Stop what you are doing and run, don’t walk, to grab your seat and hold on for the ride that is “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” at the Fremont Centre Theatre! Running every weekend in February, this show is the perfect night out on your own, with a date or with a bunch of friends. You will laugh out loud, you’ll want to sing along and you’ll probably shed a tear or two. Whether you are single and out there in the dating world, in a new relationship, about to get married, married for 50 years, divorced single parent, a brand new parent; whatever stage of life you are in, you will see yourself and your friends reflected in this spectacular show that takes us on a life journey that is universally hilarious and heartbreaking.
With great music by Jimmy Roberts and witty book and lyrics by Joe Di Pietro, the show was the second longest running show off-Broadway. In scene after scene watching these four terrific actors playing over 50 characters, one can see why. It brilliantly captures love in all its beautiful, messy incarnations and does so in a way that is so engaging as to catch you completely off guard, wiping away tears, shifting uncomfortably in your chair or slapping your knee in hysterics. The talented cast is deftly directed by Jack J. Bennett, who makes artful use of each actor’s talents, mixing them up in unexpected and delightful ways. The set is minimal and has several moving pieces that glide seamlessly from scene to scene. The actors change right on stage and often engage directly with the audience which simply adds to the fun and invites you to be a part of the experience. Special mention must be made of the incredible classical pianist Yukiko Elegino who is obviously having a blast and adds incredible energy to the evening.
Mirai Booth-Ong and Troy Guthrie are delightful as the young lovebird couple, the awkward geeks on a first date among dozens of other roles. Guthrie gives a nimble, energetic and charming performance and then does something so simple with a song that it hits you in the gut. Booth-Ong is delightfully goofy and darling in all of her roles but proves she’s the ultimate quadruple threat when she breaks your heart with her vulnerability singing “I Will Be Loved Tonight”.
The husband and wife team of Gloria and Jack J. Bennett is reminiscent of a musical “Stiller and Meara” in that they feed off of each other with fantastic comedic timing and authentic love and connection. Gloria’s voice is superb throughout especially in the hilarious “Always a Bridesmaid” and Jack’s characters and voices will have you rolling in the aisles. Both give a sweet and incredibly touching performance in the beautifully written “I Can Live With That”.
A very full, uproariously funny and terrific night of theater awaits you right now, right down the road from you, here in South Pasadena. Do. Not. Miss. It.
Young Stars Theatre (YST), resident company of the Fremont Centre Theatre, is featuring a Valentine’s Day special- $5 off a pair of tickets which includes a complimentary glass of wine. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” runs Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays through Feb. 28, 2016. For showtimes and ticketing: www.fremontcentretheatre.com and for all information about YST: www.youngstarstheatre.org