In the Playbill for Nico Muhly and Craig Lucas’s 2013 Metropolitan Opera production of Two Boys, Muhly explained why internet chatrooms worked for them as an operatic concept. “We don’t live in a place where there are masked balls any more. So I thought the internet – where you can really pretend to be another person – would actually be quite a traditional frame for an opera.”
That idea, of online dating as a masquerade ball for the modern age, has not gone unnoticed by others. A new rehearsed reading in New York this week moves their focus off the computer monitor and tackles the world of phone apps. After all, what’s more fitting for the world of illusion than Grindr: an app with a mask for a logo? Grindr the Opera may not be playing at Lincoln Center yet, but the team behind this new show believe this is more than just a gimmick: it’s an idea with legs, and a topic worth parsing.