Our website is made possible by displaying online advertisements to our visitors. Please consider supporting us by whitelisting our website.

REVIEW: ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’—A Hilariously Jaded Depiction Of Modern Dating

REVIEW: ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change’—A Hilariously Jaded Depiction Of Modern Dating

Share this article

Haven’t we all thought “I used to have standards” at some point?

If you want to spend two hours unabashedly laughing whilst having an existential crisis about your past—and future—romantic experiences, this show is for you. 

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change is a musical revue about the different romantic stages and sticky situations people find themselves in, with a cast of four playing a total of 40 characters. Directed by Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo, this production is part of Repertory Philippines’ 87th season and stars Gian Magdangal, Krystal Kane, Gabby Padilla, and Marvin Ong.  

From painfully awkward dates women have to endure because there’s a “single man drought”, to a couple just wanting to have much-needed mommy and daddy alone time, I Love You is a collection of stories and internal monologues people rarely have the guts to say out loud. It’s simply impossible not to see yourself in this show. 

Modern love stories; not-so-modern material 

I Love You You're Perfect Now Change

Krystal Kane and Gian Magdangal; Photo Credit: Chilo Manaig

I Love You, with book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music by Jimmy Brooks, was first produced in 1996 and has since become the longest-running off-Broadway musical revue. Now you wouldn’t really expect an almost three-decade old show about dating and relationships to still be relevant today, right? There was also initial apprehension that the production may have slightly sexist undertones, but thanks to REP’s talented artistic team, those worries were soon put to rest. 

Using a script updated by the original team in 2018, with revised nuances and treatment of certain songs headed by Lauchengco-Yulo and musical director Ejay Yatco, this staging of I Love You—if I may borrow a popular term from the kids—slayed. The arguably dark pit we know as dating apps and the face women make upon receiving an ~unsolicited pic~ are woven into vignettes about anxiety-inducing first dates and confusing situationships. 

Joey Mendoza’s set design, combined with projector graphics by GA Fallarme and lighting by Meliton Roxas Jr., transported the audience to… basically everywhere. One moment we’re witnessing a romantic dinner date, next we’re given a glimpse of matchmaking in jail, and then we’re thrown into a family’s chaotic household. We regularly see projected silhouettes of people walking amidst a bustling metropolis, giving the impression that these everyday stories could be happening to you—or someone you know—right now. Rep’s I Love You is a great example of what it means to use digital screens and projections in theater effectively. 

It’s not easy being a *chameleon*

I Love You You're Perfect Now Change

L-R: Gian Magdangal, Gabby Padilla, Marvin Ong; Photo Credit: Dyn Dyn Lapasaran

Acting out one role already seems daunting enough—now imagine playing approximately 10 characters each within a two-hour timeframe! Hats off to the talented cast and Lauchengco-Yulo’s creative direction for pulling it off. Completely transforming from a golf-obsessed clown to a first-time dad to a grandfather looking for love? Only seasoned actors like Magdangal can achieve that. A flawless transition from a mom who “fully supports” her “I can’t commit” son to a frustrated bridesmaid who absolutely hates her dress? Kane certainly delivered.

There were also vignettes where the cast members were allowed to shine individually: Ong poured his heart out with “Shouldn’t I Be Less In Love With You?” as a husband reflecting on his three-decade marriage. Padilla’s monologue as a divorced, middle-aged woman trying to put herself out there was particularly moving. 

Among the many vignettes that stood out in this musical comedy were “Single Man Drought”, where two women lament that they used to have standards in men; “Hey There, Single Guy/Gal”, sung from the perspective of two frustrated parents; and of course the touching “I Can Live With That” featuring seniors in their 80s having their very own meet-cute—at a wake. 

Embracing that “baggage” 

As one line from the show states: “We got baggage—emotional draggage”. Aside from being truly hilarious, what makes this show work is that it embraces all that baggage and doesn’t try to depict a fairy-tale-like version of relationships. It shows what comes after the meet-cutes and the realities of the post-wedding “I do”. 

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change lets its audience live out all the hopes, joys, and desperation that comes with falling in love and is a jaded but hopeful depiction of modern dating. 


Tickets: Php 1,500 – Php 2,500
Show Dates:  June 14 – July 6, 2024
Venue: Carlos P. Romulo Auditorium, RCBC Plaza
Running Time:  2 hours and 15 minutes (with a 10-minute intermission)
Credits: Joe DiPietro (Book and Lyrics), Jimmy Brooks (Music), Menchu Lauchengco-Yulo (Director), Cara Barredo (Assistant Director), Ejay Yatco (Musical Director), Joey Mendoza (Set and Costume Designer), Lawyn Cruz (Associate Set Designer), Hershee Tantiado (Associate Costume Designer), GA Fallarme (Projection Designer), Meliton Roxas Jr. (Lights Designer), Stephen Viñas (Choreographer), Aji Manalo (Sound Designer), Patricia Gregorio (Production Manager), Dave Lim (Technical Director), Jerome Aytona (Stage Manager), and Maja Desuasido (Assistant Stage Manager)
Cast: Gabby Padilla (Woman 1), Krystal Kane (Woman 2), Marvin Ong (Man 1), Gian Magdangal (Man 2), Barbara Jance (Female Swing), and Davy Narciso (Male Swing)
Company: Repertory Philippines


About the Author /


Lily lives and breathes movies, literature, and theater. When she’s not writing, you can catch her daydreaming about Mr. Darcy and Les Miserables’ Enjolras. Follow her on Instagram @lilygracetabanera.