One lesson theater teaches us over and over is that nothing lasts forever. The biggest hit, the greatest career, the oldest playhouse - all eventually face the reality of time marching on. Even Rent, which announced a summer closing and then pushed that date back till Labor Day, is only forestalling the inevitable. Things change.
And so it goes for I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, the little revue that could - and did - for nearly 12 years at off-Broadway's West Side Theater. The second-longest running off-Broadway musical in history (after The Fantasticks, of course), Perfect/Change will have played 5003 regular performances by its just-announced closing date, July 27. The show's press office also notes that ILYYPNC, which has been staged in more than 500 cities worldwide, is also the longest-running show ever in Denver, Dallas, South Florida and Rochester, NY."
Joe DiPietro and composer Jimmy Roberts' look at dating, relationship and marriage in songs and sketches didn't appear to be a world-beater when it opened to mixed reviews on Aug. 1, 1996. But producers James Hammestein, Bernie Kukoff and Jonathan Pollard realized the subject matter made it an ideal, audience-friendly date show. In fact, 61 times, the tuner has hosted real-life, onstage marriage proposals.
Directed by Joel Bishoff, the musical comedy features such songs as A Stud and a Babe," I Will Be Loved Tonight," He Called Me" and Marriage Tango," currently performed by cast-members Anne Bobby, Christy Faber, Jonathan Rayson and Frank Vlastnik.
Whether Perfect/Change will be revived in New York as quickly as The Fantasticks was remains to be seen. Still, it's hard to imagine a bevy of marriage proposals coming to The Adding Machine.