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FIRST DATE, Starring Marc Ginsburg and Erica Lustig, Opens at La Mirada Tonight

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La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts and McCoy Rigby Entertainment present the first show of their 2015-2016 season, FIRST DATE, music & lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner, book by Austin Winsberg, musical direction by Brent Crayon, choreography by Lee Martino and directed by Nick DeGruccio. FIRST DATE will preview on Friday, September 18, 2015 (with a press opening tonight, September 19) and run through Sunday, October 11, 2015 at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, 14900 La Mirada Blvd in La Mirada.

When blind date newbie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy New York restaurant turns into a hilarious high-stakes dinner. As the date unfolds in real time, the couple quickly finds they are not alone in this unpredictable evening. In a delightful and unexpected twist, Casey and Aaron's inner critics take on a life of their own when other restaurant patrons transform into supportive best friends, manipulative exes and protective parents who sing and dance the pair through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversational land mines. Can this couple turn what could be a dating disaster into something special before the check arrives?

ABOUT THE CREATIVE TEAM AND CAST:

NICK DeGRUCCIO (Director) is a multi-award winning director, coach and teacher. Recently he directed the LA Regional Premiere of Next To Normal at La Mirada Theatre (Eight 2013 Ovation Nominations including Direction) and at San Diego Music Theatre, Truman Capote'sA Christmas Memory for The Laguna Playhouse and the world premiere of The End Of It at the Matrix Theatre. His productions include:The Laramie Project (Laguna Playhouse and Colony Theatre: LA premiere, Ovation Awards for Best Play, Best Direction, Best Ensemble),Jekyll & Hyde (Cabrillo Music Theatre: Ovation Award for Direction, nine Ovation Nominations) and 1776 (Musical Theatre West and Performance Riverside: five LA Ovation Awards including Direction and Best Musical), Putting It Together, A Year With Frog and Toad(South Coast Repertory) Cinderella (The Ordway), My Way for La Mirada, Man of La Mancha, RENT, West Coast Premiere of The Andrews Brothers (Musical Theatre West), Guys and Dolls and The Andrews Brothers (Cabrillo Music Theatre) and the World Premiere of Caught(Zephyr Theatre). As the Artistic Director and Founder of Havok Theatre Company he directed the LA Premieres of Dog Sees God, Kiss of the Spider Woman (LA Ovation Award for Production), Thrill Me and The Story Of My Life. LA Premieres: Side Show (eight Ovation Nominations including Direction and was voted One of the Top 10 Plays of 2002 by The Los Angeles Times), The Spitfire Grill (Laguna Playhouse: OC Weekly Award Best Musical), Zanna, Don't! (West Coast Ensemble: LADCC Award for Direction), Bad Apples (Rubicon Theatre: World Premiere Play), A Man Of No Importance and Andrew Lippa's The Wild Party (Musical Theatre Guild), Basic Training (2nd Stage: NAACP Nomination for Direction). Ovation nominated productions: Side By Side By Sondheim (The Rubicon Theatre and Pasadena Playhouse), Guys and Dolls and La Cage Aux Folles (Musical Theatre West), The Last Five Years and I Do! I Do! (Pasadena Playhouse), The Full Monty (San Diego Music Theatre), Beehive (El Portal Theatre), I Left My Heart, Altar Boyz and The Andrews Brothers(Welk Theatre) and City of Angels (Ovation Award for Production), The Fantasticks (Performance Riverside). Nick is an alumnus of the Lincoln Center Theatre Director's Lab West.

LEE MARTINO (Choreographer) is thrilled to be back at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts & McCoy Rigby Entertainment where she most recently choreographed Carrie (La Mirada Theatre), soon playing at the Los Angeles Theatre. Also: When You Wish, the story of Walt Disney (Freud Theatre), American Misfits (Boston Court), Life Without Makeup, starring Rita Moreno (Berkeley Repertory Theatre),Kiss Me Kate (Reprise Theatre Company, where she was the resident choreographer), Falling for Eve (The York Theatre Company in Manhattan), Oklahoma (Musical Theatre West), Nuttin But Hutton (NoHo Arts Center), Hello My Baby (Rubicon Theatre Company), directing Les Girls, a benefit starring some of the industry's biggest stars, direction and choreography for A Night At Sardi's, (Alzheimer's Benefit) direction and choreography for Ross Golan's The Wrong Man at the Skylight Theatre Company, the NBC specialShall We Dance on Ice, featuring Broadway dancers and Olympic Ice Dance teams; animated feature films Alpha and Omega 3D and The King and I. Live events and shows include work for Harley-Davidson; Universal Studios' New York Rascal Show; Disney's Santa Clause 3Stage Show at the El Capitan Theatre; Disney International's Latin American Stage Tour A Dream Is A Wish; the opening of TUTS, Hobby Performing Arts Center honoring Jerry Herman; the Opening of Ford Field, the Detroit Lions football stadium, starring Gladys Knight; the opening of the Spa Resort Casino in Palm Springs; Actor's Fund Benefits; and What a Pair (benefit for the John Wayne Cancer Institute). Lee has won four Los Angeles Ovation Awards, three Los Angeles Drama Critics Awards and is the recipient of the Joel Hirschhorn Award for outstanding achievement in musical theatre.

