Old Creamery production explores sex and dating in the modern age

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change will debut Thursday night at the Old Creamery Theater.



Philip Runia, Arts Reporter

Romance in the 21st century is a daunting feat for many, considering all of the distractions. Whether they be technology, an ex, or simply a lack of desire for dating, all play out comically and emotionally in Amana at the Old Creamery Theater’s upcoming production of I Love You You’re Perfect, Now Change.

In vignettes that foster modern relationships, the musical’s recently updated script sets an accessible and universal frame for a 2019 audience across a wide range of age and experience.

The musical sees couples through different stages of relationships, from a swipe to a first date, deciding about marriage, to marital issues. The characters range from millennials to the elderly, running the gambit of love. Four actors will portray 16 characters in the musical’s 18 scenes.

To achieve an accurate representation of the story and its characters, director Sean McCall encourages the intuition and participation of his four actors in brainstorming to create a richer musical experience. He hires good actors, he said. Actors such as Katie Colletta had little more than two weeks to get the show together with rehearsals beginning on March 12.

“Everyone came in really prepared,” Colletta said. “We’ve been able to go into well-in-depth character work. We’ve been able to get to the heart of the work really quickly.”

McCall’s 25 years of experience at Old Creamery helps as well. Of the 17 shows Old Creamery produces yearly, he directs half, putting him at more than 100 shows directed in his 15 years of directorial experience. He uses his B.F.A. in musical theater production to make the scripts come to life.

“Musicals are bigger than life,” he said. “They cause us to sing and dance rather than talk. You have to find the honesty in that as well.”

The music itself ranges from humorous to mournful, with songs about dirty pics and widowed lovers. To soprano Colletta (Woman 1), the updated version of the script freshens up the musical, allowing more aspects of relationships to ring true to 2019. Apart from lyrics and dialogue, the actors create original sonic interpretation of the music.

“There’s no cast recording … we won’t be singing to match,” Colletta said.

The set is as interesting as the songs, in that 45 emojis will be arranged in a carnival-esque tunnel of love to further highlight the intricacies of relationships. The emojis will be periodically highlighted, going from smileys to famous eggplants and peaches.

“People think of Old Creamery as your grandma’s theater, but this is an R-rated show,” McCall said. “There’s language, there’s people in bed together. It’s a modern show with a modern sensibility.”

The sad, sexy spectacle that is I Love You will début today at 2 p.m. and run through April 14. Matinées (2 p.m.) and evening shows (7 p.m.) are available at $30. Student tickets are $12 with an ID. Tickets are available on the Old Creamery website.

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