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Tuesday, April 9, 2013
In a time when everything else seems to change by the hour, the dynamics of romance remain the same: sometimes blissful, sometimes vexing and always as mysterious as the innards of an iPad.
We are reminded of this in the first-rate Showtimers production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”
In two hours of clever lyrics and catchy tunes, the popular musical comedy comments sharply but good-naturedly on the pleasures and pitfalls of launching and sustaining a relationship. It continues through Sunday.
Built on Jimmy Roberts’ music and book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, the show has been around since 1996. There have been more than 5,000 off-Broadway performances and who knows how many more on regional and community stages (including Mill Mountain Theatre in 2001).
Despite a few cultural references that betray its age, the show remains timely because of its subject.
It is presented in discrete vignettes that showcase the ups and downs of male-female relationships. Though lacking a traditional beginning, middle and end, the skits and tunes proceed generally from first date through marriage to old age, thereby at least suggesting conventional narrative.
In one skit, a couple on their first date decides to skip the awkward preliminaries and proceed to verbally and comically blow through an entire relationship. Anyone who’s been in love — or even had a date — will recognize each step along the way.
In “Tear Jerk,” a self-professed macho man unexpectedly weeps at a chick flick. Previously platonic tennis partners turn touchingly romantic in “The Lasagna Incident.” Elderly singles hook up at a wake in “Funerals Are for Dating.” The titles of “Always a Bridesmaid” and “Sex and the Married Couple” are self-explanatory.
There isn’t a separate actor for every character in Showtimers’ “I Love You, You’re Perfect … .” Instead, six performers handle all the roles: Cate Carney, David Colatosti, Tim Kennard, Heather Moorefield-Lang, Linsee Lewis and Owen Merritt.
Though the show is without stars in the traditional sense, star performances abound among these talented singer-actors.
Director Kris Laguzza is to be commended both for assembling an exceptional cast and for her crisp direction of a show that demands sharp timing not only on stage but in the multiple changes of costumes and sets. Kudos also to her crew.
Weather JournalEarly mix, then ice storm Sunday