Credit: SuzAnne Barabas

If you are male or female and find yourself anywhere within a 250-mile radius of the New Jersey Repertory Theatre in Long Branch, New Jersey – that’s at least five states I can count – you can’t afford not to see Date of a Lifetime.

Buy a ticket today.  Here’s why:  It’s outrageously funny, clever, timely, musically and verbally brilliant, but most of all because every step, lyric and note rings true.

Date of a Lifetime achieves that rare combination – it is both light and substantial – that leaves audiences smiling and reflective.  And it is fast-moving.  The very talented Jamie Laverdiere and Trisha Rapier dance-sing-act their way non-stop through 90 minutes of doubts, rushes, highs, lows, dreams, fears and discoveries – real and imagined – that choreograph every relationship.

It’s worth the price of a ticket to experience how efficiently book and lyrics writer Carl Kissin gets across the elasticity of time inside the mind.   In concert with musical collaborator Robert Baumgartner, Jr., director Marlo Hunter, and musical director/on-stage piano player Daniel Rein, Kissin gives us an unforgettable 90-minute exploration of two 4-minute speed date sessions during which each of the two potential lovers time travels the other at least five decades into the imagined future.  Now that’s the kind of genius I find impressive.  And so will you.

Kissin and team create a sense of intimacy by sprinkling the dialogue with newsworthy references, double-entendres and sight gags.  Two simple table-like pieces of furniture neatly fit together or separate to parallel the action.  Unlike many flawed musicals, the singing and dancing never stops the flow of the narrative; it advances the action at every stage.

Ms. Rapier and Mr. Laverdiere make this show happen with every unflagging word, step, and facial expression.  We believe they are who they believe they are even when they’re not sure who they are or what they want.

The residents of LongBranch and surrounding towns are lucky to have this theater, located at 179 Broadway,  as much a discovery for those who don’t know it as this play.

As to Date of a Lifetime, we hope that OTHER Broadway is taking note. 

DATE OF A LIFE TIME Book and Lyrics by Carl Kissin, Music by Robert Baumgartner, Jr., Directed and Choreographed by Marlo Hunter

Cast: Jamie LaVerdiere and Trisha Rapier

Set Design by Jessica Parks, Lighting Design by Jill Nagle, Music Direction by Daniel Rein, Sound Design by Merek Royce Press, Costume Design by Patricia E. Doherty, Properties by Jessica Parks, Casting by Stephanie Klapper, Technical Director, Michael “Rusty” Carroll, Stage Manager, Jennifer Tardibuono.

Performances through April 6: Thursdays, Fridays at 8pm; Saturdays at 3pm & 8pm; Sundays at 2pm and selected Sundays also at 7pm.   For tickets, contact the New Jersey Repertory Theatre or call (732) 229-3166.  Produced in Association with Hat on a Hat LLC,