The Placer Performance Calendar


Great Local Shows - Theatrical Reviews

Title I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Organization Sutter Street Theatre
Date(s) of show January 17-February 15, 2014
Reviewer Gerry Camp
Review Sutter Street Theatre opened the first show in this year’s Off Broadway season and unveiled its renovated theatre with the Off-Broadway musical hit I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts. Imaginatively directed by Connie Mockenhaupt, the show promises to be another big hit.

Billed as “everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit,” the show covers familiar territory: first date fears, meeting parents, first sex, horrible bridesmaid dresses, the family trapped together in a car familiar territory for everyone but it does so with laugh-inducing dialogue and hilarious songs.

What earned this show its instant standing ovation, however, was not the skits or the songs, but the outstanding ensemble cast. It's hard to imagine four performers working more perfectly together, each one shining and each making the others shine. The four stars are Jennifer Morrison, Jessica McKillican, Michael Coleman, and Christopher Celestin. And I can't single one out and say he or she was the best.

Though the characters are given names in the program, each performer in fact plays several parts of different ages and each is convincing no matter whether they’re daters, middle-aged parents, or elderly people still looking for love. Mike even, in one scene, is a convicted mass murderer serving life without opportunity for romance! The actors’ quick character changes are assisted by the costumes of Eileen Beaver, who dresses them in different outfits for each of the show’s twenty scenes. Wigs, created by Michael Coleman, also change to define the characters. Michael is not only a terrific actor and singer, but is also a wig expert.

And in a show that is mostly songs, every member of the cast sings wonderfully, belting out tunes like Broadway stars. A lot of the humor focuses on sex as you might suppose. (Leave the kids at home.) One of the funniest moments is “I Will Be Loved Tonight” with Jessica worrying about her fourth date with Chris with no sex yet. “Is it me? Is it you?” Determined to change the situation, she invites him for lasagna. She leaves to make dinner, and he says, “… and I’ll get the….” She finishes his sentence “condoms,” but he says he was going to say “wine.” Later we see them having disappointing sex under a blanket. They are joined by a sex counselor, Mike, and a therapist, Jennifer. They dive under the blanket again and emerge with huge smiles. Therapy works.

Mike and Jennifer have an amusing scene on a movie date. Mike wants to see an action movie but gives in to Jennifer’s desire to see a “chick flick.” Mike is appalled because a character is “dying so slow” when he would prefer to see a chainsaw killer. By the end of the movie, of course, Mike’s character is in tears.

Act One ends with a wedding, and Act Two follows with married love. A really touching moment is a breakfast table scene with Jennifer and Chris having a silent breakfast ignoring each other when Chris’s character realizes he’s where he wants to be and sings “Shouldn’t I Be Less In Love With You?”

The show closes with Mike and Jessica as old folks meeting at a funeral. Each confesses what old age has turned them into, but each finally declares, “I Can Live With That” as they head off holding hands.

For the finale, the company sing and dance the title song, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” changing partners until each ends up with the right spouse, and bringing the audience to its feet, because it’s that delightful a show. I can’t remember a more fun evening of theater in a long time. My advice is get tickets soon; Sutter Street is going to have another sell-out show.

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