As they have several times in the past, the producers of I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change are turning to literary inspiration as an audience draw. Four "Authors' Evenings" will be held on consecutive Tuesdays, beginning May 4.
The writers, whose books concern singlehood and coupledom, chat with audience members before the show and during intermission. Books are signed, champagne sipped. Here's the schedule:
May 4: Melissa Roth, "On The Loose, Big-City Days and Nights of Three Single Women"
May 11: Valerie Block, "Was It Something I Said?"
May 18: Monica Sheehan, ""The Break-Up Book"
May 25: Cindy Walker and illustrator Donna Mehalko, "101 Uses For a Bridesmaid Dress"
For tickets and information on these evenings and the show in general call (212) 239-6200.
* In other Perfect/Change news, original New York cast-member Jordan Leeds returned to the ensemble quartet March 17. He took over for Adam Grupper, who will join the cast of John Guare's new play, Lake Hollywood, opening imminently at OB's Signature Theater.
Leeds' Perfect cast-mates include Kevin Pariseau, Erin Leigh Peck and Cheryl Stern. Joel Bishoff directs, with Neil Peter Jampolis designing the set. Bishoff also staged the show in several cities across North America, as well as in London. He has also directed Over the River and Through the Woods, currently playing Off-Broadway.
I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change celebrated its 1000th performance at the Westside Theatre, Dec. 26, 1998. Asked why the NY Perfect/Change has remained a strong seller while other productions have fallen by the wayside, NY production spokesperson Jim Randolph said, "It's the ultimate date musical. Couples young and old can find things to relate to in the piece, as it ranges from having a baby to old age. There's even a pick-up at a funeral. It's a show for lovers of all ages."
Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts' songs in Perfect/Change, including "Cantata For A First Date," "Tear Jerk," "A Stud And A Babe," and "I Can Live With That," are available on the show's original cast recording on Varese/Sarabande.
Apr. 22, 1997 Di Pietro received the New Voices In American Theatre Award, given by the William Inge Theatre Festival in Independence, KS. He took the honor as an outstanding newcomer to the field.
Recent cities to host the show include London, Melbourne, L.A. (in a much extended current run at the Coronet Theatre), Coral Gables FL, Tel Aviv, Chicago, Kansas City and Detroit.
Perfect's producers, (the late) James Hammerstein, Bernie Kukoff and Jonathan Pollard were so pleased with the piece, they commissioned another musical from creators Roberts (music), DiPietro (book and lyrics) and Bishoff (direction). The property they'll be tuning up is the German film, Men, a big art-house hit of 1986.
"It's a very modern love triangle comedy," says DiPietro, "but it's got a little of The Guardsman in it, and it has some of the same issues as I Love You, You're Perfect.
"I felt the plot itself was great, but I thought I could make it funnier. Basically, it's about a middle-class suburban couple who are cheating on each other. He's an advertising executive who comes home one day and finds his wife with her lover, and he follows them home to the lover's East Village loft. The lover is a longhaired bohemian artist who never settled down. Turns out, he needs a roomate so the husband moves in and starts trying to change him."
DiPietro also wrote the non-musical hit, Over The River And Through The Woods, which opened Oct. 5, 1998 at the John Houseman Theatre on West 42nd Street.