Theatre Mirror Reviews - "I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"

Reviews of Current Productions

note: entire contents copyright 2016 by Tony Annicone



"I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone



The current show at MMAS is the delightful musical revue "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" which takes the form of a series of vignettes connected by the central theme of love and relationships. This celebration of the mating game takes on the truths and the myths behind that contemporary conundrum we know as 'the relationship.' Act 1 explores the journey from dating and waiting to love and marriage, while Act 2 reveals the agonies and triumphs of in-laws and newborns, trips in the family car and pick up techniques of the geriatric set. This hilarious revue pays tribute to those who have loved and lost, to those who have fallen on their face at the portal of romance, to those who have dared to ask, 'Say, what are you doing on Saturday night?' "I Love you, You're Perfect, Now Change" was nominated for Outer Critics Circle Award for Outstanding Off-Broadway musical in 1997. With a run of 5,003 performances over 12 years, it is the second longest running Off-Broadway musical. It opened on August 1, 1996 and closed on July 28, 2008. The variety of musical numbers and the comic appeal of the very realistic relationships between the men and women comes across to the very appreciative and responsive audience. Director/choreographer Dori Bryan-Ployer casts six terrific performers in these roles in this joyous two act romp which will delight the audience from start to finish with expert musical direction by Nick Foster. Their combined expertise wins them a resounding standing ovation.

Dori gives each member of her cast the chance to shine in this show. The six cast members play over 60 roles in this revue Dori's dance numbers include "Marriage Tango" where a very tired and harried couple decide to find time for a few minutes to do it without any distractions, "Highway to Love" with them moving the chairs around as cars, a conga line and several others. Nick taught the cast some superb harmonies for the group numbers. He leads a three person combo. Ken designed the set with art work by Glenn Fournier. The colorful costumes are excellent especially the four different bridesmaid outfits worn on top of each other. The hard working stage manager Bella Cavicchi keeps things running smoothly all night long.

The talented cast members are Anthony Rinaldi, Laura Gustafson, Jeanine Belcastro Went, Greg Smith, Carrie Kirby and Craig O'Connor. I will now give a brief description of some of the highlights of the show and the different types of characters. Some of the standout number's include Laura's hilarious "Always a Bridesmaid" while clad in a ugly bridesmaid outfits which she peels off after every verse of this Country Western number and she also plays the Emily Latella like counselor in the Scared Straight scene. Her crossed eyes while she entices a couple of audience members with chocolate chip cookies is a hoot. Carrie sings the poignant "I Will Be Loved Tonight" after she connects with a guy promising to make him lasagna and she also sings in a high soprano voice "He Called Me" where her boyfriend calls her back twice and also plays a nerdy woman with Anthony. Other funny moments include Laura as an elderly woman seeking love at a funeral parlor, Jeanine as a young mother with a new baby and the exasperated mother in the car scene. She also shines in the Rosie Ritz monologue about a divorcee making a dating video which contains comic and tender moments. "Waiting" is another comic gem where Laura waits for her couch potato husband watching the game for 32 seconds in football time not real time while Carrie plays a woman who has to pee while waiting in a long line.

The men have their moments to shine, too. Anthony plays a nerd who transforms into a stud during "A Stud and a Babe" and waits for his shoe shopping wife. He also plays the nervous groom and the exasperated friend of new parents. Greg plays the horny tired husband who wants sex with his wife in "Marriage Tango" with Laura. He also is the caring loving husband who sings the tender ballad "Shouldn't I Be Less in Love with You?" which leaves the audience in tears. Craig is an inmate at Attica who yells at Greg and Jeanine to marry each other. Anthony cries at a chick flick in "Tear Jerk" with Jeanine which is hilarious. Craig is the lawyer in the sexual satisfaction scene. Some other highlights include "The Baby Song" to make sure the stuffed bear is baby proof and sings of now saying baby words to adults all the time. "On the Highway to Love" is a car scene between two parents, Craig and Jeanine and two bratty children, Anthony and Carrie. The terrific closing number of Act 1 is the gospel number "The Wedding Song" and another standout is the 1950's "Now the Parents" where Craig and Jeanine play the parents of a noncommittal son, Anthony, berating him and his girlfriend, Laura. Craig plays the elderly man while picking up a date at the funeral parlor in "I Can Live with That" which is reminiscent of "I Remember It Well" from "Gigi." The show ends with a bang with the jazzy upbeat "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change." So for a fun filled revue of comic and poignant moments, be sure to catch this show at MMAS. Dori always does a terrific job directing her shows and this one is one more feather in her cap. Tell them Tony sent you.

I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE (28 July to 7 August)
MMAS, Black Box, 277 North Main Street, Mansfield, MA
1(508)339-2822 or www.mmas.org




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