Allison Greet and Jeremy Wheeler in a scene from I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE at Barley Sheaf Players. (Photo credit: Brian Miller / Chorus Photography)

Allison Greet and Jeremy Wheeler in a scene from I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE at Barley Sheaf Players. (Photo credit: Brian Miller / Chorus Photography)

Barley Sheaf’s PERFECT, NOW CHANGE: Loved It, ‘Twas Perfect, Change Nothing!

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Erin Anne Bohmaker, Allison Greet and Chris Mercury in Barley Sheaf Players’ I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE. (Photo credit: Brian Miller / Chorus Photography)

Did you know that I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE is the second longest running off-Broadway show? (The first? THE FANTASTICKS… I like to know these things.) Did you know that “off-Broadway” by definition encompasses seating from 100-499?  (Ditto) Did you know that PERFECT, NOW CHANGE is now playing at The Barley Sheaf Players in Lionville, PA? (You do now.) Since I had the opportunity to see an opening with “family & friends”, I got to enjoy, as well as participate in, the laughter. This audience sees the people they know performing in situations that they don’t get to experience at home. In this musical comedy comprised of a series of vignettes portraying “love ‘n’ marriage”, you should have little difficulty being able to relate to the words and actions of the players, especially if you easily LOL and maybe get teary-eyed shamelessly. However, one caveat – if “naughty” words and sexual innuendos offend you, this show is not for you, and definitely not for the kids. Forewarned is forearmed.

The original show ran from 1996 – 2008 and the setting represents that time period. If you were of dating age within those years, you will probably see and hear the actors singing your story(-ies) onstage.  As we find ourselves relating to the lyrics, we may find our emotions awakened, and sometimes they really hit home … hence, the laughter and the tears.  By the time Act I (relationships and dating) and Act II (wedding bells and beyond) end, we almost feel a real connection to all four pairs as they sing (and sometimes dance) their way through the years.

Chris Mercury and Erin Anne Bohmaker. (Photo credit: Brian Miller / Chorus Photography)

Chris Mercury and Erin Anne Bohmaker. (Photo credit: Brian Miller / Chorus Photography)

Now think back. Remember the first date with your significant other? And the second? Third? Maybe not. Well, you might recognize those times in the song, “We Had it All”, deftly performed by Erin Anne Bohmaker and Jeremy Wheeler. Deb Topka really knows how to pull the audience’s heartstrings in “The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz”, (though I wanted Topka to kick it up just a notch in her singing so we’d feel it even more). “On the Highway of Love” … oh, so clever! Kevin Robinson and Allison Greet, outdid themselves in “A Stud and a Babe”! With a huge shock at the end! BTW, all in all, there were quite a few unexpected surprises. Jamie Brandt Trommelen, could you be any more comfortable on stage than you are? Paul Hayward gave solid performances throughout … and can I say, “Easy on the eyes?” Chris Mercury, oh, those expressive eyes! Some of the vocals were stronger than others, but that just made it all seem more real. Everyone in the cast was good at connecting with the audience. What fun!

Director Doug Schultz gave us a well oiled show with sets that offered few distractions. Identifying each scene on a screen above worked well for me. The live music kept it all rolling along smoothly. Using the aisles in this rather small theatre makes it all come alive (and maybe helps to keep the audience members alert)!

(Top row: )Allison Greet, Jamie Brandt Trommelen, Deb Topka; 2nd row: Kevin Robinson, Paul Hayward, Erin Anne Bohmaker; (Bottom row:) Jeremy Wheeler, Chris Mercury. (Photo credit: Brian Miller / Chorus Photography)

(Top row: )Allison Greet, Jamie Brandt Trommelen, Deb Topka; 2nd row: Kevin Robinson, Paul Hayward, Erin Anne Bohmaker; (Bottom row:) Jeremy Wheeler, Chris Mercury. (Photo credit: Brian Miller / Chorus Photography)

As you’re now calling to reserve your seats, remember: I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE rocks! Not good to assume there will be a seat there just waiting for you…

Until the next show…

I LOVE YOU, YOU’RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE
Book & Lyrics by Joe DiPietro
Music by Jimmy Roberts
Directed by Doug Schultz
May 31 – June 22, 2013
The Barley Sheaf Players
810 N. Whitford Rd.
Lionville, PA 19353
610-363-7075
www.barleysheaf.org

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Lila Achuff

Lila Achuff

Lila Achuff … parent, educator, choreographer, current owner of a growing cottage industry of homemade preserves and condiments (Lila’s Best). Born in Montreal, Quebec, Canada, most of Lila’s education has earned her degrees in education, counseling and psychology along with an earned doctorate in Urban Education from Temple University. Over the years she has choreographed, or assisted in choreographing, musical productions in schools and local theatre, including Longwood Gardens (South Pacific, 2005). Recent shows she was involved with were “Guys and Dolls” (ACT … Avon Grove Community Theatre), “Carousel” (Rose Valley Chorus) and “Meshuggah Nuns” (Chapel Street Theatre). Because of her relationship with theatre, this makes her well qualified to review upcoming shows for STAGE.

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