From left, director Christy Holy, Steven Humphrey (on piano), Emma Jane Garcia and Austin Krieg work on a duet in the wings during rehearsal for Olympic Theatre Arts’ “First Date.” (Olympic Theatre Arts)

From left, director Christy Holy, Steven Humphrey (on piano), Emma Jane Garcia and Austin Krieg work on a duet in the wings during rehearsal for Olympic Theatre Arts’ “First Date.” (Olympic Theatre Arts)

OTA production of ‘First Date’ is cast, in rehearsal

SEQUIM — The show, as the idiom goes, must go on — even after a snow-laden interruption.

Originally set to stage in February, when snowstorms blanketed the Sequim area, auditions for Olympic Theatre Arts’ musical comedy “First Date” had a bumpy start.

After several weather delays and some rearranged show schedules, the show now is cast and in rehearsal.

“First Date” will run April 26 to May 12. Performance times are Fridays and Saturdays at 7:30 p.m., and Sundays at 2 p.m. Preview night is April 25, Pay-What-You-Will night is May 2, and Talk-Back Night is May 9, at 6:30 p.m.

Tickets are $24 for the general public, $22 for OTA members and $12 for students with school identification card. Tickets are available at the theater box office from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m., Mondays through Fridays, or online at www.Olympic TheatreArts.org.

In “First Date,” a musical comedy by Austin Winsberg, Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, a casual drink turns into a high-stakes dinner as anxieties of blind date partners Casey and Aaron take on a life of their own, singing and dancing them through ice-breakers, appetizers and conversational “land mines.”

“There’s fantastic music and a great script,” said Victoria Miller, who is enjoying her first time acting on stage, playing three generations of women in the lives of the two daters.

“The ensemble represents all of the baggage that the leads have been carrying around with them. Some of it’s family baggage, some of it’s previous relationships, and these voices show up to kind of torment them in very funny ways.”

Director Christy Holy said she enjoys the satire and story between two people delving into their worst fears.

“That’s the fun part — because the ensemble actors are in the minds of these two characters, they can be hyperbolized and personified in a really big way,” Holy said.

Emma Jane Garcia, who has been cast as Casey, the leading lady in the play, said: “Auditions were really nerve racking personally for me because I haven’t been in a show for about a decade. But everyone was so friendly and encouraging and it was just the right amount of pressure to propel me to be really excited and be my best.”

Ensemble actress Alison Cobb is right back on the stage after her debut as Letta and Jenny in OTA’s production of “Death of a Salesman.”

“I was the first one to show up for auditions after all of the snow,” Cobb said, “but everyone was super nice and welcoming.”

Musical director Steven Humphrey said: “There’s just a boatload of humor in the music. I think the audience will have a lot of fun with it.”

Humphrey added, “I just keep getting drawn in. A rehearsal doesn’t go by that I don’t discover some other thing in the music that is like, ‘Oh! That key change does this, dramatically.’”

Holy said nearly all of the production’s ensemble pieces are satirical versions of familiar scenes.

“There are call backs to ‘The Sound of Silence’ and ‘Fiddler on the Roof’, for instance,” Holy said. “There’s these themes that wind through the whole thing, these stereotypes that we’re used to seeing and that are instantly recognizable. I think the audience can relate to all of the terrors of having a first date.”

Ryan Macedo and Dan DePrez, both veterans of OTA’s production of “Leaving Iowa,” are cast in the ensemble with multiple comedic roles.

“I’m used to doing shows that have more of an old school feel to them,” said Macedo, “This has more of a modern feel, so it’s kind of a newer thing. Just don’t take the dating advice seriously in this show!”

Leading man Austin Krieg plays Aaron, a kind and confused date.

“My first show I was ever in was a musical,” he said. “I’ve tried to dip my toe into a little bit of everything but musicals are definitely something that catches me personally. The whole awkwardness of not really understanding the social norms of a blind date really is something I connect with. The whole dating scene was so lost on me personally that coming in here and reading the script for the first time I was like, ‘Oh, OK, I totally get it now!’”

OTA actor/director Greg Scherer has a unique perspective on the show as an ensemble member playing the Waiter, among other roles.

“Contrary to popular opinion, this show is about the Waiter,” Scherer said. “He’s the puppeteer master that brings love together, has seen it all the time and is ready for it to happen to him.”

For more information, call the theater at 360-683-7326.

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