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BWW Review: Upstage Theatre's I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE is Funny and Fun

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Upstage Theatre's I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is Musical Comedy perfection.

BWW Review: Upstage Theatre's I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE is Funny and Fun

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is an ever popular, crowd-pleasing musical comedy. Originally penned by Joe DiPietro with music by Jimmy Roberts, the revue-style musical debuted in 1997 and remains one of the longest running Off-Broadway musicals. It was updated and modernized in 2018, and Upstage Theatre presents this new version now through July 25th. Jenny Rottmayer directs two casts who alternate weekends. Hannah Dedmon assistant directs.

Cast 1, "The Fighters", is reviewed on opening weekend, and they make a strong showing. The small cast of four plays multiple roles in the 20+ scenes. The characters don't overlap, and each scene serves as a self-contained musical vignette. Costumes and characters change rapidly, and the four performers get little time off stage. Quick costume and set changes keep the action moving throughout the show, and the four cast members are absolute pros at switching from character to character and never breaking stride.

Sydney Brown is Woman 1, Madison Eckerson is Woman 2, Jackson Lease is Man 1, and Keegan Buckaloo is Man 2. Each performer is dynamic and versatile, and they work together to create a solid ensemble piece.

Brown is an engaging young performer who shines brightly throughout the entire show. She's endearing in "Better Things to Do", resigned in "Single Man Drought", and beautifully moving in "I Will Be Loved Tonight". Her best moment in Act II is a spoken word solo scene titled "The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz". Brown has vocal and emotional range and creates wholly new and complete characters in each musical number.

Madison Eckerson is a powerhouse and absolutely slays everything she sings, every time, ever. It's lovely to see her getting work outside of UCO, and this theatre community is blessed by her presence. Eckerson is genuinely funny and amazingly talented. She shines in "Stud and a Babe" as a cute nerd with ambition. Her duet with Brown in "Single Man Drought" is a highlight of Act I. She's perfectly forlorn in "Always a Bridesmaid". She's hilarious and believable in "The Marriage Tango", and touches hearts in "I Can Live with That".

Jackson Lease is charming alongside Eckerson in "Stud and a Babe", and they're even better in "The Marriage Tango". Lease's standout moment is the heartwarming "Shouldn't I Be Less in Love with You". Lease is multifaceted and astute, and brings his all to every number. He can play a good guy or a jerk with equal appeal, and makes each character interesting and distinguishable.

Keegan Buckaloo is a true comedic actor and a gifted vocalist. He finally breaks down in "Tear Jerk" and holds his ground in "Why? Cause I'm a Guy". Buckaloo's best moment of Act I is "Scared Straight", and his solo in Act II, "The Baby Song" hits close to home. Buckaloo is the King of the Road in "The Family That Drives Together", showcasing comedic timing and vocal talent.

The musical numbers that feature all four cast members are the most enjoyable. Act I features a doozy of a guilt trip with "Hey There, Single Gal/Guy", and speaks the brutal truth in "A Picture of His...". The favorite moment of Act II is the road trip of reality in "On The Highway of Love" and the title number "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" closes the show out flawlessly.

There isn't a weak link in this cast, and the direction provided by Rottmayer and Dedmon keeps this difficult show crisp and sharp. Music Direction by Jordan M. Andrews moves the show along smoothly. It all comes together to create an enjoyable musical that truly is perfect, and shouldn't change at all!

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change continues until July 25th at Upstage Theatre, 844 W. Danforth in Edmond, OK. Cast 2, "The Lovers", features Emilee Stubbs, Alex Mullings, Caleb Foral, and Chase Horsley. Cast 2 performs closing weekend. For tickets, visit upstagetheatreok.com.


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