What’s better for a date than a live performance? It’s real and tactile, generally includes people with actual talent, and provides ample opportunity for some lights-down hand-holding. Taking your date to a Broadway show can earn you some serious culture brownie points. The important thing, though, is to choose the right one. (Annie may have defined your childhood, but heaps of wailing children – onstage and in the audience – don’t exactly set a suitable tone.)
So what makes a great date musical? A comedy like The Book of Mormon is guaranteed to impress because the show lives up to its funniest-thing-ever-written hype, but good luck finding affordable tickets – if you can get them at all. If you’re not a corporation, a head of state, or obscure foreign royalty, be ready to raid your future kid’s college fund for great seats to this show.
Plus, maybe you’re looking for something a little more genuinely romantic – as opposed to religious-themed and aggressively potty-mouthed. If that’s the case, the musical Once is your show. Based on the 2006 film of the same title, the story of two Dublin musicians who fall (sort of) madly in love is a rare thing: a sensitive, intelligent musical for grownups.
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With its award-winning acoustic score, hyperattractive leads (moody Tony Award winner Steve Kazee and pixie-sweet Cristin Millioti), and an onstage bar that stays open until showtime, Once conspicuously steers clear of obvious Broadway razzle-dazzle. If you can be super-motivated enough to make it to the box office early, they even offer a limited number of same-day seats for a discounted price. Even at full price, though, this show is a worthwhile splurge – and a great choice for a cultured (and cozy) night out.
Laura Motta writes about theater for her blog of insanity, The Craptacular.