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The Short Version: When dinner dates start to grow stale, some couples may want to mix up their routines with a showstopping date at their local theater company. The New Repertory Theatre (New Rep) in Boston can offer year-round excitement and romance thanks to its seasonal stage performances. For the last 35 years, the arts community has rallied around this institution and made it one of the premier spots for entertainment in town. New Rep sets the stage for romance and can be a great first act to a memorable date night with a loved one.
I was 12 when a boy asked me on a date for the first time, and my parents weren’t exactly pleased by the news. They immediately set down a series of conditions and told me I had to have a chaperone on my date. As luck would have it, my mom had three tickets to a play that weekend, so she suggested inviting my would-be boyfriend along for dinner and a show.
As far as first dates go, it wasn’t actually that awkward. Between introducing my date to my mom and talking about the play, we never ran out of things to say, and we even got to have a private stroll during intermission while my mom pretended she wanted concessions. I’ve been a big fan of theater dates ever since.
Couples enjoy a unique shared experience at a play, and it can be an excellent conversation starter whether you’re on your first date or celebrating your 50th anniversary.
Over the last 35 years, the New Repertory Theatre has become a go-to date destination for many couples seeking drama, romance, humor, and fun in their evenings. This Boston theater company offers a delightful range of shows from Shakespeare tragedies to upbeat musicals.
New Rep’s 2019-2020 season can give couples a reason to go out and savor something new month after month, and it can lead to engaging discussions about the important role the arts community plays in everyday life.
“Many of our subscribers are couples who routinely come to the theater and our post-show discussions together,” said Jaclyn Dentino, the Communications Director at New Rep. “The theater will make audiences think and reflect. They’ll either like it or they won’t, and the reasons behind their opinions can make for good conversation and help you get to know someone better.”
The New Repertory Theatre can be an electrifying place to take a date. Before the play, the audience is abuzz with anticipation as groups enjoy quiet conversations and share wine, beer, and snacks at the concessions stand. Then the lights flicker a 10-minute warning, and people hurry to take their seats and prepare for the show. As the curtain rises and the lights go down, you’ll see more than one couple holding hands or putting their arms around each other.
The 2019-2020 season has a little something for everyone to enjoy. Couples with children can have a few laughs at the family-friendly play “Oliver!” in November. Jazz lovers can get into a sultry mood by attending “Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar and Grill“, a biographical play about Billie Holiday.
Looking for a cultural experience? Then you can check out “Trayf“, a Jewish comedy about identity and assimilation in contemporary society.
If couples want to support the theater, they can get tickets for First Act, a Halloween-themed fundraiser featuring a cabaret-style performance of New Rep’s most popular shows by some of its most beloved actors. Plus, at the end of the night, New Rep will raffle a trip to Costa Rica and tickets to see Hamilton on Broadway.
The box office allows people to buy tickets to a single performance or a subscription to a season of shows. Ticket prices vary based on when the performance is and where you want to sit.
New Rep aims to make its shows accessible to everyone and therefore offers an array of discounts and deals. Students can get tickets for as little as $15, while young adults (ages 18 to 35) are eligible for $35 tickets with a valid ID. There are also discounts for senior citizens and military personnel.
Patrons can reach out to the New Repertory Theatre team to learn more about the upcoming performances and pricing options available. Jaclyn said she’s always happy to assist current and potential patrons via email, so feel free to send a quick message to [email protected] if you have questions or feedback to pass along.
After seeing “Nixon’s Nixon” at New Rep, one patron said, “My husband and I have been subscribers to New Rep for over a decade. Most shows are great, and only on rare occasions does one leave us cold. I thought you should know that ‘Nixon’s Nixon’ was one of the very best shows we have seen anywhere!”
“What a great place!” Julie R. said in a Facebook review. “A hidden gem in Watertown for sure. Great mix of shows for the season. I’ll be back for sure.”
You can elevate your dates by going to the New Repertory Theatre for a live performance. The plays can offer a ton of thought-provoking, awe-inspiring, and laughter-inducing material, and it could be a great addition to any date routine.
New Rep is centrally located in Watertown, so couples can get dinner in the area before or after the show. Branch Line, which is right next door to the theater, serves homestyle Mediterranean food and is known for its eclectic menu. Porcini’s is definitely a date-night favorite with its intimate atmosphere and decadent Italian food. Not Your Average Joe’s is a more casual chain with classic American fare served with a fun twist.
Bars close to New Rep include Lulu’s Harry’s, and Article 24. These hot spots are particularly popular among local college students and other 20-somethings.
If it’s an opening night performance, you can enjoy a post-show reception at a nearby restaurant. New Rep celebrates its new productions by inviting patrons to wine and dine together. You can also look into attending a talkback, or post-show discussion group, at the theater.
The Spotlight Symposium Series can be an educational and interesting date activity for regular theater goers who want to discuss the arts, discover new perspectives, and appreciate the impact of theater on modern society.
You don’t have to be a big theater buff to get something out of this experience. Couples with children can make going to New Rep a family event and bring some culture into their lives. Currently, the most family-friendly show on New Rep’s calendar is “Oliver!” — which takes its inspiration from the classic Charles Dickens novel about an orphan boy.
As part of New Rep’s partnership with the Massachusetts Cultural Council’s EBT Card to Culture Program, the theater offers two adult and two children tickets to all productions for WIC/EBT cardholders. This is a great opportunity for cardholding families to make the theater part of their holiday traditions.
“Bringing kids to the theater is a great idea, as long as the show is age-appropriate,” Jaclyn said. “If you’re unsure whether or not a show is appropriate for your kids, you can always contact the box office and ask for an age recommendation.”
The New Repertory Theatre has been around for a long time — it’s actually older than many of its audience members — and it has stayed relevant by constantly pushing the boundaries of theater and inviting new voices to create, experiment and inspire.
The theater offers a good balance of entertaining and thought-provoking productions, ensuring that people from all walks of life can find something that speaks to them.
In 2019, New Rep came under new leadership as arts leader, director, choreographer, and playwright Michael J. Bobbitt took up the role of Artistic Director.
In the coming years, the New Rep team plans to remain true to its core values of community, excellence, and education and unveil a playbill that appeals to a diverse array of interests and backgrounds.
“With great change comes great responsibility, and I look forward to seeing where this season takes us,” Jaclyn said. “We’re already knee-deep in selecting our shows for our 2020-2021 season, which is a huge process!”
Patrons can look forward to always seeing something new at the theater. Each performances sparks conversation, inspires curiosity, and makes an impression on the audience. Whether it’s a lighthearted comedy or a dramatic opera, the productions give people the opportunity to go outside the everyday and experience something extraordinary.
As a 12-year-old, I thought my parents were being a major buzzkill by taking my date and me to the theater, but, looking back now, I’m glad they were watching out for me and made sure I had a good experience on my very first date. That was the opening night of my dating life, and it’s definitely something I’ll never forget.
The magic of the theater can take couples on an adventure, transport them to another place and time, and give them a new outlook on life. The New Repertory Theatre endeavors to make a live performance accessible to people of all ages and backgrounds, and it fosters a fun shared experience with loved ones and strangers alike.
In the last 35 years, New Rep has created a vibrant community space where people can clap, laugh, discuss, and feel heard. Its diverse and cutting-edge productions can make great date activities for couples with open minds and open hearts.
“We want all to feel welcome and confident walking through our doors,” Jaclyn explained. “It’s more than an escape from reality. We can use the art of theater to spark conversation, inspire empathy, and encourage our community to think critically about the social implications of our choices.”