First Date – The Musical

First Date pic logo

Following the success of their recent production of tick, tick…BOOM!, Pursued by Bear are thrilled to be bringing the hilarious Broadway musical First Date to Melbourne this September for its professional Australian premiere. This Australian premiere of First Date will not only take place in Melbourne, the show will also be set in Melbourne, rather than the original New York.

This is a show for anyone who has ever experienced the awkwardness, the undeniable thrill and the absolute trauma of a first date.

When dating rookie Aaron is set up with serial-dater Casey, a casual drink at a busy Fitzroy 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 Aarons 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, tapas and potential conversational land mines.

Can this couple turn what could be a dating disaster into something special before the bill arrives?

Pursued by Bear have assembled an incredible cast to bring this story to life led by Rebecca Hetherington (Heathers) and Jordon Mahar (Einstein: Master of the Universe).

Rebecca Hetherington Headshot Jordon Mahar Headshot


Rounding out the cast are Nicole Melloy (Jersey Boys), Danielle O’Malley (South Pacific), Caleb Jago Ward (The Ten Tenors), Stephen Valeri (Peppa Pig Live!) and Daniel Cosgrove (Dogfight).


Directed by Mark Taylor (John and Jen), First Date plays at Chapel Off Chapel from 2 – 11 September for nine shows only.

For more information



About the Cast:

Rebecca Hetherington – CaseyRebecca Hetherington Headshot

Rebecca Hetherington started her career at a young age playing Tessie in GFO’s Annie, Dinah in TPC’s High Society and in Opera Australia’s La Boheme. Prior to graduating from WAAPA (2014) she performed as Dionne in Hair, Rosalia in Westside Story and Mary Flynn in Merrily We Roll Along. Earlier this year, she toured to Brisbane as an ensemble member in the Australian premiere of Heathers The Musical and is currently touring Sydney playing the role of Heather McNamara. In April, she thoroughly enjoyed performing as an ensemble member and swing for Pursued By Bear’s production of TICK, TICK, BOOM! and is thrilled to now be a part of First Date and can’t wait to get started.


 Jordon Mahar – Jordon Mahar HeadshotAaron

Originally from Wollongong, Jordon Mahar is a proud Graduate of the Victorian College of the Arts holding a Bachelor of Fine Arts – Music Theatre. Mahar has worked with SMA Productions in Night of Nights, Brigade Aid and Opera In The Paddock. His VCA credits include McQueen in Urinetown, Unemployment Man in L’il Abner, Burrs in Andrew Lippa’s The Wild Party (Showbites Project) and most recently Julian Marsh in 42nd Street. Mahar is also a writer and performer in the musical play Among Us, as part of Mongrel/2015. He was a selected soloist in Grateful – a concert celebrating the music of John Bucchino. Mahar was also in Matthew Lee Robinson’s New Voices 2016. He is currently working on the world premiere of the new Australian Musical, Einstein: The Master of the Universe, playing the role of Neils Bohr.

Nicole Melloy – Woman 1

Most recently Nicole Melloy appeared in the role of Austin in Sister Cities (Q44 Theatre Company) and was a featured vocalist in the Disney Under the Stars concert tour. She also recently played thNicole Melloy Headshote lead role of Sam in the world premier of Sexercise The Musical at the Alex Theatre. Melloy has also appeared as Alice B Toklas in Loving Repeating, as Ellie May in TPC’s Showboat, Magenta in the international tour of The Rocky Horror Show and played the title role in Q44 Theatre Company’s inaugural season of the play Dolores. Other credits include Legally Blonde (GFO), Die Fledarmous (Opera Australia), Dame Edna’s Back with a Vengeance, Monty Python’s Spamalot (Louise Withers and Associates) as understudy to the Lady of the Lake, Jersey Boys (Newtheatricals) and with The Production Company, 42nd Street, Thoroughly Modern Millie, Little Me, Damn Yankees, Anything Goes and The Producers. She also co-founded Crazy Chair Productions and co-produced the play Spike Heels at Chapel Off Chapel. Screen credits include Natalie Schuman in Winners and Losers and the role of Bridget in the Australian film Rue.


