Have you ever been on a blind date? How about a first date? If so, you’ll surely relate to the good, the bad and the comical awkwardness of dating when you see this hit musical comedy!
The fourth show of the 2016-17 Starlight Indoors series, First Date will have couples nudging each other and singles laughing as they recall their own dating mishaps. The fun begins at Starlight Theatre on Friday night, Feb. 3, and continues through Sunday, Feb. 26.
A modern, laugh-out-loud musical from the writer of The CW’s hit “Gossip Girl,” First Date gives audiences a front-row seat as newbie-blind-dater Aaron meets serial-dater Casey for a casual drink. As the date moves on to a hilarious, high-stakes dinner, the restaurant staff morphs into the couple’s family members, opinionated best friends, pushy therapists and even unforgiving exes.
“We wanted to create something that captured all the joy, pain, honesty, comedy and heartbreak of the dreaded first date,” the show’s creative trio of Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner explained in a published interview. “We believe the feelings Aaron and Casey experience during the date are universal. All of us are looking for love and acceptance and constantly searching for ‘The One’!”
The musical, which had a run on Broadway in 2013-14, is the first indoors show to be fully produced by Starlight. Caroline Gibel, Starlight’s director of indoor programming, will direct the show, and the talented professional cast has strong Kansas City connections.
Starring in the role of Casey is Lauren Braton, a Kansas City actress and UMKC graduate whose extensive credits include shows at Starlight, the KC Rep, Coterie, Unicorn, Quality Hill Playhouse and several more local theatres. She’s joined by fellow UMKC graduate and Kansas City native Shea Coffman as Aaron. Coffman now lives in Chicago and performed in that city’s original cast of First Date. Rounding out the five-person cast in various roles are Kansas City performers Francisco Javier Villegas and Andrew Schmidt and St. Louis actress April Strelinger.
“I am so fortunate to make my Kansas City directorial debut working with these five incredibly talented performers, several of whom will be familiar to local audiences,” Gibel said. A Kansas City native, too, Gibel left her hometown to study theatre at Marymount Manhattan College in New York. After a decade in the Big Apple, she returned and joined Starlight in 2012.
“We can’t wait to stage this show indoors at Starlight,” Gibel added. “Most of us will never forget the experience of a first date with that someone special. I hope longtime sweethearts, new loves and even close groups of friends will come out to Starlight to First Date during Valentine’s month!”
Tickets for First Date range from $36 to $56. VIP ticket packages for $56 include prime seats with a sweetheart table to hold drinks, one complimentary drink and valet parking. In addition, Starlight will partner with Amigoni Urban Winery to host four Corks & Comedy nights – Feb. 10, 14, 17 and 24. For just $45 per ticket, guests will enjoy a pre-show tasting of five Amigoni wines and the show.