'Love' songs of all sorts
Arizona Daily Star; Tucson, Ariz.; May 17, 2002; Kathleen Allen;
Invisible Theatre presents off-Broadway hit revue
"Love," as Mickey and Sylvia once sang, "love is strange."
Don't believe it? Check out Invisible Theatre's production of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," opening next week.
The musical revue by Jimmy Roberts and Joe DiPietro takes love and relationships and looks at their funny sides, tender sides, and, yes, even the strange sides.
The musical explores - with short skits and songs - just about every aspect of contemporary relationships.
It's been an off-Broadway hit for six years, with no sign of letting up, and has had a healthy life in theatrical productions around the world.
"It's kind of a phenomena," says director Joy Hawkins.
"I guess it's the combination of music people love, good songs with good singers, and funny things that relate so to our lives."
Hawkins knows of what she speaks: She has performed in it and directed a production of it at the Red Barn Theater in Key West, Fla., where she is the artistic director.
"It has an instantly relatable quality that brings it home," she said. "It's about loving and trying to figure out relationships and marriage."
The play first opened in New York in 1996. While it continues to pull in crowds there, it has been performed in more than 150 cities around the world.
In fact, "I Love You . . ." has become a sort of proposal platform: In New York alone, 13 men have taken the stage to pop the question. Their intendeds accepted, and the audiences cheered. There's no indication - yet - that the same will happen here.
The cast of four members plays 50 characters who span ages, types and relationships.
The skits include a divorced mother at a dating-game service; two women suffering through boring dates; the macho man who cries at movies but tries to hide it from his date; and a sweet vignette of a husband who sings "Shouldn't I Be Less in Love With You" as he sits across the kitchen table from his wife, who is busy reading the paper.
"It gets crazy and silly," said Hawkins, "and it has touching moments."
Hawkins has wide experience in the theater world.
She was a regular on the old "Dean Martin Show" on television, worked in Las Vegas with Gene Kelly and even had a stint in Invisible Theatre's 1997 production of "Always, Patsy Cline," playing the friend to Liz McMahon's Patsy.
"She's a fabulous singer," Hawkins said of McMahon, who is a member of the cast of "I Love You. . . ."
"I'm thrilled to be working with her again," Hawkins added.
Other members of the cast are Julia Marie Tilley, a University of Arizona student; Mickey Nugent, who recently impressed in Music Theatre Arizona's production of "Dames at Sea"; and Michael McLernon, an actor from Florida who was brought in for the production.
"It's a real good mix," Hawkins said of the cast. "And they are wonderful singers."
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
By: Jimmy Roberts andJoe DiPietro
Director: Joy Hawkins
Credit: Arizona Daily Star
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