CHICAGO DATING EXPERT, STEF SAFRAN, WILL HOST “LOVE IQ: MODERN-DAY MATCHMAKING” Q & A AT FIRST DATE AT THE ROYAL GEORGE CABARET ON THURSDAY, APRIL 16

Stef SafranMatchmaking  and dating expert Stef Safran will host a “Love IQ: Modern-Day Matchmaking” Q&A following the performance of the smash hit musical FIRST DATE at the Royal George Cabaret, 1641 North Halsted, on Thursday April 16. The performance begins at 7:30 p.m. with “Love IQ: Modern-Day Matchmaking” immediately following. Safran will offer advice on how to find meaningful, lasting love in the midst of busy schedules and dating apps. The event will be presented in conjunction with the “Love IQ” series in which cast member John Keating and a local Chicago celebrity test the audience’s romantic intelligence.

Stef Safran has over 12 years of experience in the matchmaking business and is known as “Chicago’s Introductionista.” As the owner of Stef and the City, she provides dating coaching, personalized social calendars, online profile help and matchmaking services. Safran started out as a Contestant Coordinator on the TV show “The Dating Game.” She has appeared on ABC7, NBC5, CBS2, WGN, FOX, Windy City Live, You and Me This Morning, Huffington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Chicago Sun-Times,Time Out Chicago and more.

Heralded as “Exuberantly performed, expertly played. Comic perfection!” (Chicago Sun-Times), FIRST DATE is “A frothy little musical. Broad Appeal. Exceptionally classy production!” (Chicago Tribune), “Immensely likeable. Clever and fun!” (Chicagoist.com), “A solid and contemporary musical. Stellar!” (Christopher Kidder) and “An extremely charming cast!” (Time Out Chicago). The Northwest Indiana Times said “Secure tickets ASAP lest you face the heartbreak of sold out performances!” and Chicago Readerhailed FIRST DATE as “An entertaining, emotionally satisfying show. A strong, well-paced production!”

When blind date newbie Aaron (Charlie Lubeck, The Glee Project, Season 2) is set up with serial-dater Casey (Dana Parker), 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 that they are not alone on 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 them through ice-breakers, appetizers and potential conversation land mines. Can this couple turn what could be a dating disaster into something special before the check arrives?

FIRST DATE full cast horizontalFIRST DATE features a book by Austin Winsberg (“Gossip Girl”) and Music and Lyrics by Alan Zachary and Michael Weiner (Secondhand Lions, Twice Charmed). The musical comedy is produced by Jeanne McInerney and First Date, LLC, and will be directed by J.R. Rose, with musical direction by Elizabeth Doran and choreography by Becky DeDecker. At a rapid-fire 90 minutes, FIRST DATE features a stellar ensemble cast.

The talented ensemble includes Cassie Slater, Anne Litchfield Calderón, Shea Coffman, Adam Fane, and John Keating.  General management is by Chicago Commercial Collective, scenic design is by Thad Hallstein, costume design by Raquel Adorno, lighting design by Brandon Lewis, sound design by Dave Huizenga, props by Lisa Griebel, and stage management by Julia Zayas-Melendez.  Belina Mizrahi serves as the production manager and Julie Ann Robinson, the associate director.

The performance schedule is as follows: Thursday at 7:30pm, Friday at 7:00 and 9:30pm, Saturday at 5:00 and 8:00pm and Sunday at 3pm. Tickets range from $15 to $59. Visit firstdatechi.com for tickets and more information.