**** Recommended **** “First Date” is a quirky little show that’ll just reach out and grab you! The music is kind of atonal, almost discordant, yet it works. It’s full of profound truths and awkward situations we’ve all experienced on a blind/first date. Although it’s very funny, it also draws sympathetic reactions from the audience. “First Date” made me laugh, so I give it 4 Spotlights.
Wearing a suit and looking uncomfortable, Aaron (Brian Fimoff) arrives at a bar/restaurant where he’s supposed to meet some random girl for a drink. The helpful waiter takes his geeky tie and gives him a drink. In his imagination, his best friend gives him dating tips.
Wearing a darling but rather quirky ensemble, Casey arrives at the same bar/restaurant looking for some random guy she’s supposed to meet for a drink. Casey’s sister, whose husband arranged this date, hovers encouraging her to give this date a chance.
The very talented ensemble – Antoinette Gomez, Brandon Denton, Emily Reeves, Matthew Huston and Dan Brennan – play all the other parts.
Aaron and Casey start talking about mutual acquaintances from school. Since Casey knows many of his friends, he makes an assumption, then learns to his shock (everything stops as he struggles with this) that she’s not Jewish!
A little later, her phone rings, and she ignores it. It’s her bailout call from her best gay friend who isn’t pleased she didn’t take his call. As the evening progresses, he calls again and again, getting more hysterical (and hysterically funny) as she ignores his calls.
They discovered that they’d each googled each other, with her sister and his best friend reading – and commenting – over their shoulders. That leads to the entire cast singing a tribute to social media, “The World Wide Web Is Forever”.
When they discover they’re actually enjoying themselves, they decide to have dinner. She wants burger, he wants salad; of course, she orders salad, he orders ‘manly’ burger; after the food is served, they trade plates.
Over the objections of his best friend, he tells her about his miserable, manipulative ex who left him literally standing at the altar. She tells him all about her loser exes, bad boys all.
The waiter steals the show when dons a red cummerbund to sing a ‘special number’.
“First Date” runs through May 8th at the Towle Theatre, 5205 Hohman Avenue, Hammond. Running time is just about 2 hours with an intermission. Performances are Thursday through Saturday at 8:00 pm; Sundays at 2:00 pm. Tickets are $19. Several performances are sold out, so call ahead for tickets. Parking is free. FYI (219) 937-8780 or www.towletheater.org.