Danielle O’MallDanielle OMalley Headshotey – Woman 2

Danielle O’Malley graduated from Lasalle College of the Arts with a Bachelor of Arts (Honours) in Musical Theatre. Since graduating, professional theatre credits include two national tours of South Pacific (Connie Walewksi) with Opera Australia/GFO, Cabaret (Rosie) at the Singapore Esplanade Theatre, Wind In The Willows and The Reluctant Dragon with Singapore Lyric Opera, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change (Woman 1) and the role of Julie in the new Australian musical The Essence of Passion. O’Malley has performed in several cabarets including Regards to Broadway, Cabaret Slam at Chapel off Chapel and Desperate and Dateless with Ginger and Tonic at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. Most recently she wrote and performed her solo show You’re My World – The Story of Cilla Black. Film credits include The Carrot Cake Conversations (The Cannes Film Festival), How It Ends (Milan Film Festival), One In A Million (Tropfest finalist) and Give Me A Sign (Melbourne International Film Festival winner).


Caleb Jago Ward – Man 1 

Caleb Jago Ward HeadshotCaleb Jago Ward is currently touring his homeland of New Zealand with The Ten Tenors, singing to sold out audiences in their latest smash The Power of Ten. He was most recently seen on screens across Australia and New Zealand in the Top 8 for Season 4 of The Voice, under the mentorship of Delta Goodrem. Other TV moments include headlining Coca Cola Christmas in the Park, The Today Show, Mornings on Nine and WB Kids! As well as performing in productions across NZ including The Hairspray Tour, Little Shop of Horrors and original NZ musical 1931, he has toured Australia and Asia extensively with children’s hit musical Peppa Pig Treasure Hunt. Last year he performed in support of Out From Under, a mental health seminar cross concert and also helped raise $1.4 million for the NSW St.Vincent Bone Marrow Transplant Ward with Delta Goodrem. Excited to be back, he was last seen on stage with Pursued by Bear in High Fidelity. 


Daniel Cosgrove – Man 2

Daniel Cosgrove HeadshotOriginally from Hobart, Daniel Cosgrove is a 2015 graduate of The Victorian College of the Arts (Music Theatre). Daniel most recently appeared in Doorstep Arts Dogfight as Stevens. During his time at the VCA, he performed the roles of Caldwell Cladwell in Urinetown, Burrs in LaChiusas The Wild Party (Showbites Project), Hairless Joe in L’il Abner, Tom in a workshop version of James Millar and Peter Rutherfords A Little Touch of Chaos and Bert Barry in 42nd Street. He was a selected soloist for masterclasses with both John Bucchino and Adam Guettel, and also appeared in and co-created the group-devised theatre piece, Among Us. He appeared as a backup vocalist with Broadway Unplugged and also a soloist in Grateful. Cosgrove is soon to appear as Michele Besso in the premiere of the new Australian musical Einstein: The Master of the Universe. He is incredibly excited to be involved with First Date by Pursued By Bear.



Stephen Valeri – Man 3

Stephen Valeri HeadshotStephen Valeri holds a Bachelor of Performing Arts from Monash University and is a graduate of full time musical theatre course, Showfit. His theatrical credits include Bottom in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and roles in Floyd Collins, The Silver Donkey and Children of Eden. At the end of 2014, Stephen joined the cast of the highly successful Australian production Peppa Pig Live! Treasure Hunt (LifeLike Touring). He continued his work with the show over the next 18 months, travelling to the Philippines, Singapore and Hong Kong, as well as a second Australian tour for Peppa Pig Live! Big Splash in 2015. In recent years, Valeri has focused his work in the field of cabaret and comedy. His debut show Fat Boy Slimm…er played to glowing reviews and was performed as part of the 2014 Melbourne Fringe Festival. His newest offering Valerious debuted at Adelaide Fringe in March and is scheduled for a Melbourne season later in 2016. Further to his performance credits, Valeri is a sought-after acting and singing coach to some of the leading performing arts schools in Melbourne.