A hilarious musical comedy opened just in time for Valentine’s Day, and even though that big day has passed the musical is still on for your enjoyment.
The title of the play pretty much sums it up: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. Through a series of vignettes, we get to see what true love really means. While it has never hit Broadway, it has the distinction of being the second-longest running Off-Broadway musical with 5,003 performances from 1996-2008. The fact it’s been translated into 17 languages shows that it plucks the same heart strings all over the planet.
The cast here is a sheer delight, and they clearly revel in the crazy and satiric dialogue. It kicks off with the first skit (this is like the Carol Burnett show as the original script has been ‘cleaned up’) entitled Not Tonight, I’m Busy, Busy Busy. It distills modern life into a fast-forward vignette where a blind date never really happens as they just skip to the next inevitable step. A riot.
One of the best vignettes is about an older married couple, their son and his girlfriend. The Mother is all set to give them a gift for announcing their engagement, but it gets tossed (quite literally) as they announce a breakup. The parents react in a completely over-the-top manner, even suggesting their own son might be gay! And they totally diss the girlfriend for being self-absorbed. It’s the perfect take-down that many parents secretly wish they would have done in similar circumstances.
Carlee Abschneider does a superb job on her solo performance, singing Always a Bridesmaid, and Seth Smith perfectly portrays a doting Dad with his performance of the cringingly sweet tune The Baby Song.
While each vignette is a stand-alone effort, the broad sweep of the musical is evident in the subject matter. Starting with the I’m Busy tune about dating, it ends with Funerals are for Dating, where an older couple strike the match of love at a funeral parlor. They are both there to mourn the loss of people they never even met, so why not?! Who knew the funeral home was a pick-up joint for seniors?
No matter what stage of life you are in, at least one of these skits will resonate with you. The audience was thoroughly engaged with this one and you will be too. The only minor issue I was made aware of was the background music. One person told me she thought the piano was too loud which made it difficult for her to discern the spoken words at times.
Head off to Marble Falls/Cottonwood Shores for this delightful romp. It’s worth the drive from Austin!
Cast: Carlee Abschneider, Richard Day, Heidi Melton, Cody Petty, Cathy Rose, Autumn Sharp, Seth Smith. Directed by David Melton; musical director is Christine Ashbaugh
Photo: The cast enjoys a standing ovation from a delighted audience
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is at Hill Country Community Theatre thru Feb. 24, 2023
Visit www.thehcct.org for tickets