The Dating Scene on Stage

Actors performing a song in “Dating Sucks: The Musical!” Photo by Madison Fessler / Jambar Contributor

By Madison Fessler

The Rust Belt Theater Company is showing “Dating Sucks: The Musical!” The Rust Belt Theater is located on Mahoning Avenue. The show is being performed in Club Switch on Belmont Avenue.

The show describes the modern dating scene through short monologues and songs. 

Creator and Director Robert Dennick Joki premiered “Dating Sucks: The Musical!” in 2013 to capture the dating scene. 

Joki said the show is about how dating can be wonderful and terrible at the same time. He said the dates of the show are chosen with Valentine’s Day in mind.

“What inevitably happens is after Valentine’s Day — a whole bunch of people get dumped. So we [the cast] usually do the show right after Valentine’s Day so they can come and it’s a little bit cathartic for them and puts a smile on their face,” Joki said.

He said the show has changed tremendously because of online dating apps such as Tinder and Bumble.

“Dating is mostly online via social media, with dating apps. That’s something we’ve had to include over the years. When we first started that [the show] most dating took place in person. Now people will talk to each other for a very long time online or on social media before they’ll ever meet, so we’ve had to include that in the show as well,” Joki said.

Since 2013, the show has been performed every year. Nicole Zayas, the Rust Belt Theater Company operations manager, stated the show was performed on Facebook Live in 2020 and had a limited masked audience in 2021.

Kari Lankford, actor for Rust Belt Theater Company, said she’s excited to see audiences react to the song and dance numbers. 

“There’s a couple of numbers that are absolutely hysterical … We have one [song] that is very touching and moving, so I’d like to see [the audience] cry,” Lankford said.

“Dating Sucks: The Musical!” will be performed Feb. 10 at Modern Methods in Warren and Feb. 11 at Confluence in New Castle, Pennsylvania.

The show is also performed Feb. 17 and 18 and again on Feb. 24 and 25 at Club Switch.

Tickets are $15 and reservations are required because of limited seating. The show starts at 8 p.m. for all locations and doors open approximately 45 minutes before the show.

Call (330) 507-2358 for tickets.

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