Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Olathe Community Theatre "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" review by luvbroadwaysong

The Art of the Relationship
Rating: 5

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Olathe Community Theatre Association

Stepping into the Olathe Community Theatre on Friday night was exciting, as I knew I was about to take a wonderful journey. I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! is a near and dear show to me, as I was a part of a production here in Kansas City back in 2008. I instantly fell in love with the show and knew that I had to get down to OCTA to catch their current production.

The lights came up on a stage that showcased a number of black painted flats, painted with various words and pictures that depict parts of a relationship. "Significant Other," "Baby on Board," and other phrases and pictures met the audience's anxious eyes, as six actors adorning choir robes came out onto the stage and began singing beautiful, tight-knit harmonies that instantly submerged us into the top of the show.

What I love about this show is that it can be done with a minimal set or no set and is an ensemble piece. In a day and age where big blockbuster musicals such as Wicked and Phantom of the Opera continue to be produced on Broadway, it is nice to see a production that doesn't need to rely on the glitz, glamor, and lights. It is simply the talent that shines.

Each actor was able to shine in various skits throughout the show. John Cleary had excellent acting chops and he easily navigated his way through some hilarious scenes, but then showcased his softer side in the ballad "Shouldn't I Be Less In Love With You," causing the audience to hold it's breath. James Levy's voice floated, and he brought an innocence to the show. His scene with MB Hurst depicting an older couple at a funeral was extremely touching and was one of the strongest in the show. MB's portrayal of the old lady was spot on and you really felt that both characters were sincere. Sarah Montoya's Rose Ritz monologue was a powerhouse of acting, taking her through multiple emotions in about a page of dialogue. You believed her sincerity and were able to relate to her character as she discussed the divorce that brought her to a video dating service. Kevin Rehrer's tearjerker left the audience in stitches and his hilarious antics in the song "Waiting" caused the audience to roar with laughter. Rachel Adcock's voice was beautiful as she innocently sang "I Will Be Loved Tonight."

Overall, the production was a great success. The only complaint I have is from a directing perspective. At times the blocking fell a bit flat. I think there were comedic moments that were lost due to a lack of movement. Understandably, the actors have limited space on the OCTA stage, however at times they were simply standing still delivering hilarious parts of a song. With a little more attention to the movement, I think the audience would have been a little more engaged. With that being said, the director should be praised on how seamlessly she was able to choreograph the flow of scenes as one quickly transformed into another, while the actors themselves worked together to make a small set change occur.

For anyone who loves a good comedy with some heartfelt touches, you must not miss this show. You have one more weekend to get down to OCTA. Go see some of the finest community theatre in KC. Go, go, go!

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