Romance abounds in Date of a Lifetime, the utterly charming new musical at the McGinn/Cazale Theatre, featuring book and lyrics by Carl Kissin and music by Robert Baumgartner, Jr. Under Jeremy Dobrish's assured direction, the work is a breezy fun-filled evening that is sure to appeal to couples no matter what stage they are in their relationship.
The premise is simple. Katie (Farah Alvin) and Marvin (Jamie LaVerdiere) arrive at a speed-dating event, and after an amusing montage of their other potential matches of the evening, they meet one another. As they talk, they imagine what a future with each other could be like, first from Marvin's point of view, and then from Katie's. While there's plenty of passion and sentimentality, the imagined scenarios also touch upon affairs, divorce, illness, and senility.
The catchy and upbeat score contains several highlights, including the comically earnest "Endlessly," the goofy but sexy "Put on Your Seatbelt," and the show's best song, "Roller Coaster," which Katie sings as she imagines a first date with Marvin at Coney Island, as well as the ups and downs that their relationship might take.
The two performers are incredibly appealing, with strong voices that harmonize well. Katie is the slightly more neurotic of the characters, and Alvin captures this quality without overdoing it. LaVerdiere has a way with facial expressions, and delights in his rendition of "Monsters," which he sings to Katie and Marvin's imagined child.
Both Alvin and LaVerdiere throw themselves wholeheartedly into the dances choreographed by Wendy Seyb. These sequences are both whimsical and dynamic -- which is also a great way to describe the show as a whole.
-- Dan Bacalzo