Review: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change – Sing’Theatre | The Flying Inkpot
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change
Rebekah Sangeetha Dorai
Misha Paule Tan
Director: TJ Taylor
Producer: Nathalie Ribette
Alliance Francaise Theatre
24 April 2023
Plays until 30 April 2023
Review by Aileen Tang
How does one navigate the thorny – as opposed to rose petal-scattered – path to love in today’s world? The answer may just be found in this longest-running off-Broadway musical revue which first played at New York’s Westside Theatre in 1996. Returning to Singapore and produced by the visionary Artistic Director of Sing’Theatre, Nathalie Ribette, this rendition includes little titbits of local culture from mentions of NTUC Fairprice Finest and Community Centres to familiar Singlish-inflected accents. But really, even without those deliberate details, the audience would have no difficulty identifying with the vignettes of modern-day relationships, from Tinder to parents eager to marry off their grown children and wedding day jitters.
The humorous but oh-so-true stories of a dozen or so couples were convincingly told by just four (yes, just four) talented actors – the myriad of characters differentiated by a shift in accent, an adjustment in tone, a modification in movement. With each actor a musical theatre force to be reckoned with in their own right, the chemistry when they came together in round-robin pairs was electrifying – and not just in their luscious vocal harmonies. Whether as a mismatched couple on a first date or tired-out parents eager to reignite passion, they were uncannily believable. And while tongue-in-cheek numbers like Cantata for a First Date and Single Man Drought invited giggles and even guffaws from the audience, there were also poignant songs like I Will Be Loved Tonight and I Can Live With That. The latter in particular, of a possible new relationship in one’s twilight years when both parties are still in love with their own deceased spouses, was emotional and heartfelt. Kudos also to the two (yes, just two) musicians – musical director Elaine Chan and multi-hyphenate musician Han Oh – who seamlessly and sensitively brought the 22 songs of this musical pastiche to life.
The four-person cast was stellar, magnified by TJ Taylor’s intuitive and sensitive direction and staging. Even with the different characters weaving on and off the stage of the intimate Alliance Francaise Theatre, it was never jarring. The simple yet effective set involved the moving of non-descript furniture to fit every scene, every context. How fitting, seeing as the stories and emotions expressed are really universal and can be applied to any city, any culture, any community. Have we not wondered if we would ever find The One, pondered over whether we should stay with What-If-He’s-Not-The-One, or been heartbroken over I-Thought-He-Was-The-One (insert preferred gender pronoun)?
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is one of those shows that’s so funny because it’s so true. And if it makes us want to hold on a little tighter to the One we have, or let go of the One that was Never Meant To Be, then it has become just that little more perfect.
I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change runs till 30 April 2023
Tickets are available from SISTIC:
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