Sweet geek Zachary Levi tackles Broadway in ‘Blind Date’

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In “First Date,” Levi pairs up with Krysta Rodriguez, who’s additionally perhaps maybe not Jewish. (Joan Marcus)

In “First Date,” Levi pairs up with Krysta Rodriguez, who’s additionally maybe maybe not Jewish. ( )

Those that enjoyed the sweetly lead that is nerdy of “Chuck” will likely to be pleased to find its celebrity, Zachary Levi, on Broadway, doing just just just what he does well: singing, dancing . . . cringing.

In “First Date,” opening in a few days, Levi plays Aaron — as awkwardly earnest as Chuck, but as bearded and bespectacled as a yeshiva child, on top of that. Cue the cringing whenever Aaron discovers that their date that is hot — the comely Krysta Rodriguez (“Smash”) — is not Jewish.

Then once again, neither is Levi.

“Nope, perhaps perhaps not really a Jew!” he says by having a grin. “But if individuals wish to lump me personally in with God’s opted for, I’ll go on it!”

Backstage during the Longacre Theatre — backpack by their part, their 6-foot-4 frame closing in black colored Converse sneakers — the set that is 32-year-old record straight, their conversation peppered with all the words “journey,” “amazing” and “blessed.”

He had been created Zachary Levi Pugh — that Welsh surname’s pronounced “pewww!” — which resulted in no end of “brutal reviews” in boyhood and past. His representative advised the actor that is young only want to alter their title.

It wasn’t a effortless choice.

“I’d made a guideline that i’dn’t alter or fold for Hollywood,” says the star, whom spent my youth in Southern Ca, within the shadow of Disneyland. But after he “prayed about any of it very long and difficult,” he made a decision to merely lose the Pugh.

That, Levi claims, resulted in another trouble: “I’ve had casting directors call my representative and state, ‘Yeah, you know — he’s a tad too Jewish.’ ”

In terms of the creators of “First Date” had been concerned, Levi ended up being perfectly.

“Zachary’s like a better-looking form of me personally — the me I’ve always wished to be,” says Austin Winsberg, the show’s bespectacled book journalist. While composing for “Gossip woman,” which shared workplaces regarding the Warner Brothers lot with “Chuck,” Winsberg saw in Levi exactly what he calls “the www.datingmentor.org/escort/greensboro sweet spot — a person who could sing, party, become funny and have fun with the intimate main character, the only females wish to be with while the dudes root for. ”

Because it took place, Levi had been free, and Broadway had been on their bucket list. He’d been singing and dancing in regional movie theater I was a ham”), and he and his “Tangled” co-star Mandy Moore sang a duet together at the Oscars since he was 6.

Their only doubt: getting typecast as a nerd, also himself that way in real life if he sees. He and a close buddy operate a small business he describes as “Nike for Nerds” — the Nerd Machine, which produces duds and gizmos for sci-fi fans and gamers like Levi himself, whom place their supply via a light fixture whilst hitting an overhead smash within a Wii game of tennis.

“ we think in utilizing the working platform you’ve got for good,” says Levi, whom calls their business transactions capitalism that is“conscientious have a money, offer a buck.” A k a Comic-Con he’s an avid supporter of Operation Smile and other charities, and arranged for a week off at “First Date,” just after previews started, to honor his commitment to appear at Geek Central.

And their love life?

“That we won’t enter into,” he states, pleasantly. Despite a well-publicized breakup with singer Caitlin Crosby, he’s were able to keep their private life in the down low.

“I’m maybe not really a big dater, genuinely,” he claims. “I’m a go-with-the-flow type of guy . . .

I’d rather hang down with somebody in a bunch to discover when they check these different containers beside me before we head out together — get acquainted with one another extremely casually and coolly, of course there’s chemistry, then we’ll continue a romantic date.”

Judging through the ecstatic applause Levi’s drawing in “First Date,” a complete great deal of men and women will be really very happy to understand him better.

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