☆★★★★ I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
As George Rae, one of the stars of this new production of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change bounded off stage after last night's bows, he had a beaming and knowing smile on his face. And quite justifiably. Together with Laura Johnson, Naomi Slights and Dominic Hodson, this was an ensemble on top form.
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change celebrates the newly rebranded/relaunched Chiswick Playhouse. And arrives with not only potentially the longest title for a musical but also has over 5,000 record-breaking performances off-Broadway. It also enjoys a protracted tagline too: "Everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit." Thankfully there is now no need for an extensive synopsis of the plot!
With a fundamental theme of love and relationship, ILYYPNC is simply presented as a series of fast-paced vignettes in a revue format. With a book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, the ensemble of four embraces the clever, witty writing and equally pertinent, razor-sharp lyrics. Whether it's Laura Johnson and Naomi Slights as a lesbian couple obsessing about their new life with their baby or George Rae and Dominic Hodson as an elderly gay couple finding love at funerals – cleverly observed especially the dance break capitalising on their elegant walking sticks! ILYYPNC is chock-full of brilliantly funny set-ups – internet dating, family dynamics, break-ups, divorce - all superbly realised under the expert hands of these true West End professionals. And it goes without saying the level of the accompanying vocals is exemplary.
Director Charlotte Westenra has smartly tightened the piece, and it now runs for an energetic 80 minutes, a decidedly excellent appreciation of the maxim that less is definitely more.
ILYYPNC is the perfect production to relaunch the Chiswick Playhouse. If last night was anything to go by, there was a palpable air of excitement in the atmosphere! Long may it continue, as this is what Chiswick has needed for a long time.
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change plays at The Chiswick Playhouse at the Tabard, Chiswick W4 until 30 November 2019
Tickets here: www.chiswickplayhouse.co.uk