I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change

Previewed 22 July 1999, Opened 28 July 1999, Closed 25 September 1999 at the Comedy Theatre (now Harold Pinter Theatre)

Musical comedy by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts' musical comedy I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change in London

With wit, style and a fabulous score that will have you humming along and chuckling away in equal measure, the show's a bright, refreshing look at what we have all felt about boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands, wives, parents, children, in-laws and grandparents - but were too afraid to admit!

The cast features Clive Carter, Shona Lindsay, Gillian Kirkpatrick and Russell Wilcox. Directed by Joel Bishoff with set and lighting by Neil Peter Jampolis and sound by Tom Lishman.

"The music is by Jimmy Roberts, all of it neat and none of it memorable; but how handsomely it is written for four good voices. The book and lyrics are by Joe Dipietro; they are incessantly slick but, like the stagecraft of Joel Bishoff's production, they challenge the four singers to prove themselves character-actors of great diversity. The four British performers respond nobly to the challenge... Clive Carter, one of Britain's most assured musical performers, absolutely has the measure of the show; he delivers its most extreme comic moments with relish and skill, and wins the biggest laughs. Shona Lindsay, pretty and skilful, is a worthy foil, although it is with her that the production feels most like a carbon copy of the transatlantic original. Gillian Kirkpatrick is, I think, a major find; though she has done little work in London before, she has such verve, bite, and so disarmingly large a vocal range that one wants to see her at once in a series of powerful witty/serious ardent/tender caricature/complex roles - the kind of roles, alas, that nobody writes in musicals any more. But of this excellent quartet it is Russell Wilcox who impresses me most. An appealing performer with a wide mouth and good chest notes, he seems a tad conventional and callow at first; but as one sketch follows another, he seems to carry the reality of each of his characters around with him with an extraordinary absorption." The Financial Times

"Joe DiPietro, who wrote the sketches and lyrics, can turn a line, construct a song and rhyme with some invention. Jimmy Roberts, who wrote the music, can trot out a tango, a trio or a trite hot gospel chorale. You'd think I'd be grateful for a musical show that bucks the current trend of karaoke nights for hen parties from Essex. But I Love You, I'm afraid, I love not. It lacks sparkle and fire. And apart from one startling secret confession of love over the cornflakes after 30 years of marriage, it lacks heart. It is like so much of the post-Sondheim school of sexual relationship musical theatre writing... One cheer at least for an attractive quartet of top British talent in funky Shona Lindsay, versatile Gillian Kirkpatrick, cheeky Russell Wilcox and self-satirising Clive Carter. The art of quick-change revue is not dead in their hands, even if some of their material is dead in the water, or at least gasping for air in Joel Bishoff's production." The Daily Mail

"According to the programme, this unremarkable but not unlikeable revue about dating, marriage and divorce has become such a cult in the US that men regularly come on stage at half-time to propose to their girlfriends. Up they trot, with rings and sheepish grins, and, lo, another pair of lovebirds are preparing to live happily after. To be fair to the show, that's more a symptom of the emotional exhibitionism currently rampant in the land of Winfrey and Springer than proof of any great sentimentality in Joe Dipietro's book and lyrics... If you tire of Jimmy Roberts's nice, bland tunes or of the somewhat plonking rhymes Dipietro has given the two-man, two-woman cast, you may still find Joel Bishoff's production of socio-anthropological interest. The women pretend to be fascinated by electrical engineering, golf, or whatever their attendant nerds are jabbering about. The men dream of being studs and going to movies about psychos with chainsaws, yet cannot stop weeping at the sad, soapy films their girlfriends prefer. A very confused place, America... The tone tends towards the bittersweet and occasionally, as in a still-love-you song, towards the bitter-soupy. The all-British cast bring passable American accents as well as energy and versatility to what both the title and the closing number suggest is the show's overall message: that you 'find someone you love, someone you think perfect, then spend the rest of your life trying to change them'." The Times

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change in London at the Comedy Theatre previewed from 22 July 1999, opened on 28 July 1999 and closed on 25 September 1999