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‘First Date: The Musical’ Humorously Explains the Difficulty of Modern Dating

Mar 09, 2016 01:01PM ● Published by Bryan Scott

By Kelly Cannon | kelly@mycityjournals.com

Midvale - Over Valentine’s Day weekend, Midvale couples attended a play that helped remind themselves how difficult dating in the modern era can be. “First Date: The Musical” was performed during the last two weeks of February at the Main Street Theatre in Midvale. 

It was the first time the humorous musical was performed in the state. Director and theater owner Tammy Ross and her family saw the play on Broadway and fell in love with it.

“We thought it was very well suited for our theater,” Ross said. “We thought it would be fun to bring it to Utah. It’s something that you don’t see every day.”

“First Date” tells the story of Aaron and Casey on a blind date at a restaurant. Aaron is a smart, shy, caring man who is not only extremely nervous but also carries the baggage of an ex-fiance. Casey is a “serial dater” who is artsy and a little wild but is afraid of commitment. Using the other members of the cast to represent people in their lives, the couple portrays some of weird elements of modern dating, such as dating someone outside your religion, Googling each other on social media before the date, what to order on a first date depending on your gender (should women order salads and should guys order burgers) and who should pick up the check. It also deals with being put in the dreaded friend-zone, a platonic area where no romance is possible, having a friend call you on a date to give you an excuse to “bailout” and the overall fear of commitment. 

Aaron was played by Dustin Bolt, a resident of West Valley City. He previously stepped into the role of Schroder during “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown” at the theater when the original actor was unable to make it to one performance. Bolt recently returned from New York City where he was auditioning for shows, but the cost of living became too much. He is currently working on his own personal project, which is a children’s television show on YouTube. 

Bolt said the hardest part of playing Aaron is being a convincing heterosexual male since Bolt himself is gay. 

“It’s just me on stage. A lot of Aaron is me,” Bolt said. “I find a lot of Aaron in me.” 

Bolt’s favorite part of the play is the nervousness between Aaron and Casey at the beginning, but loves the final number between the two.

Casey was played by Cassidy Ross, the daughter of Tammy Ross. Cassidy was with Tammy when they saw “First Date” on Broadway.

“I told mom to do the show,” Cassidy said. “It’s one of my favorites.”

The hardest part of the production for Cassidy was memorizing all the lines. The plot is driven by the dialogue of Aaron and Casey. But Cassidy loved the music. 

“It’s way funny,” Cassidy said. “It’s dating way too accurate.”

One of the most memorable characters was Reggie, Casey’s gay best friend who keeps calling her, offering a chance to bail out of the date. After not answering her phone three times, Reggie ends up rushing to the date to save Casey from a certain death that he has imagined has happened to her. Reggie was played by Todd McRae. McRae described Reggie as a super-flamboyant head-case with an overactive imagination. 

“He’s a lot of fun,” McRae said. 

While Reggie was the audience’s favorite, McRae enjoyed playing a bad boy rocker, a figment of Casey’s imagination, who tries to convince her to always go for the bad boy even though they treat her like garbage.

“He’s closer to who I am,” McRae said, referencing the rocker vibe, not the scumbag essence. “I get up and act ridiculous. It’s a blast.”

The hardest part of the production for McRae was memorizing the cues, because the majority of the play is dialogue between Aaron and Casey. 

“You have to pretend not to be listening [on stage] while listening for the time to put on a costume or pick up a prop,” McRae said. 

The Main Street Theatre’s next production is Chicago happening in April. Tammy said the theater is also planning on a few kids’ productions coming soon. 

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