‘First Date’ Looks to Score on Broadway

Musical comedy will open at the Longacre Theater this summer.

New musical “First Date” has lined up a Broadway run that will open at the Longacre Theater this summer.

Junkyard Dog Prods., the team that produced 2010 Tony winner “Memphis,” backs the comedy that first bowed at Seattle’s 5th Avenue Theater last year.

Songs come from Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, the duo who also penned the score for “Secondhand Lions,” preeming next season at 5th Avenue with Warner Bros. Theater Ventures on board. Book for “First Date” is by Austin Winsberg, the TV scribe whose credits include “Gossip Girl” and “Jake in Progress.”

Storyline follows a blind date that weathers all the distractions and attractions of modern city life. No casting has been set for the Broadway incarnation; the Seattle preem starred Eric Ankrim and Kelly Karbacz as the two strangers on the titular date.

Bill Berry, producing director of 5th Avenue, directs the show with choreography by Josh Rhodes, who recently made his Rialto debut as the choreographer of “Cinderella.” Design team includes “Memphis” alum David Gallo (sets), David Woolard (costumes), Mike Baldassari (lights) and Kai Harada (sound).

First Date” was originally co-produced by 5th Avenue and fellow Seattle troupe A Contemporary Theater. Led by Junkyard Dog (Randy Adams, Marleen and Kenny Alhadeff and Sue Frost), the commercial team on board for Broadway also includes Stem Prods., Susan W. and James C. Blair Family, Alex and Katya Lukianov and Linda and Bill Potter.

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“First Date” begins previews at the Longacre July 9 ahead of an Aug. 4 opening.

The summer bow, prior to the ramp-up of openings in the fall, makes the show one of the first offerings of the 2013-14 season. New productions don’t often open in the summer, usually deferring the tourist-magnet season to the older productions that have had time to establish a higher media profile.  A few summer shows, however, have gone on to continued success, most notably “Hairspray,” which opened in August 2002.

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