It’s been almost a decade since “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” last graced Penn State’s Centre Stage, but the plot lines and characters remain fresh as ever in this summer production.
The musical features two men and two women who interact in various couplings throughout more than a dozen skits that explore sex, dating and relationships in the modern era. Woman No. 1 (Audrey Cardwell) and Man No. 1 (Brad Frenette) are in their 20s while Woman No. 2 (Rebecca Baxter) and Man No. 2 (Don Farrell) are in their 30s.
Farrell played the same role in the 2003 Centre Stage production; Baxter is a veteran stage and screen actress; and Cardwell and Frenette are both recent Penn State graduates. The four had great chemistry as an ensemble and in every configuration the skits put them into. The show moved at a quick pace and transitions between sketches were seamless, even those that required quick costume changes by the cast.
“I Love You” is off-Broadway’s longest running musical and has been described as “Seinfeld” set to music. That feeling came through loud and clear, and sketches featuring the female leads were also reminiscent of “Sex and the City.”
One of the evening’s biggest laughs came during “The Lasagna Incident,” a sketch that paired Cardwell and Frenette as tennis-playing friends revealing romantic feelings to each other for the first time. Cardwell agrees to make Frenette his favorite meal and, in discussing what he should bring, he says “wine” while she says “condoms.”
No subject proved too taboo, as another one of the evening’s biggest laughs came near the end of the first act with “Satisfaction Guaranteed,” a spoof on a law commercial where the firm Jacoby and Meyers and Masterson and
Johnson promised to get couples the pleasure they deserve in the bedroom.
Other sketches covered topics including awkward first dates, breakups and keeping the in-laws happy. No matter where you are in the quest for love, there’s something for all in this show.
Penn State Centre Stage's production of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" will be staged at 8 p.m. July 27-28 and Aug. 3-4; 2 p.m. July 28, Aug. 1 and 4; and 7:30 p.m. July 31-Aug. 2 at the Penn State Downtown Theatre Center, 146 S. Allen St., State College. Visit www.theatre.psu.edu or visit 800-ARTS-TIX for more information.