RiverStage to present ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’

LEWISBURG — Many theatergoers find it noteworthy when a community theater group, which only rarely produces a musical, schedules a couple of musicals as bookends to its expanded lineup of season attractions.

RiverStage Community Theatre presents “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” as its 2018-19 opener, and then closes the season next Spring with another musical “Mama Mia.”

The witty musical comedy has 7:30 p.m. performances on Sept. 21-22 and Sept. 28-29, with a 2:30 p.m. matinee on Sept. 30 at the Greenspace Center, 815 Market St.

With a permanent home in the former Lewisburg High School, RiverStage kicks off its seventh year of producing year-round theatrical productions in the area.

“I Love You” consists of a series of scenes and songs, mostly independent of each other, which highlight the agony and the ecstasy of dating, mating and falling in love, with some of the unexpected but hilarious consequences.

With music by Jimmy Roberts and book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, “I Love You” is the second-longest-running musical in Off -Broadway history, since its 1996 New York opening.

This amiable musical is not only a fan favorite, but popular with area theater groups — Millbrook Playhouse just concluded its season with a professional production.

Jacqueline Engel, who directs RiverStage’s show, unequivocally states, “This is my favorite show. This is the fourth time that I’ve done the show and each cast brings new laughs and new ideas. This cast has bought into the hilarity from the start.”

The RiverStage cast, which Engel has assembled, consists of four men and four women, with each playing multiple roles.

Playing the lonesome ladies, girlfriends, wives and romance-seekers are Tara Wands, Brandy Aguirre, Kathryn North and Amanda Rousu.

The husbands, fathers, boyfriends and men seeking dates will be played by Josh Adams, Steve Aguirre, Jove Graham and Glen Wilson.

In the director’s chair again, Engel has amassed credits by directing over 170 productions at several venues in North Central Pennsylvania.

She notes that this cast has been featured not only in prior RiverStage shows, but also productions of the Community Theatre League, Courtyard Theater and the Pennsylvania Theater of the Performing Arts.

Presented in two Acts, “I Love You” mixes witty songs with cutting edge humor.

Many vignettes that may bring tears of laughter include a macho man falling for mushy movies, a girl bemoaning that she is “always a bridesmaid,” new parents engaging in silly baby talk, and a crazy family drive.

Also, some may even experience a lump in the throat when a neglected husband sings “Should I Be Less in Love With You?” or when an elderly couple discover a late-in-life attraction in a funeral home.

Because of the adult situations and humor, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is recommended for mature audiences.

Engel smilingly summarizes that “The show is at times funny, poignant, campy, ridiculous and, more than anything, hopeful. People leave believing in the power of love again, something that is sorely needed these days.”

For more information, call 570-988-0848 or visit riverstgetheatre.org.