2 November 2012

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! at the Riverside

I am going to stop claiming that I do not like musicals as I keep going to them and I keep liking them.

That said, I am still not in to the Mamma Mia type musicals and I found the extremely popular Les Miserables to be laughably bad. The musicals that I like are more quirky, musicals like I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!

The musical is a series of endearing and  humorous sketches on the theme of love; falling in love, dating, getting married, not getting married, living with small children, living with older children, living after a partner has died, and growing old together.

Telling these stories were a cast of just four, two men and two women. They were helped by a few black-clad assistants who moved the many simple props around to define each scene.

And there are many scenes. Too many scenes for me to recall them all, and I refuse to take any sort of notes during a performance, but there were several that made a strong impression.

Early on we see a couple on their first date who agree that they do not like first dates so decide to treat it as a second date. They do not like second dates either. After several false starts they decide to jump to the point where they had been a couple, had split, he had a new girlfriend and they had a chance meeting to their mutual embarassing.

In an other date, a man gets taken reluctantly to a soppy film where the hero's wife is dying of cancer. He tells that he would much rather be watching an action film but he gets sucked in and ends up shedding a few tears.

Later we meet a family where the father's only comfort is his car as he is berated by his back-seat-driving wife and squabbling kids in the back. At one point she sings, "Keep your eyes on the road", to which he replies, "Keep your thoughts in your head".

And, finally, toward the end we meet an elderly Jewish pair, not a couple, who meet at a funeral having been introduced at another funeral. Funerals are a large part of their lives. He pursues her with some success while they both confess that they will always love their departed partners.

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! was a nicely put together show that made you care about the characters and share their pains, joys and embarrassments.

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