When the season for Little Theatre of the Rockies was first announced, I was not at all excited about the inclusion of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” It’s not that I dislike the show, but memories of an awful touring production at the UCCC years ago have stuck with me. However, as I watched the opening night performance of the current production, it occurred to me that this may in fact be the perfect show for opening the Norton repertory portion of the summer season.
This show is small with a four-person cast, a single piano accompaniment and in production requirements, as well. It is intimate, fun, tender and moving.
UNC has tried numerous small musicals in this slot: “Forever Plaid,” “Altar Boyz,” “The Fantastiks” and “Godspell” to name a few, and they have had limited success. But Matthew Herrick’s production works very well. It is the best of the lot.
The show is comprised of a series of short stories dealing with the complexities of human relationships. Each of the vignettes could stand alone but are placed into a semi-chronological order as the stories might play out over a person’s life, from the first date, marriage and parenthood, to growing old and even divorce. While it may sound serious, this is most definitely a comedy about looking at the challenges of sharing life together.
Herrick has an excellent cast. Frankie Curry-Edwards, Carly Valancy, Alex Albrecht and Zack Vermillion combine to play dozens of characters in the two-hour show. Their cross talk and banter between scenes leaves no doubt the individual skits are not intended to be connected to each other but combine to create a story arc that is undeniably fun.
As you might expect in a fast-paced show with numerous vignettes, some work better than others. The best song may be “Always a Bridesmaid,” although “I Can Live With That,” “Cantata For a First Date” and “Single Man Drought” are nearly as good. There is some dated material (the word “groovy” stands out) but also some clever/corny writing — where else will you hear “laugh at ya” rhymed with “taffeta”?
You never know what you’re going to get when bringing audience onstage for some improvisation, but it led to the best line of the night by audience member Patrick Healey when, during the “Scared Straight” scene, he was asked what he was looking for in a partner and he replied “someone wealthy with one foot in the grave.”
Frank Chavez’ almost non-existent setting provides the blank slate for Anne Toewe’s costumes to set the stage for most of the scenes. Alex Hanna’s lighting did no favors to the cast, leaving them in the dark several times and overusing moving lights, which led to numerous distractions. Victor Walter’s piano accompaniment was in perfect balance with the cast.
You still have several opportunities to take your significant other to see this show. I highly recommend this fun production.
Bryan VanDriel lives in Greeley and has been active in the arts for over 35 years. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Find the review at: http://www.greeleytribune.com/entertainment/22583982-113/little-theater-of-the-rockies-version-of-i