Broadway Global shares a sneak peek with “First Date” for our 180,000 readers supporting Broadway productions. Many of you already know most of my youth I was raised Mormon, from my “Typical Gay Mormon Stand Up Act”. But truth is I was blessed to be raised with influences of many religions. My Grandfather was a strict Methodist Minister Albert Alexander Cameron II. So what does this have to do with “First Date“?
As a small child my brother Albert Alexander Cameron IV, who is three years older than I, would join my Grandfather to ring the church bells. As we climbed up to the top of the church steeple, the best part of the week was riding the ropes up and down, ringing the church bells to get the patrons to take their seats, yes just like the blinking of the lights at live theatre. At the age of five, ten feet off the ground becomes a measurement for high life. Like ringing those church bells, life gives you highs and lows to measure how much you really enjoyed these special moments.
“First Date” could not lift me to ring the church bells. But, the Broadway star’s of “First Date” ring bells themselves, throughout the script with book by Austin Winsberg and Music and Lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner. They might want to open the show with a twitter tweet from Geraldo Rivera. Geraldo would give his shirt off his back for that! Seriously “First Date” has moments you can all laugh at and relate to. That over sized, ages differ, swimmers bodies/Shamu, gender lying chats will ring a few bells.
BroadwayGlobal sends social media flowers to “First Date” stars Eric Ankrim who played (Aaron) on this night, Krysta Rodriguez (Casey), Kristoffer Cusick, Sara Chase, Blake Hammond, Kate Loprest, and Bryce Ryness. All give “First Date” their best effort. The entire “First Date” Broadway cast gives this blind date a chance to thrive. The truth is this small cast musical will really recoup its arts investment for producers when it goes to regional theatres and is finally released for High School theatre departments around the globe.
Standbys who got to stand us up for “First Date” include Kevin Kern, Vicki Noon, and Sydney Shepherd. Zachary Levi who is billed as Aaron. Standby Eric Ankrim played Aaron at this performance and was delightful.
Warning skip this “Spoiler Alert” and move down two paragraphs if you don’t want to hear the truth. Kristoffer Cusick’s characters starting with his Gay, flamboyant, best karaoke friend of Krysta Rodriguez (Casey), gives us his ringing church bells high performance. But, just when you think this best friend Kristoffer Cusick (Man#1) will go running to the bar to “Bailout” this “First Date” and find his straight girlfriend, the musical comes to a screeching halt. Really? The nosy Gay friend is worried that this “First Date” has gone mad, Krysta Rodriguez (Casey) might be cut up in little pieces… but he still doesn’t join the roller coaster ride yet?
Last “Spoiler Alert”, when the Gay funniest character in “First Date” finally goes to the bar to confront the couple, (which could have given more outrageous laughter between the three interesting characters), It is to late. The lead stars have already left the stage. This is where the musical might have started to capture a real “First Date“. Google may want to sponsor “First Date the Musical” as they get the biggest sounds from their target marketing ages attending. Google meet the producers and find a moment in the show to have audience members hash tag you in social media. Bing! That would be AdWords sense for “First Date“.
“The bartender/singing waiter Blake Hammond (Man #3) is a Florida Carbonell Award winner. The Carbonell Award is like a Chicago Jeff Award or Tony Award but honors artists in South Florida, created by the late legendary Manuel Carbonell the theatre honor awarded with the Carbonell art, has become one of the most valuable and reputable awards in The United States. Hammond (Man #3, Bartender, Waiter) kicks up a storm to make “First Date” all worth leaving a tip, or buying that full price theatre ticket.” Theatre Chat.
“Cusick’s songs get the best response needed to pull off any “First Date” starting with his #1 “Bailout Song”, then Kristoffer’s #2 “Bailout Song”, oh yea and his #”3 “Bailout Song” and then singing a rap song as the daters possible future son… Cusick has shined in “Wicked“, “Rent” even as a BroadwayGlobal “Best Male Broadway Understudy” in “Hands On A Hard Body”. Writers the time has come to spotlight Cusick in his own musical.” BroadwayGlobal.
The “First Date” music is Rent‘ish but never quite gets to the dynamics of the Pulitzer winning rock musical. “First Date” has the biggest lines at the stage door this season, so to say some won’t take this “First Date” would be incorrect. Many young audience members will love it and did. They might even get that good night kiss. Krysta Rodriguez’ with her TV SMASH credit, has fans bursting down the stage door for a “First Date“.
The musical staging is effective by Josh Rhodes, but the music never lends itself to any choreography so to speak of… The set by David Gallo is exquisite, as well as the lighting by Mike Baldassari and the media/video work also by David Gallo keeps it lively for those young MTV audience members. Kai Harada sound design sticks with his Tony Award nominated sound he created for “Follies”.
“First Date” star’s true dating stories recently shared with Broadway World are much more interesting than this “First Date“. The music is average and would work best in an off-Broadway setting, which is where they should re-mount the production ASAP.
“But let’s stress don’t listen to a critic. Ask a close friend’s opinion that you trust. If Broadway patrons listened to critics “Wicked” wouldn’t be sold out ever night. “First Date” might not ring my bell, but still rings church bells for a happy ending.” BroadwayGlobal.
Director Bill Barry who is extremely gifted never gets to flash his talent in this “First Date“. If you see Bill Barry’s name in Playbill at countless regional theatres around the country, chances are you won’t be disappointed. By using the list of “First Date” songs from the musical above and below, we can give Bill a second date and it may be “The One”. Don’t let “First Impressions” think he is a “Total Loser”.
Pay “The Check” or balcony ticket price, it’s bound to be the “Safer” choice. “The Gift For You” is “Bailout Song” – #1, #2 and #3. “The Awkward Pause” is “Something That Will Last” for this “First Date” in off-Broadway, Regional and High School productions around the globe. For those who hear the honesty in this review “That’s Why You Love Me”. I’m “In Love With You” as theatre patrons. “I’d Order Love” if I could. Its’ “The Things I Never Said” that will keep this “First Date” and “Allison’s Theme” on the big Broadway.
Music Director Dominick Amendum and his glorious live orchestra members make this “First Date” without intermission pleasing and enjoyable. Maybe a “First Date” should have included a musician in the spotlight, at least for a solo. Remember this is a sneak peak from BroadwayGlobal and a “First Date” may require some dating tips during previews to make this a true Broadway love connection.
“First Date” plays at the Longacre Theatre located at 220 W 48th St New York, NY 10036. For tickets call 212-239-6200 or visit FirstDateTheMusical.com. If you really want to go on this date, buy a cheap “First Date” $35 balcony seat. Better yet a limited number of student rush tickets are priced at $25 and can be purchased with a valid student ID at the box office (one ticket per ID) on the “First Date” day of performance. “First Date might ring your bell.” Theatre Chat.