I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Old Creamery Theatre, Amana — through April 14
If the warmer temperatures and longer days aren’t tempting you to get out to some great music and theater, Old Creamery Theater’s production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will. An updated script and outstanding music direction (Emily Seibert) allow the actors, directed by Sean McCall, to rolick from first dates to relationships to marriage to divorce and beyond.
This musical (tickets $15-32.50) showcases multiple and fast-moving relationship-based vignettes. First dates, parenthood, funeral-based pickup lines and everything in between are featured as the play moves through life via the evolution of relationships.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is part of Old Creamery’s VIP (Very Intimate Performance) series which has shrunk the theater; the audience finds themselves on what is normally the stage.There is no fourth wall from the start of the play. This is an intimate show where the actors perform without amplification and interact with the audience. Every seat allows you to see the range of emotions portrayed. And so well portrayed they are!
The small, talented cast consists of Katie Coletta, Kent Reynolds, Emily Seibert and Morgan McDowell. The ensemble creates a fast-paced series of encounters, more than one of which is sure to resonate with you.
Most of the storylines are based on mainly heteronormative stereotypes and some outdated tropes, but the actors deliver each moment with clever, precise comic timing. Each member of this ensemble not only delivers their characters authentically, they do so while singing and often while having just had a quick change. Costume designer Marquetta Senters used her craft to add personality to each character. I lost track of the number of costume and hairstyle changes!
Couched in the humorous moments, the audience will find honest reflections on all aspects of relationships. There are a few very human tears amid the laughs.
The set, designed by Marianna Coffey and Kent Reynolds, is made up of simple cubes, allowing the actors to create a bar, a church, a living room and more. Given the simplicity of the set, one can see the amount of work that these actors put into their characters, as it truly is up to them to create the whole scene. In between each scene, they move the set pieces, change costumes and arrive singing.
They do all of this while moving seamlessly from character to character. With each new vignette, the actors become entirely new characters — a hallmark of excellent character portrayal. And each of them must have portrayed at least ten different characters throughout the show. Colletta, McDowell, Reynolds and Siebert must all be congratulated: they bring each and every character to life without a weak scene in the piece.
Adding to the fun of this show is the clever use of emojis as a backdrop. Jim Vogt, lighting director, illuminates a few emojis at the beginning of each scene as a sort of roadmap to what’s coming up — a clever touch that kept audience members chuckling and guessing.
Spring is here, and the saying goes that our thoughts turn to love; as they do, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is the perfect show to let us laugh at our foibles and enjoy more than one moment of excellent acting and music.