New York | 1h 30m | Already closed

First Love

From 12 critic and 50 member reviews
Members say: Slow, Disappointing, Quirky, Great acting, Romantic

About the show

Through the eyes of celebrated playwright Charles L. Mee, a couple in their sixties meet and fall in love - for the first time in their lives.  More…

'First Love' embraces Edith and Harold as they work their way toward one another through the accumulated baggage of their lives, wondering if they can avoid sabotaging the last chance for love they'll ever have.

Theatre is Easy

"An exquisitely constructed, deeply moving tale…There's a profound kindness, along with an effortless sort of whimsy stemming from a thorough understanding of humanity…In his uniquely poetic language and fascinating imagery, Charles Mee presents an exquisite love story that is mesmerizing, and above all painfully honest…A story that will make you laugh out loud and weep tears of understanding." Full Review

Theater Pizzazz

“Short but bittersweet…‘First Love’ manages to expertly catch that intangible quality that changes everyday companionship into heart-stopping true love…O’Keefe is so believable in his role as the stubborn but insecure Harold that it’s easy to forget this is not real life…It would be impossible to watch this 90-minute snapshot of life and not feel some kind of jolt in your own memory. The pain and joy of Edith and Harold’s experience is relatable, absorbing, and often quite funny.” Full Review


“Is there anything more charming than watching two older people falling in love? Well, perhaps. Like when the romance ‘the world of Magritte.’ Add the delightful performances of Michael O'Keefe and Angelina Fiordellisi, as a pair of old-school leftists bonding over common pasts...and you have a sweet, funny, and quirky way to pass a bit of time…By no means the deepest play you'll ever encounter, but it's a sweet little abstract delight.” Full Review

Diandra Reviews it All

"O’ Keefe gives Harold a quiet fragility that shows insecurities cut your charm. Harold seems destined for the lovely Edith, of which Fiordellisi gives her a feisty, comical nature. They are a ying and yang pair that Mee’s writing and Kim Weild’s direction artfully displays. There is a lot to love about the characters’ dynamic/ actors’ chemistry like, the political jabs, the quick-witted verbosity, or the tender fear they carry at knowing love for the FIRST time when they are elders." Full Review

Theatre Reviews Limited

“Fiordellisi and O’Keefe are wonderful together and give their respective characters a depth and authenticity that often rises above what they are given in Mee’s script...Weild directs with the necessary allegro tempo and gives the actors plenty of room to find levels of performance and nuance of character...See 'First Love' for what it is: a satisfying look into the eyes and minds of a couple trying to figure out what it means to be in love." Full Review


“Will elicit from theatergoers either a smile or a shrug. But, like it or not, it's an intriguing 180-degree turn from the conventional romantic comedy...Mee's romance tackles the issue of age-ism head on, and resonates with the post-Woodstock zeitgeist...There's no linear narrative...For those who need something to hold onto in a play, this romantic romp may prove exasperating at times...That said, this well staged and performed revival gives 'First Love' an exhilarating second life." Full Review


“‘First Love’ is a tricky play. Negatively received on its first NY go-round nearly 17 years ago, it's unapologetically idiosyncratic. Edith and Harold spontaneously burst into song...Weild is completely in tune with Mee's collage-like style, and has guided her designers the same way...Not for everyone, but Fiordellisi and O'Keefe make for a thoroughly charming pair as these two unlikely lovers. Neither one hit a single false note, even as Mee's writing becomes overly florid.” Full Review

Front Row Center

"It’s a very talky play. And here’s the hitch: They are explicating the wonders of love, of first-love, of just-in-time-love, of the-rest-of-our-lives love and you certainly hear it, but, you don’t ever feel it...Fiordellisi’s Edith is on-again-off-again radiant...If you see a lot of theater and you want to see something odd and edgy, this might do it for you. If you want a taste of downtown theater with a whiff of the bizarre, consider it...It is interesting but not satisfying." Full Review


“Depending on one’s taste it could either be enchanting or 75-minutes of strained whimsy...A nostalgic ode to Mee’s early years as the two main characters are old-time New York City Leftists...The dialogue is heightened, poetic and with Beckettian reveries. Though the play is not very compelling, its good-natured spirit sustains it...Crisp direction has the action flowing smoothly...A minor though charming work and it is an opportunity to experience Charles Mee’s sensibility." Full Review

Lighting & Sound America

“A series of fey vaudeville routines, mildly Beckettian in nature and packed with aphorisms about life and love that could have been lifted from fortune cookies...O'Keefe and Fiordellisi are nimble and game performers, willing and able to contort themselves into whatever attitude Mee dreams up, but the net effect is of watching balls rolling in separate tracks, following their prearranged paths, never meeting in any significant way...To me, this is first love without rapture, transport, or wit.” Full Review

Motherhood Later

“This show left me speechless….and not in a good way. It was honestly a painful theatrical experience, despite the valiant acting efforts of the two seasoned leads...Given the acting chops and credentials of both, this production felt like each deserved better. The likeable Taylor Harvey also stars…playing a quirky, fantastical supporting role...Some theatregoers might appreciate the whimsical sensibility of playwright Charles Mee, but I’d venture to say he is an acquired taste.” Full Review

The Observer

“Mercifully, it’s over in 85 minutes...Aside from the consummate stupidity of words dumped into a word processor by the author for no other reason than to see his own voice land in total silence, and the stillborn direction there’s nothing much to acknowledge here...It’s embarrassing to watch two distinguished artists playing meatheads beyond their prime...It’s even worse to see them trapped in a ludicrous waste of time and talent by a writer of such ineptitude." Full Review

Clever, Delightful, Great acting

See it if .

Don't see it if .

