Disclaimer: I am not a theatre critic. Other than four years of drama class and a couple Winterfest performances in high school, I really don’t have much experience or knowledge of stage theory or theatre history. However, I do have a small list of credentials when it comes to creative writing. With that, I thought I would try my hand at reviewing (or let’s just call is journaling) a few performances.
Written, Directed, performed by Franny McCabe-Bennett and Meghan Chalmers
Playing at Mills Hardware on King East
Dating doesn’t really become less childish as you get older, does it? It doesn’t matter if you’re 12 years old, 21, or 42—some guys are still going to be little egotistical boys, pushing over the girls they actually like; and some women are still going to be insecure girls that wish they could meet a charming man that actually listens.
For me, that was the theme that arose out of “XOXO The Relationship Show”, written, directed and performed by Meghan Chalmers and Franny McCabe-Bennett on the Mills Hardware stage. This 60-minute sketch/musical/monologue/Shakespearean performance may have been the funniest thing I have seen on stage in a long time—albeit, I don’t see a lot of theatre.
The reason I think it was funny though is because it was so goddamn true. Exploring the ups and downs of single life and dating in this digital era, Chalmers and McCabe-Bennett covered every base; from online dating, to social networking, Tinder, Snapchat, and yes, even real life.
They poke fun at the narcissism and foolishness the beginnings of relationships can provoke, offer narrative insight and advice about the common pitfalls and mistakes, and tell a couple personal stories of their own.
I was laughing and slapping my knee the entire show, not because I found it comical (don’t get me wrong, it was comical), but because I recognized so many of the situations as ones I have been in myself. The complaints they had about things men do–I’ve done those things! The mistakes they or the people they have been with have made in the past–I’ve made those mistakes! And the awkward situations with your significant other’s friends and family that you clearly were not prepared for–I’ve put girls through those situations (I’m prepared for anything)!
I think XOXO was clearly written for a Generation Y audience–but will likely be enjoyed by everyone because there’s a chance if you didn’t grow up with smartphones, you can probably still relate to the theme–casual dating sucks sometimes.
The hilarity and goofiness that is “XOXO” is playing at Mills Hardware on King Street East. I would highly recommend it.