We've all been there with the ups and downs of relationships. The musical I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change hilariously pokes fun at the good, the bad, and all of the in-betweens from dating to weddings to dealing with kids and in-laws. Now playing through March 3rd at the exquisite John W. Engeman Theatre of Northport, this musical is superbly directed and choreographed by John Simpkins. With the book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, Mr. Simpkins mounts an updated version of the 1996 off-Broadway hit.
The brilliant cast includes Gina Naomi Baez, Danny Bernardy, Lauren Weinberg, and Jason SweetTooth Williams with Matt DaSilva and Lauren Echausse understudying. I had the great pleasure of seeing Mr. DaSilva's opening night in Mr. Williams' place. They went seamlessly from scene to scene playing various characters ranging from teenagers to people their own age to senior citizens. This is an interesting piece as it is performed in a series of vignettes. Each scene is independent from one another, but they all have a running theme of love and relationships.
The company is hilarious in the scene entitled "And Now The Parents". Matt and Gina's characters have just told their parents (Lauren and Danny in old-fashioned clothing and coke-bottle specs) they're breaking up. They go into the song "Hey There, Single Guy/Gal" where they ask them what they are going to do now that they've broken up. In other words, blaming both for the break-up. Typical parents. A heartfelt scene the audience loves is Ms. Weinberg in "The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz" (complete with one of those circle cell phone holder light things). It is an emotional rollercoaster you will find yourself laughing and tearing up during this scene. The entire company is extraordinary.
On the clever creative team, Kyle Dixon's set is well done. This is a very busy show, so it relies mostly on rolling pieces for seamless scene changes. Dustin Cross' costumes are beautiful with many quick changes that seemed to have gone swimmingly. Add in John Burkland's excellent lighting and you will find this a visually stunning production.
A wonderful cast, hilarious stories, and the beautiful John W. Engeman Theatre make this a great theatre experience. You'll find yourself laughing at the dramatizations and relating to them at the same time.
Photo courtesy of the John W. Engeman Theatre: Gina Naomi Baez, Jason SweetTooth Williams, Danny Bernardy, and Lauren Weinberg