I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change, Royal George Theatre Center. This off-Broadway transplant--which features a book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, catchy music by Jimmy Roberts, and a staging by original director Joel Bishoff--offers a series of sitcom-slick sketches about dating and marriage.
There isn't much new here: women buy too many shoes, men don't listen, married people don't have sex and talk like fools to their babies. Yet the four actors, who play a variety of couples of different ages and classes, keep the show fresh, vibrant, and surprisingly pleasing. Kelly Anne Clark is particularly good, especially as a newly divorced woman making her first dating-service video. Sitting with her back to the audience, her face projected on a monitor, Clark conveys loneliness, uncertainty, and hopefulness, turning what could have been schmaltz into a monologue of unexpected poignancy. Thad S. Avery is similarly moving as an elderly widower who tries to pick up dates in funeral homes, Daniel Tatar gets his tear-jerking moment when he sings about love lasting throughout marriage, and the sassy Tara Sullivan shows good comic timing in a song mourning eternal bridesmaidhood.
Still, the show makes love seem so difficult and draining that one is tempted to ask, why bother?