I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change!

Court One, Christchurch

13/06/2009 - 18/07/2009

Production Details

Sandra Rasmussen and Richard Marrett, the team behind many of Christchurch’s most popular musicals, bring some heart-warming romance to winter with the record-breaking musical comedy I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE!, opening on June 13 at The Court Theatre.

Hailed as "everything you’ve ever thought about dating, lovers, romance, marriage, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were secretly afraid to admit", this musical revue romps through relationships in all their forms as four performers (Amy Straker, Jonathan Martin, Nicolas Kyle and Ali Harper) play a multitude of roles.

Written by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts, I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE! premièred at the Westside Theatre in New York City, on August 1, 1996 and closed on July 27, 2008 after 5,003 performances: the second-longest-running off-Broadway show of all time.

This has been a change of pace from the "summer spectaculars" for the production team, who have managed casts in excess of thirty for productions such as GUYS AND DOLLS, THE PRODUCERS and LA CAGE AUX FOLLES. Rasmussen finds directing a musical with a cast of four "a much more intimate – but no less challenging – process". 

Musical Director Marrett goes from conducting a full orchestra in the NZ première of MISS SAIGON to being the only instrumentalist on stage, a change he describes as "going from the epic to the personal". He will share pianist duties during the season with Assistant Musical Director Hamish Oliver.

I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE! holds the record for on-stage marriage proposals, with sixty-one successful suitors taking the stage during the show’s twelve-year run. The Court Theatre is going one better with a world first: staff member Jeff Clark will tie the knot on the set of the show. In addition, cast member Ali Harper will be performing while expecting her second child – a piece of theatre history and another sign that love is certainly in the air at The Court!

Full of fun and romance, I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE! is perfect for a first date, anniversary treat or anything in between. Book your tickets quick, though – like single men in Christchurch, they’re getting snapped up fast! 

"It’s official: The Court Theatre puts on the best musicals in the country and… possibly the world" – The Listener (review of La Cage Aux Folles, 2008)  

Venue: Court One, The Court Theatre, Christchurch
Production Dates:  13 June – 18 July 2009
Performances:            6pm Monday / Thursday; 7:30pm Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday (no show Sundays).
2pm matinee Saturday June 20
Tickets: Adults $42, Senior Citizens $35, Tertiary Students $25, School Children $15, Group discount (20+) $33
Bookings: The Court Theatre, 20 Worcester Boulevard; 963 0870 or www.courttheatre.org.nz

Ali Harper, Nicolas Kyle, Jonathan Martin and Amy Straker

Assistant Musical Director: Hamish Oliver   

Underlying truthfulness gives disarmingly witty show real bite

Review by Lindsay Clark 14th Jun 2009

If Hell is indeed other people (and which of us does not believe that at least once a day?), one of the big slippery slopes must surely be love and marriage. What better way to deal with the perils than to put it out on stage, tidied into disarmingly witty lyrics and music?

It is not difficult to see why this full throttled show set a record as the longest running musical revue in off-Broadway history, running there for 12 years from 1996 and playing all around the world since.

The Rasmussen-Marrett team is a well established one and here again they produce the classy, vibrant work they have made their hallmark. From fresh and dynamic choreography to knock-out musical punch, they take every opportunity to find the plus factor.

Here too they have the support of a creative team that gobbles up challenges and spits them out as inspiration. Tony Geddes, faced with a show that demands at least twenty configurations, comes up with solutions which are themselves an entertainment.

The show is loosely structured to follow the progression of romance from first date to what can happen at funerals. It is rich territory and the exploration uncovers consistently unexpected angles with an ensemble of four providing the range of characters. 

Taking their cue from the music, a change of jacket, a new wig, a glide of bed or couch they set us off, time after time, on another charmingly cynical trail. This is not to suggest that the overall treatment does not include poignant moments – a man watches the woman smoothing their bed – and genuine insights. It is the underlying and perhaps unexpected truthfulness of pieces like ‘Men Who Talk and the Women Who Pretend They’re Listening’ that gives the show its real bite.

The four we listen to and watch through all of this are an ensemble of instant appeal. Physically and vocally well suited, they are a wellspring of irresistible personalities. Ali Harper is rapidly becoming a national treasure in the world of musical theatre and her polish is matched in this production by the strength of the team: Amy Straker, whom we are more used to seeing in straight roles, Nicolas Kyle and Jonathan Martin both building admirable reputations in a tough business.

‘Emotional baggage’ then can be a vastly enjoyable spectacle – we just need the music and the talent. No wonder really that it works best on a stage. 
For more production details, click on the title above. Go to Home page to see other Reviews, recent Comments and Forum postings (under Chat Back), and News. 


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