‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,’ is a musical comedy by Jimmy Robers and Joe DiPietro. It is based around a series a short scenes and songs which tell the story of the various stages of a relationship. It does not follow a particular couple but does follow the actor’s journey through life and the ups and downs of a relationship, from the first date, to marriage, to babies, to divorce or conversely being in love 30 years down the line. It is certainly a show many of us can relate to! The show however is a product of its time and you do wonder if it is was more up to date and relevant if there would be a nod to internet dating or Tinder or at least a text – rather than waiting for that all important phone call.
All the characters within the show are played by 4 actors – Julie Atherton, Gina Beck, Simon Lipkin and Samuel Holmes and all of them are faultless. They not only have brilliant comedy timing but appear to look like they have been together years (despite this only being their opening and just 2 previews under their belt). They each played so many characters throughout the show with complete conviction, playing everything from a serial killer to a child in the back of his rowing parents’ car. There were some moments that shone for me – the first was Samuel Holmes playing a rather convincing elderly gentleman and the second was Julie Atherton’s rendition of ‘I Will Be Loved Tonight.’ I was also creased over with laughter during ‘Het There Single Gal/Guy,’ the number where a couple reveal to expectant parents that they are in fact breaking up….. not getting engaged and the parents don’t hold back. Each actor on stages facial expression during this number was perfect and just set the comedy off perfectly. The songs were sang well and with complete character by all of the cast, although I would have liked a bit more of an opportunity for the cast to really let go and show off their vocal talents some more.
The lighting plot was fairly basic and think that this could have been used to add to the comedy more, however it did its job in so far as you could see the cast and the odd cue got a laugh. The set was minimal, a few chairs and a sofa but for a show of this nature nothing more is needed and probably would have detracted. Sight lines at times were difficult from my position in the audience but at smaller venues such as this I do tend to be more forgiving. As Above The Arts is unreserved seating I would recommend getting there early to get a seat on the left hand side of the audience, nearer the front, to ensure you don’t miss a split second of the casts facial expressions.
If you like your musicals with a healthy dose of comedy and aren’t too worried about a big set or big dance numbers then I would recommend that you get yourself down to Above the Arts to see this show.
Review by Sarah McPartlan
I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE
Wednesday 1st – Saturday 18th July 2015
HARTSHORN – HOOK PRODUCTIONS present a revival of the American review I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE for a strictly limited run in the new studio space ABOVE THE ARTS. This production will be the first musical venture for the space which officially opened its doors in March 2015 and will feature a stellar cast of West End favourites.
Heading up the company is JULIE ATHERTON who recently appeared in the Original London Production of SHOCK TREATMENT at the Kings Head. Julie’s previous credits include Kate Monster in the Original London Cast of AVENUE Q, Sister Mary Robert in SISTER ACT; THE MUSICAL (National Tour) and more recently the title role in THERESE RAQUIN, which transferred to the Park Theatre following a sell-out performance at the Finborough.
Joining Julie onstage for the first time since they appeared in AVENUE Q together is SIMON LIPKIN. Simon most recently appeared in the Menier Chocolate Factory’s acclaimed production of ASSASSINS and throughout his career has proved himself to be one of the West End’s most reliable young comedy actors. Previous credits include Barlow in I CAN’T SING (London Palladium), Lonny in the Original London Production of ROCK OF AGES (Garrick Theatre) and Sir Galahad in SPAMALOT (National Tour).
Also joining the line-up is west-end regular GINA BECK, who is best known for her portrayal as Glinda the Good in WICKED (Apollo Victoria). Prior to her time in Oz Gina appeared as Christine Daaé for two years in THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA (Her Majesty’s) and as Cosette LES MISERABLES (Queens Theatre).
Completing the cast is terrific comedy actor SAMUEL HOLMES who most recently joined the Monty Pythons onstage at the O2 in their comeback show MONTY PYTHONS LIVE (MOSTLY). In addition to performing as an honorary Python for the sell-out run, Samuel also collected an award on their behalf at the British Comedy Awards. His previous credits include Sir Robin in SPAMALOT (National Tour), Terrence in THE WATER BABIES (Leicester Curve) and Ruth in the original production of Sasha Regan’s All-Male PIRATES OF PENZANCE (Union Theatre/Wilton’s Music Hall)
The production is directed by KIRK JAMESON who most recently presented a revival of Kander and Ebb’s THE WORLD GOES ‘ROUND which earned him a nomination in the Best Director Category for the Off West End Awards. Other credits include SEUSSICAL; THE MUSICAL (The Arts Theatre) , ON A CLEAR DAY YOU CAN SEE FOREVER (Nominated for Best Musical; Off West End Awards), ONCE UPON A MATTRESS and DAMES AT SEA (The Union Theatre). For Musical Staging, Kirk will once again be joined by SAM SPENCER-LANE, making this their third production together in as many years. Some of Sam’s more recent choreography credits include DESSA ROSE (Trafalgar Studios), THEY’RE PLAYING OUR SONG, THE INVISIBLE MAN and THE LAST FIVE YEARS (all at Menier Chocolate Factory). Completing the creative team as Musical Director will be SCOTT MORGAN who most recently accompanied KEITH JACK on his UK Tour and American Drag Sensation COURTNEY ACT during her UK Shows.
This hilarious musical revue is penned by award-winning writer JOE DIPIETRO, who most recently had West End success with MEMPHIS starring Beverly Knight. In addition to winning best musical at this year’s What’s On Stage Awards, MEMPHIS also won four Tony Awards including best writer for Joe DiPietro. His other credits include NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT starring Matthew Broderick (Imperial Theatre; Broadway) and new musical LOVE ME TENDER, which will tour the UK this summer. Music is supplied by JIMMY ROBERTS who is best known for his contributions to the musical revue A… MY NAME IS STILL ALICE.
I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE follows the ups and downs of a modern day romantic relationship whilst attempting to answer some of life’s most infuriating questions; “what do women really want?, “What are men really thinking?“ and “why, when we find the partner of our dreams, do we spend the rest of our lives trying to change them?”
Hartshorn – Hook Productions proudly present Julie Atherton, Simon Lipkin, Gina Beck and Samuel Holmes in I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Wednesday 1st – Sunday 19th July 2015
Tuesday – Saturday at 7.30pm; plus Saturday/Sunday matinees at 2.30pm
Directed and Designed by Kirk Jameson
Choreographed by Sam Spencer-Lane
Musical Direction by Scott Morgan
The Arts Theatre, GREAT NEWPORT STREET, LONDON, WC2H 7JB