Reviews for Zachary Levi in FIRST DATE

Reviews for Zachary Levi in FIRST DATE

Last night was the official opening of First Date the Musical on Broadway (it had been in previews previously), and the reviews are coming in from critics. Fans have been cheering about the play and Zac on Twitter for weeks, so I’d say the general public are enjoying it, but what about the people who write about theatre for a living?

From the Associated Press:

Making his Broadway debut, Levi has a strong leading-man presence, smooth in his dance moves while handling Aaron’s nervous gaffes with comedic flair. Aaron’s baggage includes a womanizing best friend, Gabe (a sly, hipsterish Bryce Ryness), and a selfish, unstable ex-girlfriend, Allison (played with sultry aloofness by Kate Loprest). Levi knocks it out of the park with his mesmerizing solo, “In Love With You,” a get-it-off-your-chest, often misogynistic number bursting with invective against Allison. (Read more…)

From The New York Times:

Although his singing is merely adequate, Mr. Levi brings a vitality and off-kilter humor to his performance and succeeds in rubbing away some of Aaron’s more generic qualities with his warmly quirky line readings. … I also feel honor-bound to report that the audience at the performance I attended seemed to respond with genuine warmth. In fact, they were a virtual live laugh track, erupting with gusts of guffaws at each worn joke or familiar torque in the give-and-take between Aaron and Casey. (Read more…)

From Variety:

Aaron is what any woman would recognize as Mr. Nice Guy, who makes a better friend than a lover, so it’s quite an achievement in character-building when Levi carefully draws out the more interesting and yes, sexier side of this sweet, sensitive guy. (Read more…)

From The New York Post:

But the show really rests on Levi’s shoulders — and he carries it effortlessly.

The only clue we had that he could carry a tune was from his duet with Mandy Moore in Disney’s “Tangled.” Here, he turns out to be able to do far more than just sing a song: He can sell it. His 11 o’clock number, “In Love With You,” is a tour de force of comic timing, physical clowning and effective interpretation. (Read more…)

From Entertainment Weekly:

Levi is particularly winsome and adorable as Aaron, a decidedly square, salad-eating fella still smarting from a recent breakup to a harpy of an ex. His singing voice, like his character, is engaging but a little thin. A belter he is not. (Read more…)

From The Hollywood Reporter:

As the above list indicates, it’s all fairly familiar stuff, but under the assured direction of Bill Berry it’s rendered with a comic verve that produces a constant stream of laughs. Levi, here bespectacled and bearded and displaying the same charmingly geeky quality that he did on Chuck, is assured in his singing and perfect deadpan timing. Rodriguez is equally fine, her natural charm and sex appeal working wonders to offset her character’s occasional off-putting qualities. (Read more…)

Reviews for the play itself are a mixed bag, but Zac himself received primarily positive notice – ranging from “pretty good” to “this reviewer might be in love with him”. Not bad for his first time on Broadway!

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  1. I read a review about Zach’s ‘First Date’ Broadway show and it was disheartening. I won’t get into details but I felt sorry for Zach. :(

    Yvonne can get out of her Sarah mode and focus on a role without a hint of any Chuckness. Zach is less successful. His natural nerdiness is always there no matter the role. But, I still support him.

    • Zac has been actively promoting the play as “Chuck: The Musical”, so I don’t think he’ll be as upset about the comparisons as you seem to be. And remember, reviews are subjective, but as you can see, even when the reviewer wasn’t keen on Zac’s singing, they still had favorable things to say about him. His co-star received less flattering comments from several of the reviewers.

      • Well, when Zach did ‘Remember Sunday’, he behaved very much as Chuck and that was basically the same concept as the musical. Going on a first date…..the same date…everyday. You see a lot a Chuck there. Hopefully he won’t show any of that in Thor 2.

        Yvonne is different. There’s no Sarah in any of her post Chuck performances.

      • Different career choices. *shrug*

      • The first role he took after Chuck was in a Fox pilot that we haven’t seen because it wasn’t picked up in which he was to play a father and husband. The second was Thor 2, which we haven’t seen and is very different from Chuck. Then he did Remember Sunday. Then he did a web series that comes out in September. The role there is comedic, but not really Chuck. Then came this.

      • Yep, all of which we’ve talked about here on the site.

    • I’ve seen this show twice. Aaron, Zac’s character, is supposed to be a little nerdy. There are references in the script to him liking Quantum Leap and Battlestar Galactica. However, the character isn’t as nerdy as season 1 Chuck. He’s more like Season 4 & 5 Chuck after Chuck’s personal style improved dramatically. The character is a successful executive and arrives for the date in a very nice suit and tie.

  2. Our favorite couple Sarah and Chuck have both shown that they are equally talented at Broadway debuts. It’s pretty marvelous that two first time Broadway actors receiving very good reviews have come from “Chuck”. All of us “Chuck” lovers knew Yvonne and Zach were extremely talented. Congrats.