Crossroads Repertory Theatre at Indiana State University kicks off its summer season with the musical comedy revue, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” Performances are this Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with additional performances July 17, 25 and 26. All performances begin at 7:30 p.m. except for the Sunday matinees at 4 p.m.
Director Bill Kincaid notes that this musical is one that most any adult will like. “I see my nieces in their 20s liking this. I can see my sister, who is divorced, relating to it. I see myself in a good relationship. I can even see my parents in the show.”
The reason for the musical’s universal appeal is that it is about our human desire to connect with others. It affectionately and gently pokes fun at the way we respond to love, from the early stages of dating, through family life, clear to being widowed.
The musical’s book and lyrics were written by Joe DiPietro with music by Jimmy Roberts. Indiana State’s Mark Carlisle is the music director, working with the actors on songs covering a variety of genres, including rock and roll, gospel, country and soul. The show premiered in 1996 and closed in 2008 after 5,003 performances, making it the second-longest running Off Broadway musical. It was nominated for the Outer Critics Circle Award as an Outstanding Off Broadway musical in 1997.
“This cast jelled right away,” Kincaid said. “Often the beginning of the rehearsal process involves getting cast members comfortable with each other. We skipped that step because of their instant connections, some from having worked together before. There was a sense of ensemble on the first day.”
Six actors make up the cast: Andrew Behling, Jason Bowen, Carolyn Conover, Jomar Ferreras, Veronica Garza and Molly LeCaptain. All but Conover, a veteran Crossroads Rep actor who currently lives in Michigan, are Chicago actors in town for the summer. Kincaid is also from Illinois, where he is a professor of theatre and head of acting at Western Illinois University.
Throughout the show, each actor takes on different roles as the audience moves through the different stages of love. Kincaid noted that the characters move through the many stages of love.
“It’s been interesting to work with our costume shop,” he explained, “especially in the early songs where the characters are in the dating phase. The costume designer has pointed out that it’s all about ‘the packaging’ when we are looking for love.”
By the end of the show, most of the characters are more comfortable in their own skin and are willing to accept themselves for who they are.
While the title sounds flippant, Kincaid notes that in the end we are all humans who want people to relate to us. “When the show first came out, the title didn’t really appeal to me. But once I started studying it in preparation for directing it, I came to appreciate its warmth and humanity,” Kincaid offered.
After the June 22 matinee, audiences are invited to stay for a free Sunday Talk with a member of the original cast, Rob Roznowski. He will discuss his experience working on the show from its developmental stages, to its New York opening and on to its Los Angeles premiere.
A ticket to “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” costs $20. Indiana State University students get one free ticket per show with student ID, while Indiana State faculty and staff can get theirs at a reduced price. Season tickets for all four shows of the summer season are available for $52. Tickets can be purchased online at www.crossroadsrep.com or at the box office located inside the New Theater, 540 N. 7th St. For additional information, call 812-237-3333.
Date: June 20, 21, 22; July 17, 25, 26
Evening shows: 7:30 p.m.
Sunday matinee: 4:00 p.m.
Tickets: $20 general admission; $16 Indiana State faculty and staff; Indiana State students free with student ID