Forget dinner and a movie – being a contestant on a fake Japanese game show is the cool new way to woo a potential mate. If you don’t believe us, ask Adam Frank, who took his current wife Alyssa Cashman Frank to Batsu, a Japanese-themed improv comedy show in the East Village, for their second date.
“It was definitely a really funny second date – it’s amazing that we kept dating after that, but here we are,” said Alyssa, who was called up to the stage with Adam to compete in a series of ridiculous challenges.
Alyssa appreciated Adam’s imaginative choice for a date. Over the next few months, Adam, a Larchmont, N.Y. native and New York University graduate, and Alyssa, a Marblehead native and Syracuse University graduate, continued enjoying all of New York City’s eclectic charms together. Alyssa wasn’t initially sure anything would happen in the city’s notoriously fast-paced dating scene, but the two bonded over their shared traditional Jewish upbringings and experiences.
“You’re in your twenties dating in New York City and you don’t know how serious it’s going to be, and it was kind of like, ‘oh, nice meeting you, I don’t know if I’ll ever see you again,’” said Alyssa, who first met Adam on JSwipe, a Jewish dating app. “But I think once we really started to get to know each other, even on our first date, we realized we have similar values and backgrounds, that our families are very important to us. It was pretty apparent that we both do have very similar interests.” A little while later Adam invited Alyssa to Batsu, and the rest is history.
Adam said that he appreciated Alyssa’s vivacity. “Our personalities are pretty different, but they click well together,” he said. “Alyssa is a lot more outgoing and warm and inviting, whereas I tend to be more quiet and reserved, and so I think we push each other in a healthy way. She encourages me to be more outgoing, and I help her find a sense of home and feel more grounded.”
Alyssa appreciates having a mellow New Yorker – oxymoronic as that may sound – who can show her around her new home. “Adam is a very calm and patient person, and he definitely instills that in me as well,” she said. “He spent a lot of time in school in New York, and he knows a lot about New York and different places to go. We both like to read, and explore the city, and both of us feel that our friends and family are very important to us.”
Adam first met Alyssa’s parents, Robert and Shari Cashman of Swampscott, at a Boston gala for the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation where they were being honored for their many years of service and fundraising. Alyssa, who herself has Type 1 diabetes, also spoke at the event alongside her parents. “It was a very significant event for the family, and it was decided I would come up for that, and part of that meant meeting her whole family, extended family, family friends, six months after having met Alyssa,” said Adam. “That threw our relationship into a time warp, but it was a good thing that really pushed things forward.”
Adam and Alyssa were spending more time with her family in Swampscott. On the cold morning after Thanksgiving 2018, Adam told Alyssa he was feeling antsy and wanted to go for a drive. They arrived at Chandler Hovey Park, the site of the iconic Marblehead lighthouse overlooking the harbor. “That had been a special place for Alyssa and me – Alyssa grew up near the water, and my family has always spent a lot of our summers out on Long Island near the water, so for both of us it was a special place,” he said.
Adam got down on one knee, and Alyssa took off her glove so he could slip a ring onto her finger. When they got back to the Cashman house, both of their families were there to celebrate.
Alyssa had always wanted a fall wedding, because it’s her favorite season and also a time of many family anniversaries and birthdays, which gave them less than a year to plan. After shopping around the Boston area for venues, they settled on the Royal Sonesta Boston Hotel in Cambridge, which boasts panoramic views of the Charles River and the Boston skyline. “We really felt like the Sonesta had a very homey feel, we knew our family friends would be staying for the weekend, and it was a nice place for everyone to be centrally located,” said Alyssa. “It also had that outdoor-overlooking-the-water-feel without being outside, because it wasn’t a summer wedding. And the view of Boston is just gorgeous there.”
On Sunday, Oct. 27, around 250 guests gathered to see Adam and Alyssa wed against that dramatic backdrop. The traditional Jewish ceremony was officiated by Cantor Elana Rozenfeld, who was once cantor at Congregation Shirat Hayam in Swampscott and is now interim director of Hebrew College’s cantorial school. The Cashman family attends Shirat Hayam, and Alyssa enjoyed working with Rozenfeld to create a personally meaningful ceremony. They chose a song that Rozenfeld would sing during their ketubah signing, which took place under a chuppah decorated with tallitot that belonged to each of their grandfathers. They circled each other while Rozenfeld sang a soulful nigun (a traditional Jewish melody), and then Adam smashed the glass.
As the skyline lit up, people ate, drank and were merry: there were Horas and toasts and happiness. “It was so seamless and a true fairy tale,” said Alyssa. “There was so much love in the room – all of our closest family and friends were there to celebrate with us and that was so beyond special.”
Soon after they left for their honeymoon in South Africa, where they enjoyed a safari and a tropical island off the coast. Now they’re back at their apartment in New York, where Adam works for a commercial real estate financing firm and Alyssa serves as the senior manager of special events for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (though they plan to move back to Boston eventually.)
“Open communication, honesty, and compromise are all important to a successful relationship,” said Alyssa. “We look forward to beginning this new chapter in our lives together as husband and wife.”