Saturday, June 15, 2024

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Repertory Philippines)

♣♣♣♣/♣♣♣♣♣

Do not expect a storyline because there isn’t any. I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a collection of vignettes poking fun at modern day relationships, leaving no stone unturned in lampooning everything from dating to sex to parenthood all the way to its culminating chapter hilariously named “Funerals Are For Dating” where two newly-widowed senile individuals take another chance at romance despite not remembering whose wake it is they are currently at. This musical is like watching a comedy show skit and since the brand of humor is right up my alley, I actually enjoyed the damn thing all throughout, perhaps thanks to all the sarcasm. Everything from the dialogues to the song lyrics are packed with some crass humor and common observations about relationships that you would not dare say out loud. Perhaps this is also one of the reasons why this musical ends up being funnier than it’s supposed to be.

This musical has always been performed with a small cast, in this case just four people. Two guys and two girls play multiple roles with a lot of personality, accent, and style changes. One can only imagine how difficult it must be to direct a show like this, not to mention how you really need legit triple threats in your cast in order to pull it off. There isn’t a lot of dancing involved, though; singing, yes. All four actors are well-equipped in this department and do not fail to deliver. Since all of them are up to the task, it all boils down to acting and stage presence for one to outshine the others, in which case Krystal Kane is the evident scene stealer.

Who is Krystal Kane and where has she been all this time? Unfortunately, I have no idea. All I know is she had the whole theater laughing out loud and admiring her effortless singing. Or maybe she just got the more interesting characters? Whatever the reason might be, rest assured that she is there to entertain, and entertain she did. Her Always a Bridesmaid solo is memorable not just for the hilarious lyrics but also thanks to her flawless southern accent. 

Gabby Padilla also plays different roles but the one that stands out the most is not really a musical number, bur rather her The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz monologue, which is about a middle aged divorcee signing up for a dating app and required to come up with an introductory video, which ends up in alcohol induced verbal diarrhea. Considering how she had to sync her actual live performance with three pre-recorded videos simultaneously being projected on stage, impeccable timing was a non-negotiable, and she managed to pull it off.

Marvin Ong seems to be a newbie, but held his own quite well against his three castmates. I must say that he truly shined in the duets, though. The very first one, A Stud and a Babe, is a duet with Padilla, which they both carry out with just the right amount of increasing intensity as they transform throughout the song. He also performs a duet with Kane, Marriage Tango, which is memorable because of the relatability of the material dealing with Sex and the Married Couple.

Gian Magdangal is already a veteran on stage, and it is nice to see him performing again. Similar to Ong, however, his most memorable performances here are those that are done as duets or in a group. There is one particular solo, though, The Baby Song, which also turns out to be memorable despite being a bit weird because of all the baby talk.

As for group performances involving all four of them, my personal favorite would be Hey There, Single Gal/Guy where a family dinner expected to be a night of wedding proposal ends up as a break-up, causing the parents portrayed by Kane and Magdangal to berate the other two through song.

Will I enjoy I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change even if I am not in a relationship? Well, you might enjoy it more if you are currently with somebody because that will definitely up the relatability factor. Even then, past experiences also count. If not, you can still probably relate to the unifying theme if you are at that age where just about everybody else is getting married and having kids. These characters are just too familiar!

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