NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ – There’s a lot more to this musical than the engaging title alone. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” takes on a raft of couples’ issues, from first dates to wedding vows to funerals.
Originally a long running New York hit about several years ago, writer and lyricist Joe DiPietro has refashioned the show for today’s audience, with references to cell phone, texting and other social media touches. Jimmy Roberts wrote the music and the whole show is still as sprightly and contagious as ever…perhaps even more so.
Part of the credit goes to the terrific four-member cast. Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Mitchell Jarvis, Karen Burthwright and George Merrick are fast changing artists who adopt a number of different personas in no time flat. Late in Act II, Lindsay and George show up at a funeral, both moving on in years, with the song “I Can Live With That.” Their take on the side effect of pills, such as going blind and then dying, is priceless. “How can dying be a side effect?” asks George. “Isn’t that a main event?” …or words along that line. They both do a marvelous job of impersonating older people without turning into caricatures, which so often happens on stage.
“And Now the Parents” is another winner, with Karen and Mitchell as an about to be engaged couple, visiting his parents. When they announce they’re actually breaking up, the parents turn from doting to name calling and all kinds of chaos ensues. “Satisfaction Guaranteed” takes on sexual performance, with a lawyer (presumably from a well known New Jersey law firm) who helps couples in the bedroom, with all the legal terms intact.
Bvery vignette has its purpose and audiences are bound to zero in on their favorites. David Saint’s direction keeps up the lively pace and the time really does fly by. Scenic and media design by Jim Youmans lends colorful backdrops for each evolving scene. Joe Saint’s lighting and Michael McDonald’s costumes neatly reflect the circumstances at play.
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” continues at George Street Playhouse through Nov. 12. The playhouse is in temporary quarters for the coming year on Rutgers Cook Campus. Be sure to get directions before you go. For tickets, call 732-246-7717 or visit GeorgeStreetPlayhouse.org.
Liz Keill reviews professional theatre in the New Jersey area, ranging from the McCarter Theatre in Princeton to Paper Mill Playhouse in Millburn. In addition to writing for Tapinto.net, she does theatre analysis for HometowneTV in Summit. She holds a Bachelor's in Journalism from Penn State and a Master's in Communication from Syracuse University. Liz is a member of the American Theatre Critics Association, which holds seminars at regional theatres across the country as well as in New York City.
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