The actors at the Breckenridge Backstage Theatre have baggage. It’s perfect. I love it. And I don’t want it to change.
The Backstage’s latest production, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” rolls through 20 vignettes depicting various stages of romantic relationships, from that awkward first date — which the blind-date couple decide to skip as soon as they meet, and then move on to the second, oh, but no, that one leads to ulcers as the sexual tension builds, so they decide to move onto the third, which brings up the whole sex dilemma, and so they agree to skip right to the sex, until, that is, they realize how awkward first encounters can be, so why not just jump to the morning after, and before they know it, they decide to just get their first fight over — to finding companionship in widowhood.
Emotional tones throughout the show run the gamut from tense to joyful to bittersweet, but one thread remains constant, and that is humor.
Act I takes audiences through a hilarious journey of two nerds finding their mojo; the men who talk and the women who pretend they’re interested; men sitting through sappy movies for their loved ones; parents chastising their adult kids for not settling down; and hysterical sex vignettes.
Act II continues the musical vignettes — ranging from rockin’ pop to country, blues, tango, quasi operatic and more — as it picks up where the wedding left off.
The bridesmaid dressed in gaudy green ruffles surprises us with her take on always being a bridesmaid, just like the scene about sex and the exhausted married couple with kids may surprise too.
“The Highway of Love” is brilliantly choreographed, and “Shouldn’t I Be Less in Love with You” is an extremely touching look at mature, “quiet” love.
I saw this show at the Denver Center for the Performing Arts years ago and liked it then, but I enjoyed the Backstage’s production even more.
Keyboardist Trent Hines is superb, as he not only accompanies the actor’s strong voices, but also as he “plays” with them on stage. Mark Middlebrooks, T.J. Hogle, Lindsey Falduto and Melanie Horton seamlessly transition from one role to another; quick costume changes and their versatile acting skills allow audiences to easily “buy into” each vignette, even as they change roles and partners.
The vignettes move quickly and literally had Friday night’s opening audience roaring, and ending the show with a standing ovation.
Whether you love love, or hate love, I bet you can’t help laughing at the Backstage’s rendition of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”
The show only runs March 13-16; March 20-23 and March 27-29 (7:30 p.m., except on Sundays, when it starts at 6:30 p.m.), so catch it soon.
Tickets are $25 (plus a $2 surcharge) for adults and $20 (plus surcharge) for youths. Purchase tickets online for the best deal; if you get them at the box office, you’ll pay an additional $2. For more information, visit the Backstage’s website.
Note: The show contains adult language, themes and scenes with actors wearing underwear. It’s probably appropriate for teens, but, honestly, I think it’s a lot more fun to watch when you have more experience with love and relationships.