By Nikki Hedrick
Let’s be honest—dating isn’t easy. There is no magic age when you have all the answers about interpersonal relationships. And if we are really honest, we all have made some sort of faux pas along the way.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Emerald Coast Theatre Company’s newest production, is a musical comedy that dives deep into the world of dating and everything that follows, from children to being widowed.
The play features four actors—Marcellis Cutler, Hope Golds, Brian Hilario and Mckenzie Pollock. Instead of following four characters, the audience is treated to a whole host of vignettes that touch on the absurdity of social expectations of dating and its unavoidable heartaches. But make no mistake, the play is upbeat, beginning with “Cantata for a First Date,” a humorous take on how one prepares and primps for a first date with hints of how looking for a partner can wear a person thin.
From there, we move into awkward geeks trying to make their way, the lies daters fall into as they are trying to woo potential suitors, and the excitement of a relationship barreling down milestones. The play toys with stereotypes and generates some great laughs, even in the face of hardship.
The story arc stretches through the vignettes from that oh-so-precarious world of dating to wedding vows that mark the intermission. After intermission, we get a glimpse of how children change relationship dynamics, and how beautifully love can age or fall apart.
But I Love You… is about more than romantic relationships. It highlights parental expectations, evolving friendships, and how love keeps moving forward. It highlights life.
These stories are told primarily through song, which is made even livelier live piano accompanist Celia Villacres. There are feelings we can all relate to, even the little jabs about not liking football or secretly crying at mushy movies.
Kudos to the cast, director Nathanael Fisher, musical director Mary Jeter, and the entire crew for bringing this long-running off-Broadway jewel to our community.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change runs through Oct. 1 every Thursday, Friday and Saturday at 7:30 p.m., along with Sunday matinees at 2, at 560 Grand Boulevard. Due to lyrics and content, the show is deemed appropriate for ages 13 and up.
Learn more at EmeraldCoastTheatre.org.