Regional Reviews: Cincinnati
The title of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change accurately alerts audience members that they will be seeing a humorous show about love, dating, and marriage. The popular Off-Broadway musical has found great success throughout the country and in New York where it continues to run. The Victoria Theatre Association and The Human Race Theatre Company in Dayton, Ohio are currently presenting an entertaining and professional production of the revue.
The show presents songs, as well as a few non-musical scenes, which address many of the situations, events, and feelings associated with love. The musical is a revue with performers playing different characters in each in scene. Though there is no ongoing story, a linear progression of events starting from first dates, on to developed relationships, then to weddings, and finally to the death of a spouse, is provided. With only a few exceptions, these songs and scenes explore the comedic side of love.
The dialogue and lyrics by Joe Dipietro are often very funny and witty. There are plenty of amusing predicaments and feelings that come out of seeking and finding love, and Dipietro does well in mining them for laughs. It is true that nearly every gender cliché in the world is included, which eventually grows slightly tiresome, but many universal truths are also presented, so almost anyone in attendance can relate.Jimmy Roberts has supplied many pleasant and catchy melodies. If many songs sound similar, there is enough variety in style (ranging from country to gospel to a tango) to keep the music interesting.
The four member cast of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change does well in bringing out the best in the material for this production. Michelle Zimmerman is equally successful playing both sassy and nerdy characters and has a pleasant singing voice. Gina Valentine is a strong and confident singer and reaps many of the shows biggest laughs. Brain Sgambati shows the greatest versatility of the group and demonstrates fully capable vocals. Scott Hunt, who was impressive in the musical theater workshop of Convenience at The Human Race Theatre Company earlier this year, rounds out the cast with strong singing and likable characterizations. Even though the overall energy level of the cast could have been higher on opening night, the group does well in quickly switching roles, costumes, and styles in this fast moving show.
Director Joe Deer successfully brings out the humor within the piece and provides a suitable pace and tone. Scott Wooley serves as Musical Director and provides piano accompaniment, along with violinist Bill Slusser. The scenic design by Dick Block consists of a functional three-tiered set including a turntable, which suffered a minor malfunction on opening night. There were some small problems on opening night with the sound as well. Attractive and appropriate costumes are provided by Mary Beth McLaughlin.
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is an appealing and humorous revue. The production by the Victoria Theatre Association and The Human Race Theatre Company is entertaining and showcases a talented cast. The musical continues at the Loft Theater through July 7, 2002. For tickets, please call (937) 228-3630.