SMuTCo Presents “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change”

Sara Dyer

Even if people joke that Colgate “doesn’t date,” Colgate students still have every reason to see I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change. A fun, whacky musical which explores all the insecurities, the problems, the highs and the lows of dating, sex and love, I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, will be performed by Colgate’s Student Musical Theatre Company (SMuTCo) tonight and tomorrow at 8pm in Ryan 212.When actors are in their underwear within the first three minutes of the show, you know it’s going to be a good one. The scenes take place in numerous locations, ranging dinner-dates to the bedroom to dating support groups (in a jail!). In the onslaught of dating-and-love-obsessed sitcoms and movies, what makes this show stand out is what director Kevin Neely ’03 described as, “…timelessness…It seem[ed] like the kind of thing that’s going to be funny, no matter the time.” Neely was involved with Colgate theatre during his time as a student but never directed a play before. On directing he shared, “…it’s amazing how much time you put into it not only in rehearsal…you find yourself thinking about it even when you’re trying not to… I’m not really sure how students that direct musicals have done it.”On why this show is so great for ‘Gate, producer and sophomore Anne Slotnik commented, “I think it’s a show that is very good for a college community… people will be able to laugh at the jokes and realize that they’ve been there before… it’s fun and lighthearted.” The first act is largely devoted to the 20-somethings, young love and dating; the first act ends with an intense scene of a wedding day. The ministers of the soon-to-be’s sing a playful but threatening song on marriage. Rather than wishing them hope and success, they ominously sing that forever is a very, very, very long time. The second act focuses more on marriage and aged love.A six person cast playing over 20 characters, with constant character shifts and abrupt scene switches, has been tough but rewarding for the actors: senior Adam Samtur, junior Vin Macri, sophomores Laura Kavanaugh and Kristin Kwasnik and first-years Kevin Erway and Alison Salewski. This constant movement keeps the scenes fresh and lively. “What it makes for… is a much tighter ensemble,” Samtur commented. “I think it’s really impressive for the audience to see six people trying to fill 20 roles than 20 people trying to fill 20 roles. It’s part of the charm of the show…” Kwasnik added. “It’s fun because you get to adopt all these different personalities for the characters – it’s like you’re in 12 different plays.” The first scene features Samtur and Salewski sitting together, nervous and awkward on a first dinner date. The scene is punctuated by the actors’ nervous and hilarious comments, like Salewski’s awkward, “Want to hear something funny?…My brother has eleven toes.” It’s the gawky moment that immediately ensues with which the audience can connect, knowing how it feels trying to maintain a conversation on an awkward date. The two characters sing, “A Stud and a Babe,” singing not to each other but their thoughts out loud, each wishing they could break through their super geek status and, respectively, be a stud with game and a babe they crave. The show is full of these situations and emotions which transcend what Kwasnik describes when she says, “It’s got a lot of humanity behind it.” Behind the humor and wit, there is great truth and reality in the show.The acting is complemented by the two musicians who play in the corner of the room, senior pianist Chris Lawnsby and sophomore violinist Charles Feirabend. The animated scenes are more colorful and passionate with the clean strong notes of the musicians. “We’re lucky to have great musicians …we’ve always been lucky in that regard that we have really talented people who are also willing to involve themselves in theatre,” Neely noted. What really works for the show is the setting: Ryan 212 is a small space yet it works to the show’s advantage. One feels like they are actually in the bedroom watching Kwasnik and Macri fumbling around under the blanket or in the jail with Erway walking around raising hell about single life in the cell. Neely has set up the seating in a manner unique to previous shows done at Colgate: the chairs are diagonal, facing the stage which is set in the corner of the room. On the new method of seating he commented, “The intimacy has been the driving force behind all the blocking, the action…I wanted to try something different with the seating…it’s creating a new challenge – I like the shape of the corner, it lent itself well to the lighting…it looks really interesting.”Among the various productions of the show worldwide, there have been 49 marriage proposals by audience members to their significant others. The actors aren’t expecting this to happen at Colgate, but are keeping open minds. “If you’ve ever been in a relationship or ever plan on being in one you should come, because you’ll learn something about yourself,” Samtur grinned. “Hey, you should end your article with that quote.”Drag your single self, your friends or your significant other(s) to I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, performed by SMuT Co. tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. in Ryan 212.