Sweet, Heart-warming, Mature, Charming, Refreshing

See it if I loved this show increasingly as it unfolded and recommend it to anyone over 40 who yearns for something mature.

Don't see it if If you need snap, crackle and pop, so to speak, to make your experience worthwhile. I don't recommend this to those under 30.

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Great staging, Romantic

See it if you enjoy seeing two wonderful older actors falling in love (on stage) and in a very entertaining manner. Nice staging.

Don't see it if you don't believe in romance. I think this show appeals more to women but men can appreciate the witty dialogue and staging.

Clever, Entertaining, Great acting, Funny, Intelligent

See it if You love good acting and beautiful writing and poetic references and like a quirky love story. Michael O'Keefe is phenomenal

Don't see it if If you need big shows to peak and keep your interest.

Absorbing, Relevant, Romantic

See it if You like a different love story; quirky. I liked it, but the end was disappointing.

Don't see it if You like a more traditional play.

Great acting, Delightful, Confusing, Quirky

See it if The acting is great, especially Angelina. Heartwarming to see an older couple in romance.

Don't see it if The play is disjointed with its mystical overtones, extra character and some confusing actions and reactions.

Quirky, Cool set, Thought-provoking, Daring, Low key

See it if You are in the mood for a thoughtful, low key theatre escape. You like relationship analysis.

Don't see it if Desire dynamic production values -- though the Magritte inspired set is lovely.

Also The two lead performances are quite fine -- though I found it hard to ... Read more Read less

Enchanting, Great acting, Romantic

See it if A very unusual love story inspired by the paintings of Magritte. I enjoyed the relationship of the two main characters.

Don't see it if Lots of dialogue, can get slow, directed towards Boomers. The young lady representing Magritte seemed unnecessary. Why was she there?

Slow, Romantic, Quirky, Ambitious, Well acted & staged

See it if An elegiac ode to senior love Mee's in a minor key with his collage shaped tragi-comedy Weild's deft direction & heartfelt leads ground it

Don't see it if Not for those annoyed by non-linear form - a Mee specialty Meanders from political to karaoke; the literary to senior sex, wistful to banal

Entertaining, Great acting, Quirky, Romantic, Slow

See it if You want to ponder the complexity of love at any age, told in an impressionistic style as only Mee can do

Don't see it if You want traditional or avant garde theater , this is in the middle

Funny, Slow, Thought-provoking, Indulgent, Disappointing

See it if you follow playwright Charles Mee, enjoy surreal setting & absurd dialogue charting course of a relationship seeing senior citizens in love

Don't see it if not open to depictions of senior citizens in love, prefer realistic, linear plot lines, don't enjoy 2-handers or satire

Funny, Refreshing, Resonant, Romantic

See it if If you want a one act, one hour play. Smart, economical set.

Don't see it if If a love story isn't your thing. If you want a musical instead.

Romantic, Sexy, Mature, Scattershot, Arbitrary

See it if you'd like to see a woman & a man of retirement age treated as loving, sexual human beings.

Don't see it if you have an aversion to seeing older bodies in sexual situations.

Also Good to see Charles Mee deal onstage with love & sex among the senior ... Read more Read less

Funny, Bizarre, Romantic, Ridiculous

See it if you enjoy Charles Mee and his usual setup of plays

Don't see it if you have a hard time following plots that are not decisively linear, or are weirded out by seeing older people have sex on stage!

Entertaining, Relevant, Quirky, Romantic, Slow

See it if You can appreciate love in one's 60's, the coming together of two people who have lived full lives. Focus on interpersonal relationship.

Don't see it if you do not like a rather sweet play about older love.

Romantic, Ambitious, Thought-provoking, Resonant, Fluffy

See it if You like theatre that non-linear in structure highly theatrical

Don't see it if If you want a more traditional story.

Disappointing, Great singing, Thought-provoking

See it if You read the reviews here and people who sound like you indicate a reason to go.

Don't see it if You read the reviews here and people who sound like you give you reason to believe it's not the play for you.

Also Not quite as bad as I'd expected based on reviews here. Bought ticket ... Read more Read less

Quirky, Thought-provoking

See it if Interested in the difficult process of accepting your mate

Don't see it if If you have high theatrical expectations. This is more like declamation of dialogs.

Disappointing, Romantic, Great acting, Slow

See it if Linear dramas about relationships

Don't see it if Serious dramas with a touch of comedy

Great staging, Quirky, Intelligent, Slow

See it if Like Two Character plays about the philosophy of love. Can be very preachy...Good Staging.

Don't see it if You get bored when you get enough action on stage.

Disappointing, Indulgent, Quirky, Great staging

See it if you like Charles L. Mee.

Don't see it if you want straight-forward theater with a straight-forward plot.

Also Not as bad as reviews would have you believe, but definitely an acquir... Read more Read less

Slow, Indulgent, Quirky, very quirky

See it if Fan of Mee's style of storytelling. It's odd, abstract, some light/dark truths-this time about 60+ yo's falling in love. Not for all.

Don't see it if Want representational, linear theater on realistic set w non-magical characters. Has its moments & actors are OK, but you'll soon tire of it

Ambitious, Disappointing, Slow, Resonant

See it if You are of a certain age and like to reminisce. The third character is interesting and has beautiful, creative costumes. Excellent acting.

Don't see it if You are looking for a story with a complicated plot and many twists.

Entertaining, Funny, Slow moving, Confusing

See it if If you like shows about folks in their 60s in relationships. If you like shows With small casts

Don't see it if You don’t like shows with sexual innuendos You don’t like slow moving shows.

Disappointing, Confusing, Indulgent, Quirky

See it if like to see accomplished actors do their best to make sense of muddled material.

Don't see it if you are expecting a great romantic play

Cast & Creatives (10)