Friday, November 8, 2013

First Date Friday

Hello from New York, darlings!  Seeing as I am all about the falling in love, it seemed only fitting that my first Broadway musical since I was here two years ago should be First Date, a musical comedy about an awkward blind date that may or may not lead to true love.

It stars Krysta Rodriguez (you may know her from Smash) and Zachary Levi (of Chuck fame).  I will admit a large part of the reason I wanted to see this show is because I have had a crush on Zachary Levi's vocal chords ever since he sang the Flynn Rider part in Tangled.  And those vocal chords did not disappoint.  The cast was stellar.

With the play as a whole, I will admit I wasn't instantly smitten.  My first impression was that everything seemed a bit stereotypical and they were going for the obvious rather than saying anything unique or fresh - which I suppose is inevitable in a play that is trying to be the "everyman" experience of dating.

Zachary Levi was all endearing nerves and nerdy charm (be still my nerd-loving heart), but the female character, Casey, seemed a little too bitchy for sympathy (calling to mind something Darynda Jones said the other day about how we can't reveal the flaws before the audience loves our characters - get 'em hooked and THEN reveal the human foibles, otherwise those flaws become deal breakers).  Though maybe the playwrights were trying to make a point about first impressions and deal breakers - that we need to look deeper (both in plays and in love?).  As they say in the show during the song "First Impressions", those first impressions often merit a second glance and that certainly seemed to be the case here. Both of the protagonists grew on me, even as they grew on each other, and by each character's pivotal song later in the show, I was totally hooked. (Levi brought the house down with "In Love With You" - reminding me of when Freddy stole the show in My Fair Lady when I was in Ashland this summer.)  And I left the theater with a huge grin on my face.

I enjoyed the performances immensely and if you're going to be in NYC in the next few months, I'd run out and see it, since it seems to be closing in January.  Get it while it lasts, boys and girls!

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