Theater Review: 'First Date' -- 2 stars
“First Date” — a new Broadway musical about, you guessed it, a first date — is just as generic, pedestrian, bare and altogether uninteresting as the title implies that it will be.
Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez play an ordinary mismatched pair, with Levi as a tightly-wound Jewish yuppie and Rodriguez as a hot, agnostic, free-spirited artist, who are set up by their friends and meet at a sleek, trendy-looking bar.
Upon arrival, each doesn’t know what the other looks like, which is pretty hard to believe since the characters would have probably had Facebook profiles.
To extend what could have been a 10-minute skit into 90 minutes, the date is constantly interrupted by a flamboyant waiter (Blake Hammond) and voices in the characters’ heads representing their friends, family and ex boyfriend/girlfriend.
The cleverest bit of business in “First Date” involves a series of “bailout” phone calls that are designed to provide the girl with an opportunity to abruptly end the date.
Despite these attempts to add diversion, the show gets increasingly tedious and labored as it chugs along toward the inevitable first kiss.
The musical may revolve around a simple situation that any audience member can identify with, but that doesn’t mean it can sustain an entire evening of theater.
The songs, co-written by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, are tuneful enough to show that the team has promise. On the other hand, Austin Winsberg’s sitcom-style dialogue lands few laughs.
Levi, who starred on the television series “Chuck,” is sincere, but overplays the geekiness, while Rodriguez, who was featured on the second season of “Smash,” manages to add signs of character depth.
Too bad Levi and Rodriguez couldn’t have just done a production of “The Last Five Years” instead.
“First Date” plays an open run at the Longacre Theatre. 220 W. 48th St., 212-239-6200, firstdatethemusical.com.