by Beki Pineda
I LOVE YOU – YOU’RE PERFECT – NOW CHANGE – Book and Lyrics by Jo DePietro; Music by Jimmy Roberts; Directed by Heather Frost. Produced by 11 After Theatre in collaboration with CenterStage Theatre Company (901 Front Street, Louisville) through October 22. Tickets available at 303-529-2782 or Centerstagetheatrecompany.org.
There are shows you attend and enjoy, walking out of the theatre smiling with your fellow theatre-goers. But a week later when someone asks you about it, your memory only retains “Oh, it was good” because you remember that smiling exit from the theatre, but not that much about the show. A month later and you have to strain to remember seeing it. Such a show is LOVE/PERFECT (as thought of by theatre folk).
But by the same token, there may be one or two bits from the show that you do remember. They stay with you because of where you were in life at that time. Like I never forgot Rose Ritz and her first dating video and the sweet “Shouldn’t I Be Less in Love With You? love song that celebrates long lived love. Why those two? Of course, you guessed it. I had gone through a rough divorce shortly before and related to the words of those bits.
Then you see the same show years later and all the amazing humor, the brilliant lyrics to tender melodies, the joy of re-discovering universal situations you or your friends have now lived through, and even the poignant scenes that broke your heart before now calls forth a rueful grin. Too much information? Sorry!
What a treat it was to revisit the show performed by the new 11 After Theatre Company in Louisville on a recent Sunday. Utilizing the talents of eight well known performers from both the near-Boulder theatre community and Denver proper, they energized the skits that follow the course of true love from first dates to picking up women at funerals. The show has undergone a few changes to bring it into contemporary times. There are gay couples now and sexting is parodied in a new song. But the bulk of the original 1996 script is there and, believe it or not, it’s still relevant. An example of how human nature is slow to change.
The cast does a fine job with the emotions expected of them. Most Fun: Mike Martinkus trying not to cry as he watches a chick flick with his girlfriend during “Tear Jerk.” Prettiest Song: Fiona Wohlfarth singing “I Will Be Loved Tonight” as two people make a real love connection. The Most Touching Song: “Shouldn’t I Be Less in Love With You?” sung by John Boggs to his wife of many years over the breakfast table. Most Authentic Monologue: The Very First Dating Vido of Rose Ritz as performed touchingly by Melissa Fike. Cutest Little Old Man and Woman: David Cervera and Jessica Peterson as they hook at a funeral parlor. Best Dancers in Sweat Pants: Mike and Joan Harrold as a harried married couple who discover the kids are asleep, the chores are done, and they still have time to get it on in “The Marriage Tango.” Most Frightened: Robert Janacek and Fiona being traumatized by a prison convict to get married in “Scared Straight.”
This is community theatre at its best and 11 After is off to a fine start. Keep your eye on them.
A WOW factor of 8!!