Wednesday, April 25, 2018
Stage

Off-Broadway hit 'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change' comes to Show Palace

The title of Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts' record-setting off-Broadway musical says it all: the giddiness of falling in love with the absolutely perfect person, then doing everything possible to make that person change, as in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change.

The lighthearted musical opens Thursday and continues through Sept. 15 as a "summer special" with lower prices and an abbreviated buffet at the Show Palace Dinner Theatre.

The 1996 show starts with the creation of man and woman, then skips to mid 1990s Manhattan and on to suburbia to show how it all worked out. Told in 20 short vignettes with 19 songs, Love/Perfect/Change isn't a single story, but a series of stories showing the many sides of the man-woman relationship. The four actors play more than three dozen characters, from shy young lovers, to judgmental parents, to senior citizens finding love (and accepting reality) at the funeral of a mutual friend.

It's an amiable, easygoing musical that doesn't break new ground, but shows truths so universal that it's been translated into 14 languages — including Chinese — and has connected with audiences on nearly every continent.

There's the ubiquitous female lament that there aren't enough good single men in Single Man Drought; men who complain about chick flicks, then cry along with their dates in Tear Jerk; annoying car passengers full of driving advice (a pal calls them "nagavators") in On the Highway of Love; and new parents celebrating when they finally get a moment for sex, in The Baby Song that segues into Marriage Tango.

And there's the young woman exulting that even though her date might be a one-time thing, at least I Will Be Loved Tonight and another excited simply that He Called Me.

Playing the female roles are Amanda Downey, an experienced actor making her Show Palace debut; and Georgia Guy, who was in the ensemble of 9 to 5 at the Show Palace and has performed at Stageworks, Freefall, Banyan and American Stage theaters.

Playing the male roles are Equity actor Lucas Alifano, making his Show Palace debut after performing opposite Joan Rivers in The Joan Rivers Theater Project, playing with several Shakespeare companies, and appearing in several television series and movies, as well as feature films; and Robby May, who was Uncle Max in The Sound of Music at the Show Palace, and recently wound up a stint as the lead in The Producers at the Cumberland Theatre in Maryland.

Making her directing debut at the Show Palace is Nicole Dominguez, who has been both on stage and behind the scenes in Los Angeles theaters and for television and movies. Music director Mark Anthony Jelks (principal dancer with the Scottish Ballet; Lary Award for Oliver! at Francis Wilson Playhouse in Clearwater) will be joined by violinist Virginia Lamboley to provide live music for the show. Lamboley has performed with several symphony orchestras and was principal violinist with the Abilene Opera Orchestra and others.

Love/Perfect/Change was the second longest-running off-Broadway musical in history (only The Fantasticks was longer), playing more than 5,000 times from 1996 through 2008. It played the Jaeb Theatre at Tampa's Straz Center in May 2006 and again in June and July of 2010 and has played in more than 500 cities around the world.

Comments
Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

Review: American Stage hits ‘The Producers’ out of the park

ST. PETERSBURG — Without question, Mel Brooks’ The Producers carved a more indelible mark than most of the musicals in the entire genre of throwaway musicals it parodied.The creator of Get Smart and Blazing Saddles not only co-wrote the adaptation of...
Published: 04/23/18
The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Holocaust connection that makes the Florida Orchestra’s Verdi ‘Requiem’ concert special

The Florida Orchestra puts another exclamation point on its 50th season with Verdi’s Requiem, this weekend’s concert series, a major presentation of an iconic work. Composed by Giuseppe Verdi, Requiem debuted in 1874 but took on a new layer of signif...
Published: 04/19/18
Updated: 04/20/18
Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

Freefall flavors 2018-2019 season with comedies and a pair of musicals

ST. PETERSBURG — In the coming season, Freefall Theatre is rolling out a world premiere, a different take on Christmas, a sharp comedy and a recent work by Pulitzer winner Lynn Nottage. The theme for the 2018-2019 season, "A Brighter Tomorrow," color...
Published: 04/19/18
Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

Desi Oakley savors pie making in ‘Waitress,’ orchestra does Verdi’s Requiem

HEAD WAITRESS: DESI OAKLEYThe blue collar mother who drives the plot of Waitress never thought she could win a pie-making contest, let alone start a business."She doesn’t even have the capacity to understand that she could do this," said Desi Oakley,...
Published: 04/18/18
American Stage sets the table for a splashy park musical ‘The Producers’

American Stage sets the table for a splashy park musical ‘The Producers’

ST. PETERSBURG ­— Think early evening, daylight saving version. The earth turning away, light fading in Demens Landing Park — everywhere except the stage, which is trying its best to resurrect midday. "It looks like New York City at nigh...
Published: 04/17/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

Brooksville’s Live Oak Theatre presents ‘ReUnKnighted,’ a medieval misadventure

BROOKSVILLE — How about a story about two knights who gain their knighthood, lose it, then gain it back, only to lose it again?That was the concept Kyle Marra pitched nearly three years ago to Randi Olsen, founder and creative director for the Live O...
Published: 04/17/18
Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

Bilingual ‘In the Time of the Butterflies’ shines a light on brutal regime

TAMPA — Tampa made its cigars with indispensable help from Cuban immigrants. Today, 22 percent of the population is of Hispanic origin, as defined by the U.S. Census. The Tampa Bay area has increasingly and proudly defined itself as a thriving perfor...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/18/18
Review: ‘I’ll Be Back’ at Stage West mixes creepy with shocking

Review: ‘I’ll Be Back’ at Stage West mixes creepy with shocking

The murder mystery/thriller I’ll Be Back Before Midnight is loaded with potential. Playwright Peter Colley’s spooky, sometimes creepy, script has lots of surprises, scary moments and a few jokes to break the tension.And the production at Stage West C...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18

Review: ‘Menopause the Musical’ brings the heat to Show Palace in Hudson

For years, Show Palace Dinner Theatre patrons have begged owners Vicki and Tommy Marasciullo to bring Menopause the Musical to their Hudson venue. To be sure, the longtime showbiz couple wanted to, and the 400+ sold-out crowd opening night, followed ...
Published: 04/16/18
Updated: 04/17/18
Monthly dessert theatre opens at CARES

Monthly dessert theatre opens at CARES

NEW PORT RICHEY — A collaborative agreement between CARES (Community Aging and Retirement Services) and local entertainer Jimmy Ferraro will bring Jimmy Ferraro’s Dessert Theatre, a series of monthly variety shows, to the CARES Elfers Center stage, 4...
Published: 04/16/18