REVIEW: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Published 6:49 pm Friday, August 19, 2016
By Jeanette Boehme
Special to The Leader
The Orange Community Players season opener is a delightful, funny, and fast-paced musical made up of an excellent ensemble cast of very talented performers. The show is a series of nineteen short vignettes that sweeps the audience from courtship, through marriage, parenthood, and on to old age. It features the travails of the dating scene during the first act and hilariously considers married life in the second.
Written by Joe DiPietro, with upbeat, perky tunes composed by Jimmy Roberts, it premiered in New Jersey in 1995. The play has been performed all over the world and it has been translated into 17 languages. Due to some language issues and suggestive sex, the show is recommended for mature audiences. However, it is completely done in good taste and should not offend sensibilities.
There is not a weak member in the cast and they move from role to role with aplomb. A scene stealer is Shauna Temple, making her stage debut, singing “Always the Bridesmaid”, never a bride. She has an excellent voice and bewails the hideousness of bridesmaids’ dresses.
Kudos go to veteran actor Barry Foster who stands out in the dual jobs as the director and actor. He steals the show playing the macho movie date to Temple as they watch a sappy chick flick featuring the death of the film’s leading lady. While eating popcorn, she gets a little tearful and before it’s over he is bawling like a baby.
Beth Brooks, Michael Benson, and Eric Andrus are new to the stage. It certainly doesn’t show as they are all amazing. Brooks is a standout in the second act as she portrays a divorced woman, struggling to move on in her life by making a dating video. Benson and Andres are both very handsome and very believable in the many roles they play. They have great stage presence.
Pretty Meg Brown is terrific as the tennis girl who bests her male tennis opponent. He, of course, forgives her as they plan a date, which may include sex. She suggestively sings “I Will Be Loved Tonight.” Amber Martin was a standout in all of her roles, as usual. The play exhibits a balance of bold, timid, and tender moments throughout the show, just as all those elements run throughout our lives.
The simple set allows scenes to come and go with minimal fuss. The wardrobe is also simplistic with easy changes including wigs. The voice coach is the talented Stephanie Foster.
Performances are at 7:37 p.m. on August 20, 25-27 with matinees at 2:37 on August 21 and 28. General admission tickets are $20 and $15 for students. Visit www.orangecommunityplayers.com or call 409-882-9137 for reservations.