The hilarious musical "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," playing at Show Palace Dinner Theatre in Hudson through Sept. 15, is filled with humor and heart. It is a summertime jewel that should not be missed. This off-Broadway musical revue with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, ran for more than 5,000 performances over 13 years.
Nicole Dominguez (who we will see more of when she plays the title role in "Hello Dolly" later this season), who directed and choreographed the show, has hit a home run, along with Mark Anthony Jelks, musical director, in ensuring that each vignette moves along swiftly, with seamless scene changes. Every fast-moving word in this witty show was delivered succinctly and each lyric in perfect harmony by the talented cast of four. With Jelks at the baby grand and violinist Virginia Lamboley, whose strings add depth and color to each selection, this one will tug at your heartstrings and tickle your funny bone.
The set is simple, but set designer Tom Hansen still manages to make it pop with his art deco panels and gorgeous lighting design, while costume designer Darlene Widner works magic with the wardrobe.
"I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," is a series of vignettes, depicting love in all the stages of our lives.
No stage in life is overlooked, as we experience the angst of dating, to meeting parents, becoming parents ourselves, a family drive in the car and an elderly romance at the funeral home.
Four characters - two men and two women - show us how hard it is to find the perfect mate while at the same time trying to shape them into who we want them to be. All four characters are strong actors and vocalists, and they shine at comedy.
Georgia Guy (Woman 2) and Robby May (Man 2) don't miss a beat in their rapid fire dialogue in "Not Tonight, I'm Busy, Busy, Busy," as they skip from the first date all the way to breaking up, all in the course of minutes.
May, as the cocky macho man dragged to see a chick flick by his girlfriend, and then welling up with emotion, is simply superb. Guy is a powerful tour de force in "Always a Bridesmaid," and her talent at voices is evident in several scenes as different characters, all to perfection. This is one talented young woman.
Lucas Alifano is outstanding as he takes on various characters, but the most poignant of all was "Shouldn't I Be Less in Love with You?" as a middle aged man who realizes while having morning coffee with his wife that despite the problems over the years, he wouldn't trade places with anybody else. His clear strong voice is pleasing to the ears.
Lucas is paired with Amanda Downey in "The Lasagna Incident" where she exudes optimism with a beautiful endearing "I Will Be Loved Tonight." Downey is a natural comedian, with great physicality and a lovely voice, and these two are terrific together.
May and Downey are simply wonderful in their meeting at the funeral home, "Funerals are for Dating," as they sing "I Can Live with That," proving that it is never too late to find love.
Another crowd pleaser is the duet with Lucas and May in their underwear singing "Why? Cause I'm a Guy," as they explain the things guys do that are socially unacceptable to do in public.
A show highlight in Act Two is the hysterical segment with all four actors portraying the typical American family in "The Family that Drives Together."
Chef Dinah Teaford has pulled out all the stops and delivers a buffet that is outstanding, and the Show Palace wait staff is at the top of their game to make the evening enjoyable.
"I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" has witty dialogue and great song lyrics, but it is this highly professional group of actors who make it all work.
The strength of this sweet musical is that it reminds us of all the good things in our lives and the loves we have had and to remember it is the small things that are so important.
This show is funny and sweet, but does contain sexual references, so is best enjoyed by adults.
Show Palace offers Special Summer Ticket Pricing for dinner and show at $32.95. "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," runs through Sept. 15 with Thursday and Saturday matinee, Saturday evening and Sunday brunch performances.
Show Palace Dinner Theatre is located at 16128 U.S. 19, Hudson.
Call the box office at (727) 863 7949, or go online www.showpalace.net to purchase tickets.