Many of us have deliciously awful dating stories, but they haven’t been on public display. Until now. CATCO’s current production of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is an Off-Broadway musical comedy delivering a volcano of vignettes about the perils and jubilation of love. It explores awkward first dates, online dating mishaps, engagement pressures, marriage stress, child rearing, sex after marriage, life after divorce and widowhood. The $35 ticket price offers more insight and solace than any paid dating service could ever pretend to provide.
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change truly is an examination of all relationships from every angle,” said Joe Bishara, CATCO’s associate producing director. “The fusion of the book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro with the music by Jimmy Roberts is tremendous. One minute you’re laughing, the next you’re on the verge of tears.”
The two-act play takes place in an intimate cabaret setting with 75 open seats. We sat just a few feet away from the stage and immediately fell into the trance of the show’s pluck. All four actors in the cast offer their own brand of charisma. This is the debut CATCO performance for local actress Eli Brickey, and let me tell you. She is going places.
At 30 years old, CATCO just keeps getting better. Dirty Rotten Scoundrels (the 2014-2015 season opener in July) will be the organization’s biggest musical to date. Next February marks its first collaboration with Opera Columbus for Terrence McNally’s Master Class, and it will present the world premiere of Herb Brown’s The Final Table next April.
CATCO periodically hosts free play readings, so theater lovers can enjoy behind-the-scenes interpretations of works that aren’t currently being performed locally. The next one takes place on April 13 with Will Eno’s Middletown.
“Come see us in action!,” urged Bishara. “You won’t be disappointed.”
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change runs through March 30 at Studio Three in the Riffe Center.
Photos by Ben Sostrom.