Theater review: ‘First Date’ is a comedy for lovers

The cast of "First Date" shows off.  Credit: Chris Owyoung
The cast of “First Date” shows off.
Credit: Chris Owyoung

Ever been terrified of a first (especially blind) date? You’re not alone. “First Date” novelist Austin Winsberg taps into that fear with wit and whimsy. Lyrics and music by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner cleverly reinforce the lingering dread that your companion for the evening might just be a serial killer.

After a crisp opening number about blind dates, the play focuses on slightly nerdy, mildly uptight finance type Aaron (Zachary Levi), who’s waiting to encounter hip and happening, commitment-phobic art gallery worker Casey (Krysta Roriguez). Initially they don’t hit it off. And every time they start to connect, something gets in the way. A case in point: Early on, they discover they grew up in the same general area and run through one Jewish-named acquaintance after another. Then Casey says, “even though I’m not Jewish” and present action stops. All kinds of costumed relations materialize to convince Aaron that this shiksa is not the girl for him. Reminiscent of the dream sequence from “Fiddler on the Roof,” it’s hilarious.

The same device — freezing present action to have close friends and distant relatives give bad advice — is used with great finesse throughout. It’s the framework for just about every song, most of which are very funny. And its consistency really holds the show together.

Music is reliably enjoyable, mostly middle-of–the road rock, with an occasional harder or folksier riff. The leads are strong singers and throw themselves full-throttle into their characters. Meanwhile, the supporting cast of five — Bryce Ryness, Sara Chase, Kristoffer Cusick, Blake Hammond and Kate Loprest — shows great versatility playing a jumble of wackos with zest and humor.

‘First Date’
Open Run
Longacre Theatre
220 West 48th Street
$35 to $137
www.firstdatethemusical.com



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

FDNY debuts new fire simulator for blazes at…

The New York City Fire Department christened its newest, state-of-the-art, custom-built simulator at its training academy on Randall's Island Tuesday.

Local

Bronx cop saves baby who stopped breathing

A Bronx police officer is credited with saving the life of a 2-month-old baby who stopped breathing Tuesday morning. Police Officer Johnny Castillo, 38, was…

Local

Brewer celebrates Women's Equality Day with voter pledge

Manhattan Borough President Gale Brewer celebrated Women’s Equality Day Tuesday by pledging to register at least five women voters before the Oct. 10 deadline. Brewer…

Local

NYPD looking for lewd D train rider

The NYPD is enlisting the public’s help to find a man they say performed a lewd act on the D train Saturday evening. The incident…

Entertainment

QUIZ: How many English words do you actually…

Are you as smart as you say you are? Are you a word nerd? Take this quick vocabulary test to find out if you're a true wordsmith. Good luck.

Television

'Pretty Little Liars' recap: Season 5, Episode 12,…

If you've wondered whether Ali and Bethany knew each other, you got an answer tonight: Yes, and in a very tangled way. But many lingering…

Entertainment

Cymbals Eat Guitars Have Everything to 'LOSE'

At its most basic level, a rock band can be thought of as a family, a group of people selflessly devoted to a cause. When…

Entertainment

"Bachelor in Paradise" recap: Episode 4, 'Week Four'

Some things are hard to watch in a “Human Centipede” sort of way. Other things in an “American History X” sort of way. Does “Bachelor…

College

When are 2014 college football playoffs? (Schedule, date,…

When and where are 2014 college football playoffs? A look at the schedule, date, TV, time for the semi-finals at championship game.

NFL

Dimitri Patterson suspended only for rest of preseason…

Dimitri Patterson ended up getting just a slap on the wrist.

Sports

Eugenie Bouchard excited for 'rowdy' fans at US…

Eugenie Bouchard is sure to endear herself to New York's tennis faithful as she tries to win her first grand slam title across the next two weeks.

MLB

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at…

MLB Power Rankings: Angels and A's still at top, Nationals climb

Wellbeing

Who is having the most orgasms?

  Single lesbians report having orgasms more often than heterosexual women but both gay and straight men still come out on top of the climax…

Home

Jonathan Adler shares his tips for a great…

Jonathan Adler took a break from boogie boarding at his beach house to tell us how to keep that Labor Day party festive.

Travel

Most popular Labor Day weekend destinations

Priceline.com released its Top 20 destinations for the end of summer, including Labor Day weekend. If you’re heading to any of these spots, expect a…

Wellbeing

Working your way to type 2 diabetes: Job…

When it comes to type 2 diabetes, a stressful job can be as risky for your health as a bad diet and no exercise. A…