BRENT CRAYON (Musical Director/Conductor) has had the privilege of working with such notable artists as Stephen Schwartz, Daisy Prince, John Caird, Paul Gordon, Scott Schwartz, John Bucchino, and Richard Maltby, Jr..Favorite theatrical productions include the West Coast premieres of Songs For a New World and Tick, Tick...BOOM! and the world premiere productions of Stephen Schwartz'sSnapshots, John Bucchino's It's Only Life, and Bubble Boy, The Musical (Music Director/Orchestrator). Brent recently conducted Les Miserables in Anchorage, Alaska. An accomplished and multi-faceted musician, Brent has been a featured soloist in ensembles throughout Southern California, including Santa Monica Symphony Orchestra, the Long Beach Symphony Orchestra, and the Ventura Chamber Orchestra.

The cast for FIRST DATE features: Marc Ginsburg as Aaron, Erica Lustig as Casey and a supporting cast which includes Stacey Oristano, Kelley Dorney, Justin Michael Wilcox, Leigh Wakeford and Scott Dreier.

The design team for FIRST DATE is as follows: Set Design by Stephen Gifford; Lighting Design by Steven Young; Sound Design by Josh Bessom; Costume Design by Thomas G. Marquez; Hair/Make-Up/Wig Design by Katie McCoy; and Props Design by Terry Hanrahan. Casting is by Julia Flores, and the Production Stage Manager is Jill Gold.

FIRST DATE will preview on Friday, September 18, 2015 (with a press opening on Saturday, September 19) and run through Sunday, October 11, 2015. Performances will be 7:30pm on Wednesdays & Thursdays; 8pm on Fridays; 2pm and 8pm on Saturdays; and 2pm on Sundays. There will be no matinee performance on Saturday, September 19. Talkbacks with the cast and creative team will be on Wednesday, September 23 and Wednesday, October 7. Tickets range from $20 - $70 and can be purchased at La Mirada Theatre's website, www.lamiradatheatre.com or by calling the La Mirada Theatre Box Office at (562) 944-9801 or (714) 994-6310. Student, Senior and group discounts are available. LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS is located at 14900 La Mirada Boulevard in La Mirada, near the intersection of Rosecrans Avenue where the 91 and 5 freeways meet. Parking is free.

Winner of the L.A. Stage Alliance OVATION AWARD for 2012-2013 "Best Season of the Year," LA MIRADA THEATRE FOR THE PERFORMING ARTS, now in its fourth decade, has been hailed by the Los Angeles Times as "one of the best Broadway-style houses in Southern California." This beautiful state-of-the-art theatre has been producing quality productions for its Southern California audiences since 1977. The theatre has produced several national tours and is the recipient of many accolades including Ovation and Emmy Awards and Tony Award nominations. Brian Kite is the theatre's Producing Artistic Director.

Celebrating its 21st Anniversary season at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts, McCOY RIGBY ENTERTAINMENT (MRE), is one of the world's premier theatrical production companies. Headed by Executive Producers Tom McCoy and Cathy Rigby, MRE has produced over one hundred musicals, plays, and concerts featuring some of the biggest stars in the industry today.

In addition, MRE has launched several Emmy Award-winning and Tony Award-nominated Broadway, international, and national touring productions including: Peter Pan, Seussical the Musical, and Annie Get Your Gun, all starring Cathy Rigby; Frank Wildhorn's Jekyll and Hyde starring American Idol contender and Tony Award nominee Constantine Maroulis along with Grammy Award nominee and R&B superstar Deborah Cox; Jesus Christ Superstar starring Carl Anderson and Sebastian Bach; Camelot starring Michael York and Lou Diamond Phillips and Happy Days written by Gary Marshall and Paul Williams. Peter Pan starring Cathy Rigby has made four stops on Broadway and received four Tony Award nominations including Best Revival of a Musical and Best Actress in a Musical. The A&E TV network premiere of "Peter Pan," starring Cathy Rigby, received one Emmy Award and four Emmy Award nominations. MRE's other credits include numerous award-winning documentaries and stadium events.

MRE's unique 2015-2016 season promises to be captivating and entertaining. To open the season, First Date, Rent, and the World-Premiere of Empire will run at La Mirada Theatre for the Performing Arts. The musical version of the Academy Award-winning movie, Dreamgirls, will then hit the stage and take off on an international tour to Japan. The upcoming multi-city engagement of Disney's The Little Mermaid will sit down at the La Mirada Theatre after an almost full-year run to close the season. Sprinkled between shows, there will be performances by the one-and-only Leann Rimes, Dancing with the Stars, and the Peking Acrobats.

McCoy Rigby Entertainment is also thrilled to be involved with the production of Carrie: The Musical at The Los Angeles Theatre in Downtown L.A.


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