Reviewer: Kristine Gotham
Venue: Pit and Balcony Theatre
Casey (Heather Koch) and Aaron (Justin Russell) are meeting for the first time. Each one is hopeful that this might actually be “the one” that they have been looking for, the one who will heal all the hurts from the past, the one that will make them feel whole and complete.
Pit and Balcony’s presentation of First Date, chronicles Casey and Aaron’s date from arrival to the walk home. A cast of five supporting actors, portraying a dozen or more other characters, helps the audience to understand what both Casey and Aaron have gone through in the past and what they hope for the future.
Olivia Greanis plays Casey’s sister, Lauren. She encourages Casey to give Aaron a chance. He is different than the other guys she has dated. He’s a nice guy, one you could settle down with. Matthew Howe plays Aaron’s best friend, Gabe. Gabe is the total opposite of Aaron. He doesn’t want “the one”, he is looking for the one right now. He encourages Aaron to forget about the one he lost and see where he can get with this one. Barbie Carr is Allison, Aaron’s former fiance. She isn’t as wonderful as he remembers in his mind, but she is the one that Aaron has to get over to have any chance of a relationship with Casey. Spencer Beyerlein plays Reggie, Casey’s high strung best friend. Reggie calls Casey throughout the evening with a “bailout call.” Despite knowing why he is calling, Casey decides that Aaron is worth the time and ignores Reggie. Greg Allison is the waiter. He realizes that this is a first date for Aaron and Casey, and offers advice and an encouraging song to all those on a first date. All of the supporting actors play several other minor characters, friends, family members, helping to round out the story.
The cast is backed up by a seven-piece orchestra. The musical numbers are modern and fun. The set is representative of any New York City restaurant. The lighting and sound were spot on.
The theme of this play is nothing new but it is a delightful way to spend a First Date. There are two more performances this weekend and three next. Call the Pit and Balcony box office or purchase your tickets online.