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Dating across the border – Who better to ask about the state of mankind, well men, actually, than Rebecca Northan, currently dating a guy a night in Edmonton?

Her touring show Blind Date, in which (terrifyingly) she picks a guy from the audience for a 90-minute date onstage, has played in cities large and small, includes a three-month stint Off-Broadway. She’s arrived here, for a run on the Citadel’s Rice stage, from three weeks in Des Moines, Iowa where she went looking for men during the Republican primary there. Think about Newt, and Mitt, and the boys, and shudder for Mimi, her red-nosed clown.

Anyhow, New York. “Lots of people told me, New York’s gonna eat you alive,” says Northan. Didn’t happen. New York loved Blind Date.

Cultural differences? “Canadian men,” she says, ”are generally much more willing, and OK with, laughing at themselves and saying (in effect) ‘I don’t know what I’m doing….’.”

“New York guys feel more compelled to maintain a sense of bravado.” Northan’s good friend Sandra Shamas (of My Boyfriend’s Back And There’s Gonna Be Laundry fame) has toured a lot on both sides of the border, too. ”She always says that when you first meet a Canadian, they might be a bit stand-offi-sih. But when you get past that, they’re so friendly…. Americans are ‘happy to meet ya! right off the bat. More approachable, apparently, more outgoing. Then a protective shell goes up.” That American bonhommie is really a fortification.

“It’s been fascinating,” says Northan, who goes to St. Paul, Minn. for six weeks, then the Manitoba Theatre Centre in Winnipeg, as part of their season. Toronto is home for the erstwhile Calgarian. “At least, that’s where my couch is….”

A thought for Edmonton theatres planning their next seasons: Northan’s Kung Fu Panties, an all-girl action movie onstage.

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