I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Joe DiPietro (Book & Lyrics); Jimmy Roberts (Music); Doug Katsaros (Orchestrations)
Hillbarn Theatre & Conservatory
For someone who has seen well over 150 live theatre shows every, pre-COVID year for at least the past twenty years, how is it I have missed seeing the 1996-premiering, second-longest-running Off-Broadway musical that has been translated into seventeen languages and played near-forty major productions around the world? There can be little doubt that there has been and seemingly continues to be wide-spread, global appeal for Joe DePietro’s (book and lyrics) I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, a series of loosely connected, largely musical vignettes about the ups and downs of love and relationships – from first to dates to marriage, families, divorce, and widowhood.
In its current run at Hillbarn Theatre & Conservatory, there is much to praise due to a stunning, musically stellar quartet of Bay Area actors who each come with an impressive resume of starring roles in both musicals and plays. However, it is impossible to ignore that I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is packed with a number of sitcom-like scenes and jokes that today seem out of synch with current sensitivities in that they often rely on uncomfortable stereotypes about male-female interactions, relationships, and sex-role characteristics.
In some ways it is a sad commentary on how the world still views men and women that this musical has been as globally popular as it has been for so long; but then I must admit my reaction was clearly in the minority of the Hillview, opening-night audience. Their immediate standing ovation at evening’s end speaks to the outstanding voices and comic aptitudes of the cast and to an obvious, general acceptance that males are males and females, females in ways that brand each sex with a long list of broadly accepted, stock labels and characteristics.
Please continue reading my review by clicking to Talkin’ Broadway.
Rating: 3.5 E
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change continues through May 8, 2022 in production by Hillbarn Theatre & Conservatory at the Hillbarn Theatre, 1285 East Hillsdale Blvd, Foster City, CA. Tickets are available online at https://www.hillbarntheatre.org .
Photo Credit: Mark and Tracy Photos