Photo by Jenny Anderson
Sparks will fly between Chuck star Zachary Levi and Smash alum Krysta Rodriguez when the duo open the brand new musical comedy First Date on Broadway this summer. The pair dropped by the Broadway.com office, where they brought us up to speed on what we can expect from the completely original musical.
“The script is laugh out loud hilarious,” said Rodriguez, a Broadway vet of The Addams Family, In the Heights and Spring Awakening. “Within the first few lines, I knew it was different from a lot of things that I’d read. It’s very cinematic; it’s very funny in that it’s quick and it’s not your typical musical. Right out of the gate, you know what you’re getting yourself into.”
The show marks the exciting Broadway debut for Levi, who rose to fame on the NBC comedy Chuck and showed off his vocal chops in the Disney film Tangled. “I’ve always dreamt of doing Broadway one day, and this just felt like absolutely the right thing,” he explained. “I’m so excited, being a part of it and being on a first date with this one [Rodriguez], who is so talented it makes me sick.”
Rodriguez and Levi play two strangers, the tightly wound Aaron and serial dater Casey, who are set up on a hilarious blind date at a restaurant where the patrons double as friends, exes, therapists and more as the night goes on. With music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner and a book by Austin Winsberg, the show premiered in Seattle in March 2012 and slayed audiences during its acclaimed run.
“If our table read was any indication, we were all hysterically laughing,” recalled Levi. “I think part of the reason why it’s so funny—and why I wanted to do it—is because it’s relatable. You’re not talking about some fantastical world. Everyone’s been on a date and everyone understands the dynamics of one. It’s told very honestly in that regard.”
Rodriguez terms the duo’s own dynamic as “indescribable,” adding, “I think you have to have that chemistry because you have to believe that these characters could end up together. We definitely hit it off right away, and we’re having a good time.”
Audiences can have a good time, too, when First Date opens at the Longacre Theatre on August 8! (Previews begin July 9.)