The Internet Theater Magazine of Reviews, Features, Annotated Listings
A CurtainUp NJ ReviewI Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
We can thank director David Saint for encouraging author-lyricist Joe DiPietro to update the show to reflect the changes in dating in light of social media influences over time.
While many of the skits and songs with music by Jimmy Roberts remain the same, it is the buoyant fun that comes across best provided by the very talented ensemble — Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Mitchell Jarvis, Karen Burthwright and George Merrick. Each is defined by either Woman 1 or 2 or Man 1 or 2.
In "Cantata for a First Date" a couple, in order to avoid the pitfalls of a typical first date, devises a scenario that propels them through their awkward second date, the pre-and post-sexual considerations of their third date, and the eventual realization that they are not suited for each other. It's a winner and sets the pace for one breezily performed skit after another.
Act II opens with "Always a Bridesmaid", another comical gem winningly performed by Chambers. More of the wit that propelled these skits would have been welcome throughout. But this does not diminish the overall pleasure that comes from watching this exuberant foursome make the most of what is offered.
There is always some danger in a revue that its topicality can easily become dated. Adding some topicality now is a new very funny skit for same sex parents (Mitchell Jarvis and George Merrick) who finds themselves talking baby talk to each other and to their nonplussed guest (Burthwright). But the battling or shall we say the balancing of the sexes in traditional dating rituals has remained rather stable even predictable over the last couple of decades . This is nicely reflected in the current production's exploration of match-making ploys and mating dance postures. Watching a pair of nerdy daters fantasize themselves as a stud and his babe earns a few chuckles. Also a macho man shedding buckets of tears during a chick flick of a movie makes its point. There's a new skit to address texting as a part of the current dating game.
Attention to the plight of men who watch football and women who shop but don't listen and then observing a family out for a drive together earns a been-there-done-that response. It isn't that DiPietro and Roberts haven't exhausted every way in which his theme might be delivered. The nineteen or so skits move quickly and are imaginatively staged on a handsome modernist set designed by Jim Youmans, who also contributed colorful projections and lively media designs.
Of the songs, the best is still "Shouldn't I Be Less in Love with You" as sung by a longtime husband (Mitchell Jarvis) to his inattentive wife across the breakfast table. If I had to choose my favorite and best laugh-getter it would be "I Can Live With That" in which an older man makes a connection with an older woman at a funeral. Behind the scenes, four musicians accompany the performers and play Roberts' score with verve.
Search CurtainUp in the box below
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Book and Lyrics by Joe DiPietro; Music by Jimmy Roberts
Directed by David Saint
Cast: Lindsay Nicole Chambers, Mitchell Jarvis, Karen Burthwright, George Merrick
Choreographed: Charlie Williams
Musical Direction: Joshua Zecher-Ross
Scenic and Media Design: Jim Youmans
Costume Design: Michael McDonald
Lighting Design: Joe Saint
Sound Design: Shannon Slaton
Arrangements and New orchestrations: Doug Katsaros
Production Stage Manager: Nicole Kuker
Running Time: 2 hours including intermission
George Street Playhouse (new location) 103 College Farm Road, New Brunswick, N.J.
Tickets: $15 for students to $79.00 based on performance.
Performances: Monday at 8PM, Tuesday at 7PM, Wednesday at 2PM and 8PM, Friday at 8PM, Saturday at 2PM and 8PM, and Sunday at 3PM.
From 10/10/17 Opened 10/13/17 Ends 11/12/17
Review by Simon Saltzman based on performance 10/13/17
NJ Theatre Alliance
Discount Tix Information
Highlight one of the responses below and click "copy" or"CTRL+C"
Paste the highlighted text into the subject line (CTRL+ V):
Feel free to add detailed comments in the body of the email. . .also the names and emails of any friends to whom you'd like us to forward a copy of this review.
For a feed to reviews and features as they are posted at http://curtainupnewlinks.blogspot.com to your reader
Curtainup at Facebook . . . Curtainup at Twitter