It still holds the title of "Off-Broadway's longest-running, smash hit musical comedy celebrating the triumphs and trials of the modern-day mating game."
So "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" is an easy embrace as a stage fit for theater venues.
It played a popular open-ended run at Chicago's Royal George Theatre for years and now, it's been dusted off, resurrected with some minor updating, for a run through Aug. 11 at the Marriott Theatre in Lincolnshire.
With script and lyrics by playwright/lyricist Joe DiPietro and composer Jimmy Roberts, the two hour revue uses a cast of four, two actors and two actresses, to slip in and out of various characters for a selection of quick songs and story skits centered on dating, marriage, romance mixed with the humor and frustration of today's relationships.
But even though Matt Raftery, who directs and choreographs, has made an earnest effort to pump extra details and attributions to bring this yarn first spun in 1996 into the new century, a number of threads still unravel and an intended climax is not achieved.
Billed as a hit in more than 400 cities worldwide, audiences get to witness scenes surrounding awkward first date conversations, interpreting mixed signals, pushy parental advice, dating phone etiquette and lessons for how to dress and date to attract the opposite sex.
But much of this breeds predictability, with two scenes especially coming to mind, one dealing with a friend subjected to over-doting new first-time parents and another that is a ballad of the blues of being a perpetual bridesmaid.
The four-person cast of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," are talented, but the material doesn't allow them much to showcase. Alex Goodrich and Johanna McKenzie Miller are the favored stand-outs of this foursome.
Bernie Yvon's by far best moment is his turn transformed as a convict imprisoned who specializes in bringing potential couples together. Kelly Anne Clark, having been with five previous versions of the show, including Off-Broadway, shines in a number about the suffering moments of awaiting a second date telephone return call. Some other scenes, like the influence on men when having to watch a female favorite romance film and nerd attraction, offer some chuckles, and groans.
The last time I caught a performance of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" was in September 2001 at Theatre at the Center in Munster. And if I have to wait another dozen years, I won't be disappointed.
Tickets are $40 to $48, excluding tax and handling fees. Students 17 and youngerr and senior citizens 62 and older receive $5 off a full price theater ticket for Wednesday Matinee, Saturday Matinee, Sunday Matinee and Sunday Afternoon performances. FYI: (847) 634-0200 or MarriottTheatre.com