The Penn State Centre Stage will celebrate its 10th season in its downtown location by revisiting a hit production from its first summer season in 2003.
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is a musical comedy about the battle of the sexes and love in suburbia. It is directed by Cary Libkin, who also helmed the initial production almost a decade ago. Though he’s been part of the show before, Libkin said a new cast and crew has helped to give him a fresh take on it.
“To me, it feels like I’m returning to an old friend and feels like the friend has changed and grown fresh,” he said. “Three of the four cast members are new to the show and the design team had never done the show, so, because of that, they’ve kept me honest.”
Of course, times have also changed since 2003 and, while the script may be the same, the cast brings modern sensibilities that Libkin said would give the show a different feel for anyone who saw the first production.
“I Love You” explores the various ups and downs of love and different types of relationships, from single life to dating to marriage to break ups. It is off-Broadway’s longest running musical and has inspired almost 60 marriage proposals among audience members.
Two New York veterans — Don Farrell and Rebecca Baxter — and two recent graduates from Penn State’s School of Theatre — Audrey Cardwell and Brad Frenette — round out the cast of four, who collectively play more than 40 different roles of 20- and 30-somethings over the course of two acts.
Because of the number of roles a limited number of actors can play, there may be only seconds for the performers to switch characters and costumes.
In casting the show, Libkin said he looked for people who were versatile and, he said jokingly, the ability to change costumes quickly.
“I wanted actors who could create a character in broad strokes, but on the other hand avoid cliches and stereotypes that can come with changing characters quickly,” he said. “The cast has been wonderful and rehearsals are ahead of schedule.”
Penn State Centre Stage's production of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" will be staged at 7:30 p.m. July 18-19 (previews) and July 24-26, July 31 and Aug. 1-2; 8 p.m. July 21, 27-28 and Aug. 3-4; 2 p.m. July 21, 25 and 28 and Aug. 1 and 4 at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 S. Allen St., State College. Visit www.theatre.psu.edu or call 800-ARTS-TIX for more information.