First Date – A First Rate Production


Liam Furlong, Editor-in-Chief

From May 11 to May 13, the spotlight shone on Salesianum‘s cast of First Date, an entirely student-produced school play. Over the spring months, the Salesianum School Theater Company has worked vigorously to prepare a production of First Date, an edgy comedy satirizing the awkwardness of blind dates. Directed by our own Jake Collins ‘18 and Brendan Moriak ‘18, young actors and actresses of all grades came together from Sallies, Ursuline, and Padua to deliver a spectacular show that we won’t soon forget.

Written by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, First Date is a musical comedy that tells the story of Aaron, a kind-hearted goody-two-shoes, and Casey, a risk-taking rebel, as they traverse through a blind date filled with hilarious hijinks, from embarrassing internet history to an imaginary child, and everything in between. “I had never done a comedic role before, and wasn’t sure that I’d be able to do it,” said star sophomore Frank Frabizzio, who played the role of Aaron. “But I thought to myself that I’m  up for a challenge. This was sort of a break from my usual mold of characters that I go for. I usually go for more serious characters, like Marius in Les Mis, but for First Date, I had to go all in. This was really a chance for me to break out of my comfort zone, but it was totally worth it.” First Date was clearly a chance for the actors to break out of their shells, and if Frabizzio is any example, it payed off in spades!

What separates First Date from previous productions of the Theater Troupe this year is the fact that it was entirely student-directed. Seniors Brendan Moriak & Jake Collins went all out with First Date, producing a play like no other. When asked about the methods of directors Collins & Moriak, freshman actor Jack Krukiel commented, “I’ve never really had direction from someone as young as Brendan and Jake, and being a student and seeing them every day really made for a tight-knit environment. I felt more comfortable talking to them than I would with an older adult.” Frank Frabizzio chimed in, saying, “Even though they’re so experienced, they’re still learning, and it was a learning process for everyone. Every single director has different styles, and Brendan & Jake were very passionate about the show, and that really played into their direction.” Well, whatever Brendan & Jake did during rehearsals, it clearly worked; the show was a whopping success, and the audience and actors alike loved it!

While seeing the show from an audience perspective made for an amazing night, the real rewards was in those on the stage. “The most rewarding part was definitely the laughs, at least for me,” said Frabizzio. “During dress rehearsals, the directors, knowing the show inside and out, didn’t laugh at a lot of stuff. But once we got to an audience that didn’t know all of the jokes, when everyone began cracking up, it was such a huge payoff!” “You’d hear all the distilled laughter; someone honking like a goose or cackling,” remarked Krukiel. Clearly, the Salesianum spring production was a success, and this reporter can easily say the First Date was first rate!