First look at ‘First Date’

%22First+Date%22+is+a+romantic+musical+that+tells+the+story+of+a+blind+date+between+two+strangers+who+are+complete+opposites.

Dr. Cliff Bieberly

"First Date" is a romantic musical that tells the story of a blind date between two strangers who are complete opposites.

By Michael Wright, Staff Writer

Chaminade University will be unveiling its annual spring musical Friday night at the Mamiya Theater. This year’s choice will be comedic romance “First Date.”

The show is an accurate rendition of many relationship experiences that are occurring in today’s world. Many viewers would be able to relate to the themes and problems occurring throughout the performance.

“First Date” focuses on a blind date between Aaron, who is haunted by memories of his ex-fiance, and Casey, who is jaded from past experiences. The two are polar opposites who attempt to make it work in spite of their painfully obvious differences. In an effort to resist their individual dating habits, they are often internally reminded of the advice given to them by friends and family.

“As you’ll see, it’s really a fun kind of thing dealing with dating and the ins-and-outs and the problems that people have on first dates,” said Brother Gary Morris, who is the director and has been involved in theater for 45 years. “She’s a serial dater, and he’s somebody trying to recover from a broken romance where he was jilted at the altar. And all the people who are in their heads … the interesting thing about this is all the people that they think about actually appear on stage.”

Friends and family members intervene inside the two characters' minds throughout the performance.
Dr. Cliff Bieberly
Friends and family members intervene inside the two characters’ minds throughout the performance.

Both the male and female lead characters share their struggles in the play. Aaron is a young man who was left at the altar, and Casey (played by Nicole Enos) is a young woman who has always encountered the wrong kind of guy.

“He’s a kinda nerdy geeky guy, but he’s also a banker so he hasn’t really been in the dating lifestyle as much,” said Gabriel Giasolli, 19, about his role of Aaron. “He’s been more about business and work and stuff. So he’s been out of it for a little while. So he’s a little rusty with his skills and stuff.”

On top of Aaron’s lack of experience, the personality clash between Casey and himself are constant because of the extreme differences.

“Well, just talking to Casey is a challenge in itself you know for him,” said Giasolli. “She’s a girl who has been on more dates than anyone. She’s the date-acholic, you could say, so she’s pretty brutal to the newbie.”

The show gives off several messages that are presented to the audience in the midst of the humor.

“Not everybody is who they present themselves to be,” said stage manager Marchella Versteegh. “There is [sic] hidden layers. There’s stuff that you need to get past, and you need to work through in order for them to see your real self.”

All participants of the play have been practicing for 10 weeks to get it ready for the opening night. Throughout that time, Versteegh and the other stage managers have been helping the cast with props and guidance so the preparations would go smoothly. Versteegh said this has been her smoothest experience yet and feels like the group is ready for Friday night’s premiere.

Seating for “First Date” will begin Friday night at 7 p.m. for the 7:30 p.m. show. There will be two other shows this weekend (Saturday and Sunday nights) and next weekend (April 22-24). Friday and Saturday night shows will start at 7:30 p.m., while the Sunday shows will start at 4 p.m.