How we work through our relationships in life, with a little humor
The Santa Clara
May 26, 2017
Everything we’ve ever thought about relationships was hysterically packed into Santa Clara’s production of the musical “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” The play, originally performed Off-Broadway, just ended its two-week run here on campus at the Fess Parker Studio Theatre.
The intimacy of the black box theatre and four-character cast facilitated a direct exchange of honesty between audience and cast members.
In a culture where we sometimes find it hard to reflect truthfully on our relationships, every scene captured both the beauty and difficulty of love, loss and life. “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is a musical about relationships with themes, ideas and production details that transcend trends and time.
“The musical is about how connection between people gets forced into everyday life and what it looks like when your idea connection begins to fall apart and how we wrestle with that,” said senior actor Nick Medál. “As far as organization goes, think “Chicago.” As far as style goes think “Will and Grace” or “Friends.”
Between the crowd interaction, brilliant commentary and the embrace of awkwardness, it’s hard to say if there was a moment where laughter didn’t fill the room.
The sequence of nineteen unique scenes and over sixty different characters lent itself to seamless commentary on relationship truths.
Each portrayal of different relationship dynamics and experiences helped the audience grapple with the reality of love.
Honest conversations about the difficulties of commitment, as well as the beauty and hardships of growing old, were threaded throughout the musical.
“The series of short and all too relatable vignettes provided an entertaining and easy to watch experience for the crowd,” said senior Sean Jackson, who saw the play.
Senior Kalina Venugopal’s energetic and wholesome presence on stage and freshman Collin Seaman’s relentless expressions and darling renditions was undeniably captivating. Sophomore Alexa Rojek’s sharp and dynamic impersonations, and senior Nick Medál’s absurdly charming and poignant ability to command attention on stage displayed an undoubtedly impressive range of characters.
“The disciplined roles and equal amount of attention to every character showed each actor’s commitment to the diversity of experience,” said junior Kayla Ayres, who saw the play.
Not every actor can move effortlessly from psychotic inmate to wholesome priest in under twenty seconds as Medál so brilliantly did. Nor can every actor convincingly commit to an age and heartbreak beyond their years and pull it off as amazingly as Venugopal did in her monologue, “The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz.”
You can’t ignore the pressures of marriage after listening to all four actors perform the number, “Hey There, Single Girl/Guy,” nor can you deny the hilarity of waiting by the phone for your date to finally call back after watching Venugopal sing “I’ll Call You Soon (Yeah Right.)”
Even the despair and loveliness of reluctantly finding love in old age as Medál and Rojek’s gentle yet stubborn characters do in “Funerals are for Dating” leaves you with a bittersweet chuckle.
It’s seldom easy to talk about the pain of unwarranted desires and disconnect between relationships.
Rarely do we want to address the nauseating cycle of breakups and makeups. But the hilariousness and sweetness of each musical number surely eased the anxiety regarding such conversations.
As the musical is about loving, leaving and coming back, there was something much more profound playing out underneath rehearsed lines and impressively speedy outfit changes.
A cast of four unbelievably talented actors showed the true value of what it means to share raw talent with a community that oftentimes needs to be reminded about the humor in day-to-day relationships.
“I love comedy,” Medál said. “Laughing a bit is a great way to ease up. I believe people actually appreciate jokes and comedy, it helps them relax and enjoy life a little more.”
Loving and losing and loving some more is inherent in our experiences with one another. Be it the pain or the joy associated with relationships, there’s no escaping any of it.
The musical invites us into a world that takes us beyond our own experiences. It connects us to the universality of relationships, leaving the audience more comfortable and honest with their own antics and quirks.
The hilarious nature of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” is the kind of production that makes you reflect on topics you would otherwise shy away from in relationships.
As Medál puts it: “The best way to tackle anything is through positivity and humor. When you can laugh about something, it’s a little bit easier to internalize and understand it.”
Contact Lindsey Mandell at lmandell@scu. edu or call (408) 554-4852.