Zachary Levi's 'First Date' on Broadway: What did the critics think?

This post has been updated. See below for details.

Zachery Levi stars in "First Date," the new musical about the age-old tale of how well opposites attract that debuted Thursday at the New York's Longacre Theater.

The production features Levi, the alum of TVs "Chuck," in his Broadway debut as investment banker Aaron and Krysta Rodriguez (TV's "Smash" and Broadway's "The Addams Family") as tough and artsy Casey.

Penned by "Gossip Girl" writer Austin Winsberg with music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, the show follows the pair of mismatched New Yorkers on a blind date.

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The 21st century mating ritual is marked by Google background checks, faux emergency phone calls, and ghosts of relationships past that play -- and sing -- out on stage.

The first reviews from New York are in, and for critics, "First Date" was not love at first sight.

Joe Dziemianowicz of the New York Daily News writes that while Rodriguez and Levi are "pleasant" enough, the music is better suited for "cruise ship than the Great White Way." He concludes by warning the show runs without an intermission, meaning, "there’s no chance to bail out."

"First Date" also "didn't go so well" for the New York Times' Charles Isherwood. He writes the production magnifies the worst feelings of a first date -- the "instant lack of rapport," the "desperate hope that the apocalypse will arrive" -- and sets them to "bland pop-rock music."

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Entertainment Weekly's Thom Geier felt more of a spark, writing that while stereotypes are overplayed in Casey's "finger-snapping gay bestie" and Aaron's Jewish grandmother, who practically "juggles matzo balls," Levi's and Rodriguez's "admirable" performances had him "rooting for this unlikely couple (and the show) to succeed."

USA Today's Elysa Gardner seemed ready for the check, writing "no cliché is left unturned" in the "encounter that lasts, mercifully, only 95 minutes."

For the record, 10:44 a.m. Aug. 9: An earlier version of this post referred to the show as "Blind Date." The show's title is "First Date."


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