“Date of a Lifetime” began as a 3-minute monologue that I wrote and performed in the Manhattan Monologue Slam. 

When I created it, I wanted to capture a feeling we often have when we first meet someone we’re attracted to – “what would it be like if I spent my entire life with this person?”  Would there be endless love and passion?  Would there be endless fighting and disappointment?  Or would the relationship be something that encompassed both extremes and all the minutiae that is the day to day living of a life?

Initially, because it was a monologue, “Date of a Lifetime” was by definition a solo piece.  I never intended to expand it.   As fond as I was of the theme, I thought I was done with it except for adding it to my collection of monologues.

That changed in 2010, when Katrina Ylimaki and Patrick Wickham asked me to write the book for an original 15-minute musical for the West Village Musical Theater Festival.  When considering material, I thought “Date of a Lifetime” would make a good candidate.  I liked the fact that is went through most of a couple’s life in a brief time and hit all the critical junctures. 

The WVMTF (West Village Musical Theater Festival) paired me with composer Robert Baumgartner Jr.  We had never met before.  Robert was shockingly easy to work with.  He likes me to write lyrics first and then sets amazing music to what I’ve written. As the Staples ad says “That was easy.”

The original production starred Kilty Reidy as Marvin, Kathryn Lumpkin as Katie, and was directed by Laura Brandel.  The show won honorable mention at the West Village Musical Theater Festival for score, book, lyrics, and best overall musical. 

Shortly after the festival, we received a call from Davenport Theatrical.  They asked if DOAL was a full-length musical.  No.  Then they asked if we could expand it to a full-length musical for Davenport’s upcoming reading series.  Yes.

Farah Alvin and David Josefsberg in Date of a Lifetime at the Davenport Reading Series.

See the monologue that began it all!

Rob and I expanded the show to more than an hour in length.  We did two performances for Davenport reading night, receiving extremely positive feedback from our audiences.  In this production, Marvin was played by David Josefsberg, Katie was played by Farah Alvin, and Jeremy Dobrish (the coolest person on the planet) directed.

Shortly thereafter, we sent the show to NYMF, the New York Musical Festival.  They selected it as one of this year’s “Next Link” musicals.   Rob and I, in spite of the fact that we had submitted “Date of a Lifetime” to the festival for the very purpose of taking the show further, panicked.  Should we say yes?  Doing so would mean trying to take the script to the next level.  Couldn’t we just sell the rights to the Nederlanders and let them take it from there?  Then we remembered the actor/writer/improviser credo, “yes.”  And here we are!

Jeremy Dobrish is still the director, Farah Alvin -- in my opinion, the funniest female in musical theater -- is still Katie, and Jamie LaVerdiere (his last name in Italian means, “my voice is so beautiful it will blow your mind) is now in the role of Marvin.

Thanks for your interest in our show!

Sincerely,

Carl Kissin

“and yes I said yes I will Yes.” – Molly Bloom’s soliloquy in James Joyce’s “Ulysses.