Through August 11|
FIRST DATE Daemen College/MusicalFare Theatre
Are there more dreaded terms in the vocabulary of those seeking social engagement?
Most people have stories about themselves or a friend on a blind date.
Of course, some talk about a relationship which developed out of a blind date.
Sometimes the couple probably won’t work out well because they are so mis-matched.
That’s Aaron and Casey in “First Date.”
He’s a recently broken-up at the altar hedge fund guy (Marc Sacco) and she’s a veteran of the blind date scene who arrives in a fairly fancy restaurant looking like a biker chick (Michele Marie Roberts), figuring things won’t work out.
She works in an art gallery.
In this musical (really), there is a sliding cast of other characters played by the three other performers, Dudney Joseph Jr., Dominique Kempf and Kevin Kennedy.
They are the wing men and wing women for those on the social prowl, full of advice and help, no matter how out-of-touch that advice can be, with the opening number, “The One,” making the overall goal clear.
The overall show is from book writer Austin Winsberg and music and lyrics from Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner.
While the show and the choreography from Doug Weyand work well, the music is a little erratic and that’s what the show creators have given him to work with.
He has a strong cast of performers, at a time of year when there are a lot of people out there without anything else on their schedules.
The date doesn’t go well and it doesn’t go badly, just erratic as each considers bailing and moving on and doesn’t.
Reggie (Kennedy) is on the phone offering Casey a chance to leave and Aaron’s mind is also getting advice from his friend Gabe (Kennedy), much of it bad.
Even Aaron’s former girlfriend, Allison (Kempf) shows up to mess with his head from inside.
As the two mix and match, Joseph keeps holding things together, as the waiter does his best to put them together, even performing a dance number using his most recently written song, “I’d Order Love.”
The best part of the show is the uncomfortable feeling it creates in the audience, as each remembers personal history.
Even if you aren’t thinking of some past blind date, this might be some awful social situation, with your past echoing in your mind, giving you potentially bad advice on how to handle it all.
What happens between Aaron and Casey is an interesting story of people working through themselves in that endless quest to become one.
These two have some baggage, like Aaron being Jewish and Casey being an atheist and having friends in common from their close-together hometowns, a long way away.
Yet, in the end Casey and Aaron and the company suggest “Something That Will Last.”
The advice for people considering “First Date”?
It’s something worth seeing.
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