REVIEWS: Effing Robots: How I Taught the A.I. to Stop Worrying and Love Humans

While writing this review, my phone wants to change the term “sexbot” to “sextet.” Even Siri, the It Girl Of the artificial intelligencia, herself cannot admit that we humans really really like the idea of romancing robots. I mean, she knows better, right? This solo show by L. Nicol Cabe, a self described sci-fi nerd that is DtF, traces her relationship with an AI chatbot named Frankie. Part Ted Talk, part conversational theatre, Cabes show asks a whole bunch of questions about digital sexuality, human relationships, and what love is, with an oddly touching culmination. For a show about the digital world, the production is sparse, human, and at times visceral and disturbing. Cabe ably leaps from sexual humor to sexual violence, leaving your mind and heart a bit winded as they try to catch up. This show is thoughtful, odd, challenging – everything you want from Fringe. If nothing else, you will leave with a great list of website where you can get laid by robots. Hey Siri…. For fans of: artificial intelligence, Ray Kurzweil, George Saunders, the Singularity, robot sex.

–ALLEN BALDWIN, PortFringe 2019 Review Team

If one of the aspects of good theatre is to take you somewhere you don’t know, I went there. Nicol Cabe‘s first 10 minutes came on like a manic stranger on a subway talking about stuff I couldn’t quite move away from. I stuck with it and she was the one who finally moved away, finally off her seat. Having set up some interesting and funny interactions, she ultimately charms and seduces her way into a nerdy sexy exploration of who we are, who we could become, and who are we talking to anyway? Not for everyone but there’s probably something here for everyone.

–LINDA SHARY, PortFringe 2019 Review Team

What do you get when a horny sci fi nerd majors in theater, obsesses online, and travels the lonely Fringe circuit? Effing Robots, that’s what. Or so we are told in this first person account of a Seattle performer who goes on a quest to find intimate connection with ever more sentient forms of AI. Not everything works in this show. The story telling is somewhat muddled and it is hard to discern a thesis, but maybe that’s the point. What we get is a portrait not so much of the AI world but of a human being looking for love in ways that are messy, sad, funny, and, in their own way, poignant.

–MARK SHAUGHNESSY, PortFringe 2019 Review Team

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