EXCLUSIVE: 'First Date' Broadway Star Krysta Rodriguez on Romance & Show Business

Broadway and TV star Krysta Rodriguez is currently lighting up the Great White Way with Broadway's musical comedy First Date. After a stint in NBC's Smash as Ana Vargas, Krysta plays jaded dater Casey who agrees to be set up with Zachary Levi's nice guy Aaron. 

As the show progresses from an awkward meeting to the possibility of something more, we get a peek into a budding romance and have a few laughs along the way. We sat down with the star, who dished with us about bad dates, what it's really like to kiss Zachary Levi, her stint on In The Heights and the advice she would give to other Latinas looking to break into show business.

What inspired you to get involved with the show?

Honestly, it was the show itself. I really responded to it. You read a lot of stuff and you have to decide what you will do based on what will be the most fun doing and what is the most fulfilling. It checked a lot of those boxes for me. So I got really excited about it.

You had a big stint on TV with Smash. What was the most surprising part of going back to Broadway after being on TV?

It’s harder than I remember. And I did it a lot. I did five Broadway shows before I did Smash and then I came here. Doing a Broadway show on television is totally different. It’s easier in so many ways because you only do it once, or you shoot it for a day and then it’s over. You can do some TV magic. With this show, we’re all on stage for the full time, nobody’s leaving, nobody gets to take a breath or get some water. You literally get shot out of a canon and you see how it goes. This show has been different than any other show I’ve been involved in. I was surprised how soft I had become! I need to buck up my stamina a bit. What’s not surprising to me is how much I love it. I’ve wanted to be on stage since I was a little kid. TV came up later in life, but theater is where my passion has always been.

Continue reading on page 2 for the worst first dates, what it's like to play jaded Casey and how the show was inspired by real life. >>