Theater Review: "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" at the Huntington Beach Playhouse

Since the beginning of time, the differences between men and women have been apparent--Man decided to settle down, get married, have kids, and a cave with a white picket fence; Woman wanted a life outside the cave, her own horse to ride on, a career with a 401K plan and health coverage.

Which brings us to modern times. State-of-the-art technology and quality education hasn't made the opposite sex less of a mystery. This discrepancy between man and woman is what I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, currently playing at the Huntington Beach Playhouse, addresses through gender relations in all age groups and manifestations--first date to marriage to old age.

The musical, with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, is the second longest running off-Broadway play. The story is a series of vignettes on modern-day relationships, with 6 actors playing over 90 different characters.

There are the usual gender tropes, such as women's affinity for chick flicks (and man's desire to sit through them in the hopes of getting laid), men's love for cars and their inability to ask for directions. The situations are all satirized and played for laughs.

Some scenes bordered on cliché, and at certain times, the over-acting was enough to detract from the humor of the material. Then there are situations that don't make sense, such as the second scene where a couple (Theresa Finamore and Michael Keeney) essentially fast-forwards through their relationship in one evening, right through the break-up. Then they pretend to meet up a year afterward where they sing a surprisingly tender song "We Had It All," that does not correlate to the scene that just preceded it--not to mention that if you "had it all," why did you break up and why are you still broken up?

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The situations are not entirely true to life (what married couple talks in unison? what woman lies about her interest just to catch a man?), but the musical does its job by poking fun at the ridiculous nature of the modern relationship . And there are enough relationship types, from the young, first date-kind to the newlyweds to the 80-year-old widows, that the viewer will be able to see a glimpse of their own life in the material.

The scene that resonated the most was the song "Always a Bridesmaid," which is an anthem to being single, despite have to wear horrendous bridesmaid dresses. Actress Melissa Greilach stole the show with that number, and made me cheer for single girls everywhere.

Not a bad way to spend a Saturday night--better than being on a bad date.

I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE AT THE HUNTINGTON BEACH PLAYHOUSE. 7111 TALBERT AVE. HUNTINGTON BEACH, 92648. UNTIL SEP. 6TH; WED, THURS, FRI & SAT AT 8:00P.M.; SUN. 2:00P.M. CONTAINS ADULT MATERIAL.


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