Last night I was treated to a viewing of the much anticipated “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” (ILYYPNC). I would lie if I say I haven’t been anxiously awaiting the moment I could take my Theatre on the Bay seat to see what VRG Theatrical brings to this Off-Broadway smash-hit. I was definitely not disappointed. It is a true delight from beginning to end!
From first, second and even third date butterflies, to wedding day cold feet, and becoming that “baby talk” couple to your friends, the series of snap-shots presented in ILYYPNC depicts the charming and hilarious (even awkward) side of love and relationships everyone can relate to. With that all packaged as a comedic musical, how can it not be absolutely fabulous?!
On their own the cast consisting of Brandon Lindsay, Claire Taylor, Neels Clasen and Taryn-Lee Hudson are four amazing individual performers without a doubt. However, together they present a power-quartet with vocal range that will make divas weep in envy and comedic timing that will have the best stand-up performers do a slightly anxious double take.
Effortlessly morphing between more than 52 characters collectively, this cast makes the Fantastic Four look like amateurs, because they bring some serious musical theatre super skills to the stage in ILYYPNC. Even though some of the characters are on stage for what seems like a mere split second, the depth the cast adds to their portrayal of each one allows you to invest in them to such a degree that by the time they exit the scene you feel like you are saying goodbye to a friend. Hats off to director Elizma Badenhorst and musical director Wessel Odendaal for clearly bringing even more musical magic out of already brilliant performers.
Although all the scenes are absolutely hilarious, two specifically stood out for me: “Always the Bridesmaid, Never the Bride”, and “Rose Ritz” (the brutally honest story of a 40-something divorcée), both brilliantly performed by Tarryn-Lee Hudson. I was practically squealing with delight at her bridesmaid impersonation. Plus, her interaction with the highly entertaining live band, just put the cherry on the musical theatre cake!
Don’t let all this hilarity fool you into thinking that ILYYPNC is all light-hearted silliness without substance. On the contrary, the balance of substance and amusement is just perfect! When it comes to tugging at the heart strings, the musical numbers “Shouldn’t I Be Less In Love With You?” and “I Can Live With That” (part of the “Funerals are for Dating" scene), will have you gushing for days, because it epitomises the love(ly) story that everyone secretly truly desires for themselves and their loved ones.
The design by Niall Griffin is both quirky and cute, the perfect complement to such an enchanting production, both as far as set and costumes are concerned. In the few minutes that the characters grace the stage their outfits together with the scene prop compliments allow you to do the one thing your mother taught you not to do as Niall says… judge a book by its cover! But in this instance, embracing the visual delight at face value adds the necessary layers that make these onstage ‘friends’ even more real.
Easy on the eye, ear and soul, ILYYPNC will truly delight any musical theatre lover’s heart; it definitely did mine!
The new kid on the musical theatre block, VRG Theatrical, absolutely impressed with this one. I can’t wait to see what they bring to Cape Town next… and rumour has it, it’s going to be another great must see show too.
Want to know more about the VRG Theatreical presented ILYYPNC? Then read our latest Spotlight interview with co-producer and designer, Niall Griffin. Just don’t forget to book your seats via Computicket soon too, as the show has a limited two and a half week run at Theatre on the Bay, before they pack up to go entertain the theatre lovers of Joburg.