Is there any romantic venture fraught with more peril than the blind date? Whether orchestrated by mutual friends or an automated service, the arranged meeting of two supposedly compatible strangers for the express purpose of testing potential intimacy is bound to be wrought with insecurity and anxiety. That said, blind dates are also known for achieving the rare art of romantic improvisation, as wildly mismatched couples engage in hours of ill-advised overtures ranging from the awkwardly sincere to the brazenly bizarre. Inspired by the inherent comic potential of such hapless couplings, Canadian comic Rebecca Northan devised Blind Date, an almost entirely improvised work in which one audience member is selected for a date with Northan's alter ego, the Parisian temptress Mimi. Completely unscripted, each performance follows an audience-guided narrative, allowing for spontaneously absurd twists and turns as the date veers toward its outlandish conclusion. Like any blind date, every evening possesses its own unique potential for lunacy. Northan's singular talent is to channel the manic unpredictability of the date, guiding the audience on a rollicking romantic misadventure without going off the comic rails. Originating in fringe workshops and incorporating various comic styles—including elements of clown theater—the piece affords plenty of inventive wit and madcap experimentation from Northan. So while this particular Blind Date is unlikely to yield a love connection, audiences will almost certainly feel smitten just the same.
Wednesdays-Sundays, 7:30 p.m.; Saturdays, Sundays, 2 p.m. Starts: Feb. 22. Continues through April 1, 2012