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…)
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!