David Rodwin’s riveting revealings of ribaldry and revelry, it’s that nothing has changed. In his new one-man show, Fuck Tinder: a love story, it took only one enthralling hour to convince me that it’s the same bullshit, only faster. The Moth Champion regales us with succinct storytelling that palpably evokes his addiction to Tinder while in San Francisco. This well-written memoir can be very funny yet, unlike so many stand-up routines, the show doesn’t feel temporary. Why? Because Rodwin is seeking love and maybe monogamy, even though he’s not beyond fucking every woman in SF without having to slip them three little white pills and ending up in court. What he does slip these women is hardly left to the imagination; there’s a few very descriptive passages here. Yet, every time he said something like, “While I fucked her from behind, I saw myself in the mirror and thought, I LOVE San Francisco!” it never feels vulgar.

Rodwin is a phenomenal writer. He’s attractive, eloquent, professional, accessible, and — lucky for him — likable. It’s uncanny that you want to pinch his cheeks while he’s telling you that he’s dating/fucking two girls at the same time, one that he met at temple, while finding yet more chicks on Tinder. I’ll have what he’s having.

It’s clear the guy is a promoter; the man needs no set and very few lighting changes. His rapid delivery is a bit reminiscent of a cocaine high, but isn’t that what happens when we are on the hamster wheel of technology? The other reason he doesn’t overwhelm is his authentic interest in telling stories. I thoroughly enjoyed this world premiere, and would have loved to take him up on his invite for the entire audience to go to a local bar and schmooze (he’s still single, ladies) but I see as many shows as he gets women in his playlet, so it was off to the next Hollywood Fringe offering. I just would have liked some kind of context: He mentions in passing that he flew to Europe, or he was at work, or he was a composer; while these tidbits intrigue, their superfluousness left me thinking, does that mean he makes a living from writing, or is he a trust-fund baby? And does that influence his decisions?

One-man shows scare the hell out of me, mainly because they’re about how an alcoholic dad locked someone in the glove compartment while the family went to Disneyland. But Rodwin’s admissions give us a time capsule into his generation’s zeitgeist, transcending the limitations of a solo piece (and you don’t have be a social media whiz to fully embrace his quest for a connection, love or otherwise). Sadly, it seems that he and his contemporaries are working just as hard to get the same thing baby boomers did before the computer came of age — it’s just done differently.

photos by Esben Melbye and David Rodwin

Fuck Tinder: a love story
Jadelake Productions
Sacred Fools Theatre, Second Stage
6320 Santa Monica Blvd. in Hollywood
part of the Hollywood Fringe Festival
ends on June 22, 2017
for tickets, visit Hollywood Fringe
for more info, and possibly a date, visit Jadelake

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