A refresher course in love
STATE COLLEGE — Penn State Centre Stage continues its celebration of ten years in Downtown State College with a revival of the popular musical “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”
The show opens on July 20 at the Downtown Theatre Center. This production, like the one done a decade ago, will be directed by Cary Libkin.
“Some people see this as a musical revue,” he stated. “But I have always seen it as a musical comedy. The first half deals with love from the first date up until the wedding. The second act begins with the wedding and deals with all the trials and tribulations of keeping a relationship alive. There is very definitely a story arc to follow.”
The show, with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Roberts, includes 14 songs that deal with dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives, in-laws and more.
In addition to Libkin, actor Don Farrell was a major part of the original Centre Stage production. “I am thrilled to return to PSCS and this wonderful production,” he said. Farrell has been a popular performer for PSCS, also appearing in the hit show “Forever Plaid” and “Dames at Sea.”
“The thing that really makes this show fun is the fact that four actors play 15 roles in the evening. Seeing an actor transform from a teenager to a married adult demonstrates the magic of acting and costuming,” said Libkin.
Despite the fact that this show is being redone by Penn state Center Stage, Libkin has found great excitement and satisfaction in the process of directing.
“We have a whole new design and creative team,” Libkin explained. “I am feeling really good about the challenge of doing a show for the second time. This is a completely fresh view compared with the show 10 years ago.”
Libkin’s directorial vision is focused on the impact the show will have on its audiences. He explained: “The American playwright Robert Anderson talked about the ‘shock of recognition.’ By that he meant the experience of seeing things unfold on stage and recognizing them from one’s own life The recognition enhances the comedy, what’s unfolding on stage in the story. There’s a lot of truth in this show. And it’s very funny.”
While the memory of the first production has faded for Libkin, he does recall that it was a very popular show.
“One thing I do remember is the run sold out,” he said. “So people should get to the box office right away.”