August 9, 2021


by Nicole Rosky May. 26, 2021

Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young Will Lead Virtual FIRST DATE in July
Art Lab and ShowTown Productions just announced that Diana DeGarmo and Ace Young – former “American Idol” contestants who are married in real life – will co-star in a new virtual production of the 2013 Broadway musical comedy, First Date. The production, directed by Meg Fofonoff, will stream for five performances from July 23-25 on the ticketing platform, Stellar.

Art Lab and ShowTown Productions have previously collaborated on virtual productions of the musicals Disenchanted and Amour, as well as the online series “The Show Must Go On Show,” and “Art Lab Presents.”

First Date premiered at Seattle’s ACT Theatre in 2012 before a Broadway premiere in 2013 starring Zachary Levi and Krysta Rodriguez. It has since been seen in over 200 productions around the world, including in such cities as London, Melbourne, Tokyo and Buenos Aires.

First Date, which features music and lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner and book by Austin Winsberg, tells the story of Aaron (Young) and Casey (DeGarmo), two single New Yorkers on a blind date with nothing to lose, except maybe their patience and sanity. This hilariously relatable musical puts you right at the bar along with them – and all the persistent voices in their heads. While they fight the urge to call it a no-go, they suffer through every dating faux pas in the book, from awkward silences to rambling about their exes to panicking over their past. But in the end, they can’t help but be curious about their chances at a second date…and maybe even finding love.

With an irresistible, contemporary pop Broadway score, and filled with those cringeworthy yet priceless moments that might feel all-too familiar, First Date lets us know it’s all part of the wonderful process of finding the perfect partner.
The cast also includes Nick Cearley (co-founder of The Skivvies, Broadway’s All Shook Up) as Man 2, Kevin Massey (Broadway’s A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder) as Man 1, Jennifer Sánchez (Broadway’s Sunday in the Park with George) as Woman 1, Vishal Vaidya (Broadway’s Groundhog Day) as Man 3, and Aurelia Williams (Broadway’s Once on This Island) as Woman 2.

Fofonoff said “We are all looking forward to the imminent return of live theatre. At the same time, I feel we have discovered just how much can be achieved by theatre artists working in the virtual realm and that work I feel will continue to be produced after the pandemic has subsided. With tremendous ingenuity, you can accomplish almost anything. We have a delightful cast in virtual rehearsal for First Date, led by the terrific husband and wife team of Ace Young and Diana DeGarmo. How wonderful it will be to see this real-life couple fall in love all over again.”

Costume designer is Jennifer Tremblay. Storyboard artist is Sue Schaller. Film editor is Nate Wind. Director of Photography is Howie Michael Smith. Production Stage Manager is Julie Devore. Stage Managers are Stephen Milosevich and Lisa Ann Chernoff. Casting is by Alexandre Bleau, CSA.
Musical direction is by Julie McBride. Musical supervisor is Cynthia Meng. The band features Elena Bonomo (drums), Josh Plotner (reeds), Jakob Reinhardt (guitars), and Yuka Tadano (bass).

Tickets are now on sale. Tickets purchased today through June 2 at 11:59 PM are $15. Regular priced tickets are $20. For more information, click:

First Date is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals.

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August 9, 2021

Virtual Production of Amour

Michel Legrand and Didier van Cauwelaert’s musical will stream for three performances in April. Art Lab and ShowTown Productions will present a virtual production of the 2002 Broadway musical Amour April 2–4 on the streaming platform Stellar.

Directed by Meg Fofonoff, the presentation will feature Tony nominee Derrick Baskin (Ain’t Too Proud) as The Painter, Drew Gehling (Waitress) as Dusoleil, Kara Lindsay (Newsies) as Madeleine, Kevin Massey (A Gentleman’s Guide to Love & Murder) as Bertrand, Tony nominee Adam Pascal (Rent) as Prosecutor/Charles, Christiani Pitts (A Bronx Tale: The Musical) as Isabelle, Jennifer Sánchez (Pretty Woman: The Musical) as Claire, Thom Sesma (Sweeney Todd at Barrow Street Theatre) as Boss/Policeman, Vishal Vaidya (Groundhog Day) as Doctor Roquefort/Monsieur Le President/Policeman, and Rachel York (Head Over Heels) as The Whore.

With music by Michel Legrand and a libretto by Didier van Cauwelaert, Amour is adapted from Le Passe-Muraille by Marcel Aymé and features an English adaptation by Jeremy Sams. The musical concerns Dusoleil, a civil servant and dreamer who discovers that he can walk through walls, which allows him to give bread and jewels to the bourgeoisie. As he gains confidence to win over Isabelle from her unhappy marriage, Dusoleil’s magical approach to life makes the world better for his co-workers and other Parisian locals.

“I have been in love with Amour for a long time,” says Fofonoff. “It’s a beautiful show with perpetual relevance about shared humanity and valuing our true selves. While the show was not fully appreciated during its abbreviated Broadway run, my hope is that our virtual revival will make it available to many more people.

“Directing and producing Amour has been an exciting challenge as we pull together scenic elements, full costumes, props, and a very complicated score—all remotely. It’s only fitting for a surrealist show to come together through this surreal process, and I am in awe of and grateful to our actors for their dedication, immense talent, and spirit in going on this journey with us.”

Be a Part of the Playbill Opening Night Celebration for the Virtual Revival of Amour

The creative team also includes costume designer Jennifer Tremblay, music producer Mark Governor, and music director Sean Mayes. Casting is by Alexandre Bleau, and Julie DeVore serves as the production stage manager. The musical is presented by arrangement with Concord Theatricals on behalf of Tams-Witmark LLC.

*article by Andrew Gans

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