Friday, October 7, 2011

REVIEW: I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change by The Hong Kong Singers


Fringe Studio, Thursday October 6 2011

In 1999, I saw I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change premiered in South Africa at the Tesson Theatre at the Civic Theatre in Johannesburg. The production was in a medium-sized theatre with polished sets and costumes, but for some reason, I don’t remember it being as funny as this production by The Hong Kong Singers. Was it because I was 20 years old then (cough… cough…) and the ironies and jokes just went over my head? Or was it because this production here in Hong Kong just simply brought out the ironies and jokes more effectively?

This musical, book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, is a series of vignettes about things we secretly thought about love and relationship YET were afraid to say it… therefore we just sing it out loud! Director Wendy Herbert made the right decision to distribute the roles that were usually played by four actors to seven actors, taking advantage of a broader spectrum of capabilities, compatibilities and ages.

What made this piece of theatre worked well was the fact that each performer pulled their weight in a theatre of the right size, thus removing the usual technical challenge of amplification. Performers were eager and over-the-top; and for some reason, it worked. The awkwardness and silliness reminded me of those sketch comedy TV shows popular in the 70’s when everybody, including the audience, were just having a great time. Amidst good performances, I particularly like Kathleen Leary's performance... somehow, she reminded me of Tina Fey’s Liz Lemon amongst all the other stereotypical characters in 30 Rock.

_____
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Book & Lyrics by Joe DiPietro
Music by Jimmy Roberts
October 4 - 8 2011, Fringe Studio

Creative Team:
Director: Wendy Herbert
Music Director: Micah Sandt

Cast Includes:
Daniel Cheong
Elizabeth Elliott
Kathleen Leary
Marion McDonald
Matthew Collingwood
Matthew Gillespie
Paul Hay

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