REVIEW: First Date

“The One.” Everyone is on the lookout for their soulmate to settle down with. That special someone may not be who you are expecting or are used to however. First Date was a light, funny, and awkward musical exploring a blind date that has the potential to go somewhere.

Aaron’s (Drew Benson) nervousness and Casey’s (Sarah Mazurek) hostility were apparent in their initial interactions — and if first impressions were bought, that would’ve been the end of this first date. However, the date lives on as Casey ignores her hilariously flamboyant best friend Reggie’s bailout calls, and they gradually move past the small talk and delve into talks about religion, passion, and the future.

At each and every turn, they each imagine their own voice of reason and doubt in the form of best friend Gabe and sister Lauren. From imaginary (or real?) babies to bad boy exes, every aspect of the future and the past is brought to the present throughout this first date. The dangers of the world wide web were brought alive through the manifestation of Google and every single post that can never be erased. There was sass and attitude in their conversations, and this first date was truly a journey of blunders and embarrassment.

Through the laughter, there were still scenes of sensitive topics among the musical numbers. Aaron remembers the tragic love of his passed mother and seeks closure with his ex-fiance through a rocking cathartic song. Casey engages in an honest introspective reflection about her personality and the inner walls she’s put up in order to protect herself. The vulnerability they express brings them closer as they reveal more of their true selves, despite the initial odds of their personalities clicking being against them.

Sarah Mazurek and Drew Benson’s vocals were beautiful and complemented each other perfectly, and everyone else provided great backup or solo numbers about, for instance, food. This nine person cast fully embodied every quirky character they turned into, and the dynamics between everyone were truly entertaining.

As Casey and Aaron ignored the voices that followed them throughout the entire night and decided to take the leap, the last scene is one that is highly predictable, but heartwarming nonetheless (in addition to a surprise potential relationship forming right before the end). A2CT’s production of First Date was a feel-good play riddled with amusing quirks, brutal honesty, and enlightening humor.

PREVIEW: First Date

We’ve all been there — first dates. The first date that brings dread or butterflies to your stomach. The first date that is either endless torture or an instant click. The first date that has you already setting up your next blind date or planning your wedding. And then there’s the first date that is perfectly average and leaves the future completely uncertain.

Meet Aaron and Casey, chronic singles meeting for their arranged blind date. Featuring characters such as Facebook, Snapchat, YouTube, Google, Instagram, Pinterest, and Twitter, this original comedy musical set in the modern technological age explores the possibilities of love and chemistry at a certain point in life between two people and all the doubting voices carried along the way. Do the sparks fly? Is love in the air?

A2CT is putting this production on at the Arthur Miller Theatre March 8-11 with showtimes at 7:30pm on Thursday, 8pm on Friday and Saturday, and 2pm on Sunday. Student tickets are $14 and can be bought online at www.a2ct.org or at the door. This event is also FREE with a Passport to the Arts voucher!

PREVIEW: Twelfth Night

Image via lolaslolz.wordpress.com

Do you remember in the 2006 Amanda Bynes movie, “She’s the Man,” Channing Tatum went off on a glorious inspirational speech that went like this : “Be not afraid of greatness. Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and others have greatness thrust upon them.” He was actually directly quoting a line from Shakespeare’s “Twelfth Night,” which the plot of “She’s the Man” was based on!

The original love triangle comedy will be performed by the Ann Arbor Civic Theatre, a community group that has stolen local hearts with past productions, like Shrek and Les Miserables. I’m very much looking forward to see if the troupe modernizes the Shakespearean classic or keeps it in its traditional form.

What: Ann Arbor Civic Theatre’s “Twelfth Night”

When: 10/30 -11/2 (8 pm Thursday-Saturday, 2 pm Sunday)

Where: Arthur Miller Theatre on North Campus

How Much?: Free with a Passport to the Arts; $11 at the door.

If you like to read up on Shakespearean plays before you go (which can be very helpful sometimes), I recommend a quick summary skim on Sparknotes. Or, better yet, just grab some friends and host a pre-play screening of “She’s the Man”!