Review of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro
Music by Jimmy Roberts
Directed by Larry Williams
Music Direction by Craig Burdette
Lucky Penny Productions
For tickets / schedule :
Lucky Penny Community Arts Center, Napa
RUN: May 13 – May 29, 2016
RATING: 5 of 5 stars
(May 27, 2016)
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a series of musical vignettes following the lifespan of relationships from the awkward first date to married “bliss” and beyond. It is a smorgasbord of biting sarcasm, contemplative laments, tongue-in-cheek commentary, and deeply felt romance. Nestled in Napa, Lucky Penny Productions is a welcoming, lively environment, complete with full bar and enthusiastic volunteers. The production has been tailored to the wine country, with references to the di Rosa Preserve and Napa’s fine wine, and updated from its 1990s origins with smart phones dominating the dating environment.
Four stellar actors trade off between scenes in a whirlwind of costume changes, darting between tempo and styles while maintaining a common thread of focus. Standouts include Waiting Trio with one husband glued to watching football, while the other is trapped in Macy’s while his wife shops for shoes and On the Highway of Love accurately portraying couples fighting in the car. My personal favorite is He Called Me, which captures the euphoria of receiving a text or phone call when the man said he would call, instead of days later after staring at the phone in agony.
The play is not entirely composed of comedic settings; Daniela Innocenti Beem’s soliloquy The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz is tragic in its awkward plea for love after a cutting betrayal by her ex-husband. Versatile Danielle DeBow maneuvers through scenes with expressions that would make Lucille Ball jealous. Barry Martin and Michael Scott Wells shine in Why? Cause I’m a Guy. I noted many an elbowed wink between couples in the audience while realistic situations played out on stage. Classic dilemmas, such as the parents shock when their son breaks it off with a long-term girlfriend, lead to harmonious counterpoint accompanied by the glorious Craig Burdette (Keyboard) and Matthew Vincent (Violin).
Costume designer Taylor Bartolucci built on a simple base of white to quickly place new locations with elegant simplicity. Barry Martin and Larry Williams’ set is rough painted graffiti and minimalist furnishings to keep the interaction of actors at the forefront, rather than a complex set distracting from the scene.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is the perfect date night, or a diversion for singles in a slump who need a good laugh. There is a hilarious moment for everyone; it is a fun evening of silliness mingled with provoking insight into the madness that is love, skillfully directed by Larry Williams.