A Fresh Look At An Age-Old Question — “Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid”

Half of the world’s population has vanished; the other half expects to go at midnight. How do you spend that day?  Your family and friends are gone.  Do you spend it mourning alone? Or do you turn to social media and find someone to talk with or meet and do some things on your bucket list?  That is the concept behind Jeffrey Lo’s Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid now playing at the Pear Theatre in Mountain View.

As we watch the (mostly millennial) characters in this little gem of a play navigate those choices we are not only totally engaged and invested in their choices but we can’t help start thinking of what our own would be.  A well directed and generally strong ensemble cast (with a great break out performance by Tasi Alabastro as Ben) mixes some humor with the underlying pathos to help the characters (and the audience) think about what matters in a life.

Michelle Skinner and Tasi Alabastro (foreground)  in Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid

Michelle Skinner and Tasi Alabastro (foreground)
in Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid

Director Michael Champlin said of the play:

In a time when it seems as though technology is dividing and isolating us more and more on a daily basis, this play of hope-in-humanity turns all that on its head. Instead of retreating into their own little worlds, the main characters in OK Cupid use technology as an opportunity to unite and connect with people in real life.  The play poses the question: “If this was your last day on earth, would you want to spend it alone?” I think this play resoundingly answers “no”, and to me that sense of uplift couldn’t be more inspiring.

In addition to being a playwright, Jeffrey Lo is also a very talented director working all over the Bay Area whose recent directing credits (among many more) include Between Riverside and Crazy (San Jose Stage) The Santaland Diaries (for TheatreWorks at Lohman Theatre 2018 and coming in December!) Dead Man’s Cell Phone (Los Altos Stage) Peter and the Starcatcher (Hillbarn) (Uncle Vanya (Bar Area Critics Circle Award, Pear Theatre).  I would particularly recommend his upcoming production of the terrific play Vietgone at Sacramento’s Capital Stage in March.

Spending the End of the World on OK Cupid plays through February 17 at the Pear Theatre, 1110 La Avenida St., Mountain View.  Get tickets at www.thepear.org or call (650) 254-1148.

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