Winter Park Playhouse's I LOVE YOU...NOW CHANGE a Familiar Story Full of Heart, Fun
There are few things as reassuring as a familiar story; be it a favorite bedtime tale, the story of your first date, or the story you tell your friends about your first date; and for theatre fans in Central Florida, there are few things as familiar as "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" at the Winter Park Playhouse. The show, running through October 5th, is the seventh production of the musical in the company's 11-year history, and judged by the nearly sold-out Opening Night, the audience appreciates the return engagement.
This very Off-Broadway show chronicles the most familiar moments of any relationship from first date to death do us part. With book and lyrics by Tony-Winner Joe DiPietro ("Memphis") and music by Jimmy Roberts, the score's pastiche songs are hummable, and the show's vignettes satirize some of the kookiest moments of any hopeless romantic's life. From pre-date primping to trying to keep the homefires burning post kids, every aspect of adult romance is in play. While the show has a decidedly 90's feel; with a vignette about video personals and other dated dating references; the creators would be wise to pen a 21st Century update for the show's 20th Anniversary in 2016. However, this fun and upbeat production will have you smiling at each and every turn.
The cast, which has been together for the last six iterations of the show at Winter Park, is exceptionally entertaining. Real-life husband and wife, and Playhouse founders, Roy Alan and Heather Alexander welcome back the delightful Heather Lea Charles and the supremely talented Patrick Brandt. The vocals and characterizations are all top-notch, and there isn't a moment in the show that is not enjoyable. However, the performances occasionally veer from the familiar into the cartoonish; which means that in the show's more sentimental moments, not all of the emotions connect as they should.
While there is rarely a misstep, the two highlights that stick out are Brandt's turns as an unconventional matchmaker in Act I's last scene and as an elderly widower in Act II's final vignette.
Director Michael Edwards keeps the action moving quickly on the most basic of sets, and the music by pianist and Music Director Christopher Leavy and violinist Ned Wilkinson is fun and boyant throughout.
Hurry and get tickets quickly, because this crowd-pleasing revival will sell out fast. Call the Winter Park Playhouse at (407) 645-0145 or visit their website.