|Tracy Payne Black, Andrew Lipman, Emily Lynne Aiken, and Brett Aiken|
photo: Wade Moran
"Over a series of vignettes and songs, both comical and sincere, the musical revue I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change tackles many phases of a relationship. ...Theater Works in Peoria presents a smartly directed production of this hit show with a very talented cast.
With book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro (Tony winner for Memphis) and music by Jimmy Roberts, a cast of four play a wide range of characters who appear in short vignettes that cover the journey from dating to marriage, with failures and triumphs encountered along the way. ..DiPietro's dialogue is smart, realistic, and charming yet also moving in the more serious scenes. His lyrics are just as good. Unfortunately Roberts' music doesn't fare as well, with none of the songs having any hooks, phrases, or melodies that you'll remember after the curtain call. Director Brett Aiken has cast a very talented foursome who excel in making the comedic moments funny and the dramatic scenes poignant. While it might seem like nepotism that Aiken cast himself and his wife, Emily Lynne Aiken, they are both exceptional, as are Tracy Payne Black and Andrew Lipman. There aren't any moments where the four don't excel...The four cast members also have nice voices and great chemistry as well as astute facial expressions. They add plenty of thought to their interpretations and hit a range of emotional levels in both the scenes and the songs. While the space is small, Aiken's staging works well....Steve Hilderbrand's music direction achieves lovely sounds from the cast and the two-piece band. Tamara Treat's costumes and Jacob Hamilton's hair and make-up designs are fun and fresh...I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is far from a perfect musical, but it's still a fun journey through life and the ups and downs of a relationship. It's just too bad the songs aren't as good as the book scenes."
-Gil Benbrook, Talkin' Broadway (click here to read the complete review)