BCP to present musical comedy ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’
“Relatable.” That word pops up frequently when the director and cast talk about “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” which opens at Beaumont Community Players, Sept. 10. The musical comedy features a series of vignettes that run the relationship gamut from first love to dating to old age. Director Bryan Brassard said everyone will see some aspect of themselves in the show.
“If you’re coming to see the show, it’ll be home for you,” he said. “You’ll see your relationships — it’s all part of what we all go through in our lifetime.”
The original production opened off-Broadway in 1996 and ran for more than 5,000 performances. Brassard was in the cast when BCP produced it in 2004. However, this version was tweaked and updated in 2018 by the original writers to include some new songs, a couple of same-sex relationships, and even a nod to how some people use the internet to hook up.
“If you have an old cast recording, some of it is the exactly same, but they’ve changed words around, flipped a couple songs, added some extra lyrics,” Brassard said. “It’s going to be a fresh experience. If you saw it in 2004, there’s snippets of the old in there, but it’s got new in there.”
The four-person cast — two males and two females — play multiple characters, which can be a challenge, Brassard said.
“Normally when you do a musical, you’re one person, and you’re that person for the entire show,” he said. “It’s been fun for me to help (the cast) figure out what the character is going to be for them.”
Heriberto “Bert” Sanchez said playing multiple characters has been fun. He played Emil in BCP’s “South Pacific” and said there is only so much depth one can find in a single character.
“I like to do voices, and so you change from one voice to another, and you’re able to give a little pizzazz to the character and move into a different person,” he said. “It’s a lot more fun. It keeps you on your toes.”
Sanchez was not really interested in auditioning at first, until he heard the music. The father of three listened to the soundtrack and immediately found the songs relatable.
“One of the songs is ‘Highway of Love,’ and (the kids) are driving the dad crazy when he’s driving, and I’ve been there, like, ‘Oh, my gosh, I want to kill the kids in the backseat,’ you know?” he said. “Another one of the songs is called, ‘The Marriage Tango,’ and it’s about when the parents finally have their chance to have a little alone time — I’ve been there.”
The musical has a special meaning for Genevieve Broussard, who is married to the director.
“The day I met my husband, Bryan, he sang a song from the show called, ‘Shouldn’t I Be Less in Love With You? And then the next week, we started going out and he gave me an ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect’ soundtrack as a present, and I listened to it on repeat for probably six months,” she said. “So I’ve loved this show, literally, for 16 years now.”
While she still loves the songs that make one feel young and in love, Brassard said she relates a little more to the middle-aged married people songs more than when she first heard it. That is part of the appeal of the show.
“Honestly, there is something for every single person, she said. “If you’re looking for really good music, it’s here. If you’re looking for hilarious comedy, it’s here. If you’re looking for really sad, sweet moments, it’s here. There is something for everyone in this show.”
Austin Wise will make his BCP debut in the show and said playing multiple characters is a lot of work.
“You got different personalities that you have to remember, that you want to interpret to the audience,” he said, “You want to make sure that each character is its own character and not similar to the last. But once the scene came together, that character made a lot more sense.”
Lara Strawther said finding the different voices in the characters is hard enough, but there’s also another big challenge — costume changes.
“(They’re) fast and you’ve got to be ready to go for the next one, you know, and get to your place,” she said. “Since there’s only four of us, there’s nowhere to hide.”
Strawther said she was not familiar with the show but fell in love with it while she was preparing for auditions.
“Oh my gosh, it’s hilarious,” she said. “From beginning to end, every scene is funny and witty.”
Bryan Brassard said there are several reasons why this is the perfect time to produce it.
“Right now, especially with the spike in COVID, we need things in our lives that will take us away from our everyday life for an hour, two hours, where you can just leave all that behind, come here and laugh at the characters on the stage,” he said.
The show features some mild profanity and explores some adult themes, but Brassard said anyone from teen up will relate to the show — there’s that word again.
“You’re going to have a good time,” he said. “You’re going to laugh. You’re going to enjoy the singing good singing and good acting.”
“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will be performed Sept. 10, 11, 17, 18, 23, 24, 25 at 7:30 p.m., with a matinee at 2 p.m., Sept. 18.
Beaumont Community Players is located at the Betty Greenberg Center for the Performing Arts, 4155 Laurel Avenue, Beaumont, TX 77707.
For tickets, visit www.beaumontstages.com or call 409-833-4664.
This story first ran in the Sept. 3 Beaumont Enterprise Art of Living section.