Funny, awkward First Date highlights spring musical

By Kathryn Kelman/ ne news editor

NE students Autumn Pope and Kyler Brooklyn work to clean up the tap-dance number “The World Wide Web is Forever” during a rehearsal April 13 for the musical First Date.
Photos by Kathryn Kelman/The Collegian

For the first time, the Broadway musical comedy First Date is hitting the NE Playhouse stage.  

First Date follows two people stumbling their way through a first date, trying to turn what seems destined to be a dating horror story into something special before the check arrives.

“It had a very limited run in New York, but it is a good musical for colleges,” director and drama adjunct instructor Susan Polster said. “It’s very millennial.”

The musical is a contemporary look at society and the way people meet, date and communicate through social platforms today, she said.

“There’s no deep message or comment so much with First Date,” she said. “It’s a very light-hearted musical comedy: lots of comedy, lots of satire, lots of commentary on life today.”

Polster picked First Date to be the spring musical because she thought students would relate to it and enjoy it, she said.

“The music’s contemporary, and it’s a short show,” she said.

First Date shouldn’t run longer than an hour and 35 minutes with no intermission, Polster said.

Theater Practicum II and Dance Practicum II students have been working all semester long on the production under Polster’s direction.

The musical, written originally for seven actors, has been adapted for an 18-person cast, she said.

“We’ve added a singing and dancing chorus to several of the musical numbers that were, of course, just written for seven people to begin with,” Polster said.

NE student Matthew John plays Aaron Goldfarb, the male lead, and says his favorite part about the musical is how it incorporates different elements of musical theater.

“It’s a melting pot of so many different genres,” he said.

John has fun playing his character.

“There’s been a lot that he’s [Aaron’s] gone through,” John said. “Most of them he deals with in a comedic way, and I really enjoy that.”

NE student Natalie Goben plays Casey Clark, the female lead. Casey is a complex character, Goben said.

“She [Casey] gets around, but she’s also super guarded and doesn’t really let her feelings come out,” Goben said.

Casey’s sarcastic character goes on quite the journey during the show, and Goben’s enjoyed getting to play her, she said.

For those that don’t normally like musicals, they’ll like this one because it’s funny and modern, Goben said.

“It’s a really fun show, and it has some adult humor in it you wouldn’t normally see in a musical,” she said.

Goben finds it difficult at times to stay in character.

“We have such funny lines,” she said.

Performances start at 7 p.m. April 26-29 with a 2 p.m. matinee April 29.

Admission is free for TCC students, faculty and staff, $3 for non-TCC students and senior citizens and $6 for the general public.

For more information, contact the NE Playhouse at or 817-515-6687.