Rust Belt Theater Brings Back Old Favorite in New Location

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio – Rust Belt Theater Co. will return to action Friday in a new location.

The troupe will begin a two-weekend run of its perennial favorite “Dating Sucks: The Musical,” at Club Switch, 221 Belmont Ave., near downtown. The performances will mark the start of a six-month residency at the location for the theater company.

Show times are 8 p.m. Feb. 18, 19, 25 and 26.

Rust Belt moved out of its longtime home in Calvin Center at the end of 2021.

The theater company will follow “Dating Sucks” with three more of its original musicals: “My Big Fat Gay Wedding” in March, “Rockin Horribles” in April, and “Miss Tuesday Night” in May.

“Dating Sucks” – written by Rust Belt founder Robert Dennick Joki with orchestration by Josh Taylor – is a revue-style musical about the peaks and pitfalls of dating with cringeworthy, real-life dating stories and original songs. 

The show also features dialog taken directly from online dating profiles and mobile dating app conversations, as well as from the audience itself.

Joki calls it a raunchy multimedia musical that leaves little to the imagination. Rust Belt stages the show every year but with updates that reflect the current dating climate. 

The cast includes Nicole Zayas, Kage Coven, Lisa Torrence, Celena Coven, Josh Yohman, Sarah Whitlatch, Caitlyn Murphy, Jeremy Grimes, Rian Davis, Lynn Ohle and Taylor Love. 

All tickets are $15. For reservations, call 330 507 2358 or go to

Pictured: Sarah Whitlach, Caitlyn Murphy, Lynn Ohle, Taylor Love and Celena Coven in a scene from Rust Belt Theater’s “Dating Sucks.”

Published by The Business Journal, Youngstown, Ohio.