Jennifer Simard's in No Rush to Practice What She Preaches

Jennifer Simard's in No Rush to Practice What She Preaches THEATREGOER'S NOTEBOOK
Jennifer Simard and Danny Burstein in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change
Jennifer Simard and Danny Burstein in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change (Photo by Photo by Carol Rosegg)

THEATREGOER'S NOTEBOOK ROMANCE IN THE 90'S: In the hit musical revue I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Jennifer Simard wittily portrays the angst of dating and being single in the city, then turns the tables to play a divorced woman who pours out her feelings at a video dating service.

"There are so many moments in the show where people say, 'That's me' or 'That's us,' " says Simard, noting that Act One explores the challenges of meeting and mating, while Act Two ponders how to keep romance alive after marriage and kids. "There's something for everyone to relate to."

Simard discovered her own gift for comedy "when I saw Madeline Kahn in Young Frankenstein and started imitating her. As a kid, I was very serious and dramatic, but I loved watching sitcoms, and finally something just clicked. I thought, 'Maybe I can do that.' "

Ironically, Simard won her first New York job, in Forbidden Broadway, by singing one of Kahn's big numbers from On the Twentieth Century. "It was great fun to imitate people like Madeline Kahn and Bernadette Peters because I admire them both so much."

Now that Simard is singing songs with titles like "Single Man Drought" every night, questions about her romantic status are inevitable. "Sometimes I think that I'd like to get married, but there's no rush," she says. When director Joel Bishoff recently told her, "Jennifer, a lot of guys have been asking if you're seeing anyone," Simard laughingly replied, "Okay, Joel, here's the thing you've got to take names and numbers."

-- By Kathy Henderson