Zachary Levi: Theater Is For Nerds, Too

'First Date' bowed Aug. 8 at the Longacre Theater

For Zachary Levi, the musical “First Date” is indeed his first date — with Broadway. So he’s been getting acquainted.

“I didn’t even know what previews were when I signed on to this,” he said at the tuner’s opening night party at Gotham Hall Aug. 8. Previews, it turns out, are what he missed a week of when he went off to San Diego Comic-Con last month for Nerd HQ, the annual otaku gathering and event series he founded.

At first glance, it might seem like nerds and theater avids don’t share much overlap, but not so fast, according to Levi. “Being a nerd just means being passionate about something,” he said. And theater fans certainly are that.

Just ask co-songwriter Michael Weiner, who soon after the opening night party was scheduled to jet off to Seattle for rehearsals for the world premiere of his next musical, “Secondhand Lions.”

“There are people who have seen ‘First Date’ like 10 times already,” marveled Weiner, another Broadway tyro. “And they’re not related to me.”

At least Weiner and Levi have co-star Krysta Rodriguez to be their Broadway dating coach. She’s not only been a Broadway actress (“The Addams Family”), she’s played one on TV (“Smash”).

“I tell you, doing a TV show about Broadway made me a little soft for the real deal,” she explained with a laugh. “Eight shows a week is hard work!”

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