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Review: I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE at The Parks Theatre, Theatre 2

Review: I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE at The Parks Theatre, Theatre 2

Another success for Marie Clark Musical Theatre.

Reviewed by Ewart Shaw, Wednesday 15th November 2022.

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, from Marie Clark Musical Theatre, is a real treat in this production, full of laughs and insight. Director Adam Goodburn was one of the cast when I first saw the show 15 years ago down at the Opera Studio, and he certainly brings experience to his cast of four, or rather casts of four, as two talented ensembles share the run.

I saw the Trentell Cast. The characters are known as Woman 1, Casmira Lorien, Woman 2, Tegan Gully-Crispe, Man 1, Trevor Anderson, and Man 2, Billy St John. With rapid changes of costume and character, they portray so many different combinations of relationships, following the dating rituals of contemporary American and, of course, Australian society.

Casmira Lorien and Tegan Gully-Crispe are well known across musical theatre in Adelaide and it was a treat to see them in street clothes, as it were, unencumbered by character makeup, costumes, and a large and noisy chorus. Tegan Gully-Crispe's memorable Evita made little use of her comic skills and snazzy moves. Equally so, anyone who saw Casmira Lorien in the Gilbert and Sullivan Society's Les Miserables, as Fantine, would be delighted by her zany energy. Billy St John was excellent in the Northern Light's Les Miserables, and here he gets a chance to show off his comic skills. Trevor Anderson was also in that production, but here he really shines; there's a touch of Charlie Chaplin, a bit of Woody Allen, and he also gets to sing the one song I've remembered across the years. I was sitting with Deborah Caddy, a member of the cast of the first production. It was her song then, but, with the updating, there are same-sex relationships, and it goes to a man. He's plucked up the courage to ask his tennis partner over for lasagne, Pop the champagne, spritz the cologne. I will be loved tonight. The song is ardent, a little desperate maybe, and it has always stood out for me.

Matt Redmond makes his debut as a Musical Director, with three excellent musicians on stage. Nerissa Pierce provides superb accompaniment, with Matthew Rumley on bass guitar, and Shelley Walker on violin. She's been leading pit orchestras around Adelaide for an appreciable time and it's great to actually see her in action. She features in a neat little comedy routine, imperturbable. Rachel Lee, as Assistant Director and Choreographer, deserves much credit for the body language, and that Marriage Tango.

Composer, Jimmy Roberts, and lyricist, Joe DiPietro, have updated the show. You see I don't recall there being a song about dickpix in the original, mobile phones being far less common than they are now. There was a time when, if you wanted to show off your assets, you put on a raincoat and lurked in alleyways.

The Rose Cast is Woman 1, Robyn Brookes, Woman 2, Trish Hart, Man 1, Greg Hart, and Man 2, Josh Kerr. Chris Cromb took the non-singing role of Barney The orderly in both casts.

While every episode, every encounter, seems to lead to, dare I say, a climax of some sort, it's only in the epilogue that the ominous words are heard, I love you, you're perfect, now change.

Sadly, I won't get to see the alternate cast but, if you want to head out to the Parks Community Centre and its well-served theatres, you take the 251 bus from KW Street to stop 17. Heading back, there's the 251a which drops you at Arndale shopping centre for the 230 into town.



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