Internet Dating: The Musical: Love on your laptop

Can you catch love on the net?  Do bugs destroy e-mails on the web?  That's what Internet Dating: the Musical in all its hilarity helps us find out.  Did you really meet your bride at your nephew's bar mitzvah or was it Jdate?   Author, Ron Weiner started trying to figure out if people really looked like their photos and lie in their profiles back in the mid 90's, which led to his writing the book, music and lyrics for Internet Dating: The musical.  On Theatre Row, Friday, April 28th, this wacky lovelorn production opened to a packed house at the art/works Theatre.  Says Director Annie Oelschlager:   'Internet Dating' is the best thing ever'.  Producer, Don Cesario (Managing Director of the Elephant Theatre Company) brought this romping quest for love with cyber age technology to its dancing feet. 

Sandy Shimoda, Ali Spuck(sitting)and Ali Pomerantz

I don't know if I've ever caught myself singing 'you're cute, but you don't know how to spell', when looking over a potential internet match, but I certainly thought it and I found myself immediately caught up in this song belted out by Oliver, a pudgy, nerdy office worker played with great comedic timing by Reggie Ed Leon.  Is his perfect partner only capable of spelling love with a u?  If Oliver can find love, why can't Jenny, the pretty, charming, lonely lady of 31 who spends more time eating leftover birthday cake and avoiding work than having a social life.  The actress/singing star of this musical internet love fest is played by Ali Spuck.  Ali never takes a breath during her performance as she's whisked into one song after another with all the fervor of a humming bird.  Her performance as the unmarried eligible everygirl was solid and delightful.

Jenny's co-workers, Jessica and Andrea played artfully by Ali Pomerantz and Sandy Shimoda are two Jewish mothers who convince their friend that her clock is ticking.  What is she waiting for go ask Steve about his shiny new snow globe and then invite him on a date.  Jenny chickens out and soon catches Steve smooching in his office with his new internet babe on his lap.

Jenny  thinks internet dating is as romantic as 'filling out a rental application.'  Yet, Jenny is helped to write her profile by her two Love Junkies, Jessica and Andrea and over the mouse and through the keyboard to we go. 

Ali Spuck, Jeff Landman, and David Eldon

At 45 an old maid who's had life pass her by is played by a stellar performer, Suzan Solomon.  Many actors play multiple parts in this small production and Suzan is no exception.  She blows the audience away to the tune of 'I'm gonna google you all night long like you've never been googled before.'  She may not be the youngest kid on the stage, but Suzan is sizzling hot and sings and shimmies like a sexy siren.

Internet Dating: the Musical works best with jazz hands and spoofing the trials and tribulations of shopping for love on-line with lines like 'if I get older does the computer know and you are not my fix up', send in the picture girl.'  The show was stolen by two dancing penguin puppets who sympathized with Bird Brain the Penguin researcher in Frozen Antarctica, who was perfectly played by Trip Hope.  The audience is falling off their chairs when he's singing tag another penguin, check my inbox.  Who knew you could get upstaged by penguin hand puppets?  Yet, Jenny's stuffed penguin was just another prop.

The 2 hour show had a 15 minute intermission and as usual the girls waited on line for the Lady's room and the guy's zipped through the Unisex bathroom.  Here's my tip. There's two bathrooms, both are for men and women.  You can still use the facilities and catch the second act.

The set was as jiggly as jello constantly being moved by actors and others throughout the show.  One excellent piece was a somewhat oversized cut out TV type screen where actors spoofed the songs being sung.  Act two had Eduardo the lying bicoastal bisexual dancing about behind the screen.  Eduardo was efficiently played by David Eldon.  He shared silly computer nuptials with Jenny in act one by hitting return and taking both their profiles off the web.

I wondered where eharmony was in this charming calamity of love on-line?  'Internet Dating: the Musical may be slightly out of date or should just be set in the 90's.  There was a cell phone that played pictures and one mention of the infamous myspace, but mostly the show was reminiscent of the early days of the naughty internet.  The only dating issue that wasn't really delved into was are people really looking for love or just to 'have fun'?  Mishaps and mayhem prevails in the light hearted tunes.  The slow songs for the most part just slowed down the pace.

First Row: Jeffrey Landman,Ali Pomerantz,Reggie De Leon...Second Row: Jennifer Norkin, Ali Spuck, Suzan Solomon...Back Row: Sandy Shimoda, Kyle Nudo, David Eldon, Trip Hope

The chorus may have been slightly off key and you're not getting Michael Crawford from 'Phantom of the Opera' in this off-beat fun-loving performance, but if you go along with the fast pace, wonderful jazz hands and quirky choreography you can leave your laptop at home and impress your date if you have one. 

If you think it's worth $30 a month for Dr. Phil's advice on then this ticket is worth more than the $22.50 cost of admission.  Who knows you might even run into someone whose profile you checked out on the net and find out if he really looks like his picture.

Internet Dating: The Musical opens April 28 and runs through June 4, 2006.

Performances are at art/works Theatre.  For reservations call (323-960-4418).

Get more information and tickets online at:

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