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Theater review: Three stars for 'Blind Date'

Rebecca Northan in

Rebecca Northan in "Blind Date" Credit: handout

Any guy attending “Blind Date,” a Toronto comedy hit now making its
New York debut, ought to be very cautious of an attractive female with
a red clown nose asking for his name and whether he’s single. Mimi, played by Rebecca Northan, will be searching for a new male suitor.
Utter the wrong word and you might find yourself onstage for 90 minutes.

When it begins, Mimi, a French gal sitting alone with a glass of wine,
has been waiting for her blind date for two hours. In desperation, she calls upon an audience member to be her replacement date. At our performance, she picked Steven, a 24-year-old accountant.

The rest of the show consisted of Mimi and Steven’s date. Women were encouraged to clap whenever they liked how Stepvn behaved (i.e. when he volunteered to pay the check). Whenever Mimi disliked his behavior, she called a “time out” and made him sit in the corner while she explained his error.

At the end, they zipped five years into the future and depicted Mimi giving birth to Steven’s child, with her water literally breaking and spilling across the stage.

Ms. Northan is an impressive improv artist full with personality and humor. But what is perhaps most impressive is how she can get a seemingly quiet-natured male to open up and feel comfortable onstage in spite of the initial awkwardness.

While women are likely to enjoy seeing Mimi in a position of authoritative control on a date, men might actually find the show to be an astute tutorial on dating. In any case, “Blind Date” makes for a terrifically funny evening.

“Blind Date” plays at Ars Nova through Dec. 20. 511 W. 54th St.,

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