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REP’s ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ Will Show Love for All Ages

REP’s ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’ Will Show Love for All Ages

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Repertory Philippines (REP) is set to stage the Off-Broadway musical I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change from June 14 to July 6 at the Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium of RCBC Plaza.

Written by Joe DiPietro (book and lyrics) and Jimmy Roberts (music), the show first opened Off-Broadway in 1996. Staged as a musical revue with a cast of four, REP’s upcoming production includes Gian Magdangal, Krystal Kane, Marvin Ong, and Gabby Padilla, along with swings Barbara Jance and Davy Narciso. Together, they embody a total of 40 characters, ranging from big-city singles and awkward wallflowers to married couples and 80-year-old seniors looking for love.

Updated script, music, and lyrics

Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, who serves as the director for the REP production, says that they will be giving the musical a contemporary spin, setting it in the current time period. The company is currently using a script that was updated by the original creative team in 2018.

“They’re different kinds of vignettes that talk about different kinds of relationships, about people trying to connect in the world we live in today,” shares Lauchengco-Yulo.

“Basically, we have a revised version. It’s been updated ever so slightly. Some songs were replaced, some songs still exist, but I am really taking it up a notch higher. I am really setting it contemporary. So my opening is completely different from how it was staged in the past. I’m making it a little more current. I’m making it a little more geared for the audiences of today.”

L-R: Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, Davy Narciso, Barbara Jance, Marvin Ong, Krystal Kane, Gian Magdangal, Gabby Padilla, Stephen Viñas, Cara Barredo, Ejay Yatco; Photo Credit: Frida Tan

The music itself has also been updated. Musical director Ejay Yatco shares, “Originally it was a violin, a bass, and a piano, but the staging now [features] electric guitar, electric bass, drums, piano, and reed. So I think they also tried to make the music sound more current.”

Regarding some of the revised lyrics, Lauchengco-Yulo says that she’s very happy with them. “There are songs that are very current. They’ve updated certain words in the lyrics, which makes the generation of today connect to it better. And I mean, who can’t connect to relationships? Everybody has a relationship. Some relationships are a little bit bizarre, as you will see when you watch the show, and some are very, very touching and real.”

Love is Love

Because of the breadth of characters in the show that span different generations, the cast believes in the show’s capacity to connect with a lot of people. “I think that all ages, everyone, can actually appreciate this show, because love is universal, and no matter what era it is, love is love,” says Kane. “Love feels the same. Yes, we kind of modernized it in a way, but I feel like if you come in here and a Gen Z watches the show, I think they’re gonna find some moments in the show where they can really relate.”

“Then you can also have an old couple come in to watch and they’re also going to relate to some scenes, so I think that’s what makes this show so beautiful and at the same time kind of timeless, because love is timeless.”

Padilla mirrors her sentiment. “In all of the love troubles that you may have, no matter how strange, no matter how different, no matter how unconventional you may seem to be or you may believe yourself to be, you will find a person and you will connect with them. Whether we did this in the 90’s or now with social media, there are difficulties, but when you find that person and you connect, there’s that magic.”

“What’s great about the show is that it shows almost all possibilities of partnerships, of situations, of what you can do, what you shouldn’t do”, adds assistant director Cara Barredo. “You come out really thinking about a lot of things not just with love, but also with friendships, and anything that has to do with relationships.” 

“I think what’s beautiful about this show is they tell a lot of stories, which is also the challenge, because no scene, no story is like the other. So for everyone coming into the theater, they come out either connecting to a character, or to a situation, or remembering something from it to apply to the future.”

Joining Lauchengco-Yulo, Barredo, and Yatco in the creative team are Joey Mendoza (Set and Costume Designer), Hershee Tantiado (Associate Costume Designer), Lawyn Cruz (Associate Set Designer), GA Fallarme (Projector Graphics and Video Designer), Meliton Roxas (Lighting Designer), Stephen Viñas (Choreographer), and Aji Manalo (Sound Designer).

You can watch Gian Magdangal, Krystal Kane, Marvin Ong, and Gabby Padilla perform excerpts from the show below.  Tickets are available through Ticketworld.

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Founder and Managing Director of TheaterFansManila.com. Thinks about the performing arts scene 2/3 of the day, everyday. A firm believer in the Filipino artist.