My Dark Love: An Improvised Teen Gothic Romance: ImprovBoston Brings Raunch to Well-Mined Twilight

My Dark Love, music by Steve Gilbane and Rajiv Nunna, ImprovBoston, Fridays, 10pm, 1/7/12-2/17/12, http://www.improvboston.com/shows/my-dark-love. adult humor

Reviewed by Gillian Daniels

(Cambridge, MA) Few up-to-date on pop culture in the last few years have escaped the scourge of Twilight.  The book and film franchise have jumpstarted the paranormal romance genre and, in the process, have become the focal point of obsession and hatred for fans and detractors, respectively.  Something about the concept of a vampire falling for a teenager really polarizes audiences.  

Many deride Twilight for de-fanging vampires while others praise it for giving women (and men) a place to explore the confusing urges of shy, lonely youth in love.  Over the last few years, many have lampooned and parodied the material.  Now it’s ImprovBoston’s turn.

For each performance of My Dark Love, a wheel of potential monster suitors is placed on stage.  Audience members get to choose the main character’s immortal love interest, with unromantic options that include merman, pirate, caveman, troll, and alien.

Cleverly, the actors form the action around this casting decision, using the skeleton of the Twilight series’ plot to tell the story.  It’s silly and fun, though the material, at this point, is pretty well-mined.  Even the initial mention of the name “Bella Swan” during the performance I attended gained nothing but laughter from the audience.  Sometimes, it didn’t take more than speaking famous lines of the film in a certain inflection and voice.

After enjoying Mainstage for the evening with beer in hand, I sat down to watch the “Improvised Teen Gothic Romance.”  A lot of the themes touched on in this Twilight send-up have been parodied before: the awkwardness of teenagers in love and the unrealistic expectation of gaining the devotion of someone several decades your senior.  It’s funny, though, and while the parody isn’t particularly fresh, ImprovBoston manages to make it a treat by getting the audience involved and keeping the action raunchy and unpredictable.

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