Reviewing community theater musicals is always a scary proposition, as you run the risk of coming off like the critic in that David Sedaris story who rips apart elementary school Christmas pageants. Criticizing the work of earnest amateurs and semi-professionals trying their hardest to do The Music Man or West Side Story isn’t fun. However, with this year’s Las Vegas Little Theatre’s summer musical I Love, You’re Perfect, Now Change (July 9-25; 362-7996; $25), we have the opposite problem. Instead of earnest but limited performers laboring through some old standby, we get a group of six talented performers whose efforts are wasted on mediocre material.
The show was an Off Broadway smash for 12 years, though I can’t for the life of me figure out why. With no central storyline or characters, the show features six actors playing various characters in a series of unconnected comic sketches about relationships. Although occasionally amusing, the sketches mainly just draw on the most clichéd, hackneyed tropes about relationships—men are slobs, women are emotional, married couples don’t have sex, etc.—and the show basically comes off like the musical adaptation of a Paul Reiser standup routine.
However, this pig at least has some good lipstick, as the cast and two-person orchestra do a great job. The female cast members all have excellent voices and manage to give the songs some emotional resonance. None of the male cast members can match them vocally but are all deft comedians. Patrick Matzig, in particular, has some of the show’s funniest scenes, playing a guy tearing up at a chick flick and a new father who has lost the ability to communicate with adults. The cast demonstrates that, for its one musical a year, LVLT has plenty of talent to draw upon, but needs to be more discerning in choosing material.