Though titled I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, that Off- Broadway musical needn't change a thing -- Aug. 1 was the show's one year anniversary at the Westside Theatre, and Oct. 12 will mark the show's 500th performance. Still in an open run, Perfect/Change is the longest-running show ever at the Westside Theatre.
Aug. 22 brought a new actor to the company: Adam Grupper, replacing original cast member Danny Burstein, playing in the Barry Manilow musical, Harmony, at CA's La Jolla Playhouse. Grupper appeared in the York Theatre's No Way To Treat A Lady and on Broadway in City Of Angels and The Secret Garden.
Asked why Perfect/Change has remained a strong seller while other productions have fallen by the wayside, 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."
As if to prove that fact, at the end of the July 25 performance, audience member Jeff Pasternak walked on stage (with the blessing of the show's producers), read a poem he wrote titled, "Wasteland No More," and asked his companion, Dana Buxbaum, to marry him. He then leaped from the stage and put a diamond ring on her finger, with the audience giving the couple a requisite standing ovation. Oct. 3, the show had its third engagement: Mark Vigilante proposed to Tara Larsen from the stage after the curtain call. She accepted.
* After productions at Long Wharf and NJ's American Stage Company, I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change opened Aug. 1, 1996 at the Westside Theatre on West 43rd St.
The musical, which is produced by James Hammerstein, Bernie Kukoff and Jonathan Pollard, stars Danny Burstein (Company; Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh), Jennifer Simard, Robert Roznowski and Melissa Weil. Musical director is Tom Fay, sets are by Neil Peter Jampolis.
Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts' songs, 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 cast recording on Varese/Sarabande. Joel Bishoff directs the show, which has musical direction by Tom Fay and vocal/instrumental arrangements by composer Roberts. Sets are by Neil Peter Jampolis, lighting by Mary Louise Geiger, costumes by Candice Donnelly.
On April 22, 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.
For tickets and information on I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change at the Westside Theatre, call (212) 239-6200.