‘I love you, you’re perfect’ is perfect

Leslie Silverman

The Black Hills Playhouse’s second summer show, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is a hilarious intimate show that  delves into the intricacies of men and women as they navigate dating, marriage and relationships after divorce or the death of a spouse. Billed as a musical revue, the lyrics are witty, if not at times so accurate, as to leave you hysterically laughing.
The entire production takes place on a simple set with delicate lighting and streamlined design. Keyboardist Vonnie Houchin is essential to setting the tone during the experience, providing just the right key thrusting when needed.
Act one digs deep into the anxieties, fears, folly and confusion of the dating world. Whether you’ve been out of the dating pool for some time or single and satisfied,  you will recognize some familiar feelings. Being inadequate, wondering what the other gender is thinking, the thrill of the “chase” of finding the right partner or, as many women have experienced, the frustration of there being no good men left to date. The vignettes explore it all, and no boundary is left unturned, including  the awkwardness of first time sex or masculine virility.
The shallowness of online dating, the realities of going long periods of time without so much as a touch, the stereotypes of gender roles and expectations, the immaturity of men and the “too busy” to date women are each in their own way relatable. If you have dated in the last decade you will undoubtedly be laughing so hard you’ll cry.  Even if you’ve been out of the dating pool for awhile you’ll be so aghast as to what takes place now you’ll be smiling over your good fortunes.
Act two takes on the harsh realities of marriage and parenting. The excitement of being new parents, the exhaustion of child rearing, the traditional roles men and women end up occupying and the ebbs and flows that come over the course of a long marriage are the backdrop of the quick wit and playfulness of the dialogue and melody.
The cast, consisting of Kit Asfeldt and Jack Warring as Man 1 and Man 2 and Lydia Prior and Josey Miller as Woman 1 and Woman 2, blend well with each other both vocally and theatrically. Miller’s vocal range is nothing short of stunning; whether it’s her strength during a pseudo operatic piece or her sultriness during a country tune, Miller commands the stage with her melodic presence.
Prior and Asfeldt  display their acting prowess during the “A Stud and a Babe” scene of Act 1, transforming from “not” to hot in a matter of moments. Asfeldt again shows his acting range as a redneck monster truck dating pool drought specimen.
Warring’s confidence in each scene is inspiring. He commands the stage as an old man during the “I can live with that” storyline and left me in tears as I pondered the loss of love as I age.
Some may find the play daring at times, while I found it to be a brutally honest look at love, relationships and life in the modern century.
Whether you’re a newlywed, newly single, or renewing your vows after a half century of marriage you don’t want to miss “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” It is sure to leave you chuckling, crying and contemplating all at the same time.


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