Friday, August 16, 2013


Nowhere can a fairy tale fantasy morph faster into a nightmare horror film than on a blind date.  Optimistic dreams can plunge from mountain tops to the depths of the sea within minutes of meeting.  At first blush, he may look too conservative, over-dressed and the opposite of cool.  She may appear hostile, hip and annoyingly hot.  Meet Aaron and Casey and tag along with them on their "First Date."

Created by a trio of clever writers and lyricists - Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachery and Michael Weiner, "First Date" just opened at the Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street, New York City and dance cards are filling up fast.

Aaron, a once burned, twice shy, three times a sweet guy in the hands of Zachary Levi, has reluctantly appeared at a New York restaurant to meet his fix-up date.  Casey, a blase, too used to the dating game pool, "will I ever find the man of my dreams?" is coquettishly cute Krysta Rodriguez.  It's almost instant hate, a condition exacerbated when Aaron discovers Casey is not of the Jewish persuasion.

With instant reaction time perfectly posed, a Greek chorus composed of Bryce Ryness, Sara Chase, Kristoffer Cusick, Blake Hammond and Kate Loprest,
goes into action to exploit the problem. In this instance, Aaron's bubbe (grandma)  will die a second death if Aaron marries a shiksa (a non-Jew). These confrontational allies and advisers prod Aaron and Casey into not bailing out, sticking with the game plan, and giving themselves a fighting chance.  They each arrive with baggage, but Aaron is lugging along a trunk stuffed with his ex-fiancee.  By the time the evening is over, love may definitely be on the menu.  Bill Berry directs this foray into the single world where anyone can crash and burn or soar and fly in a moment's notice.  Songs like "First Impression," "The Girl For You," "Safer" and "I'd Order Love" are just a few of the delights.

For tickets ($35-137), call the Longacre Theatre, 220 West 48th Street, New York City at 212-239-6200 or online at or  Performances are Tuesday at 7 p.m., Wednesday to Friday at 8 p.m.,Saturday at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday at 3 p.m. and 7 p.m.  The show is 90 minutes without an intermission.

Root for Aaron and Casey to make it to dessert as their first date travels from horror to happy, disaster to dream, as they discover if they are destined to be "the one."

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