Finding perfection in life, love and marriage
January 19, 2006 - As soon as see the giant heart overshadowing the small, intimate stage, you know the Acting Company's latest play is about the timeless topic of love.
Written by Joe DiPietro and composed by Jimmy Roberts, “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!” features four actors playing more than 60 characters. The play is put together in sketch-like form, where the characters change but the theme stays the same.
There is no plot line to “I Love You.” Instead, the vignettes follow a logical sequence of love - couples meeting, first dates, courtship, marriage, children, aging and even widowhood.
“It's about everything one has ever thought or experienced with the opposite sex, played by only four actors,” said director Foster Campbell. “It's about the awkward first daters, the new parents, the widow and the widower who in one way or another are trying to connect with one another.”
“I Love You” opens at 8 p.m. Friday and continues to Feb. 26 at the Acting Company Theater, 815 B St. in Yuba City.
This whimsical look at male-female relationships covers all the bases with songs, a humorous script and four singer/actors - Michael R.J. Campbell, Keith Matthews, Staci Johnson and Jessica Stein, who is new to the Acting Company stage.
In one sketch, Johnson and Campbell meet for their first date, decide to skip that part, then talk through their whole imagined relationship right through to the break-up - all in about four minutes.
Michael Campbell, the director's son, has performed the play in Sacramento and Roseville. He said the audience is able to relate and laugh at familiar themes in the vignettes.
“It is funny because sometimes I find myself quoting some of the lines from the play in my real life,” he said. “People will be saying, ‘Oh yeah, I've been there!'”
Conversely, Campbell said he tries to draw from his personal life to add dimension to the roles.
“We make each character different and learn how to make them human,” he said. “You have to find different aspects of yourself and add that to the characters.”
With so many characters being portrayed by just four actors, it's a challenge just to remember who's who.
“We do wear layers of clothes,” Campbell said. “It helps to change faster and remember who I am in the scene.”
“I Love You” has adult language and references to sex, though Campbell said the language is not obscene. The play is intended for a PG-13 audience.
Foster Campbell had wanted to bring the production to the Yuba-Sutter area for a long time, and the timing is good with Valentine's Day around the corner.
“The play is about love and relationships,” she said. “So it's a perfect dedication to the community because everyone can laugh and cry at the same time.”
Performances are at 8 p.m. Friday and Saturday and 2 p.m. Sunday. Two special performances will be held on Valentine's Day, though the time is still to be determined.
Tickets are $15 and can be purchased at the Acting Company from noon to 2 p.m. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Fridays or on the Web site http://www.actingcompany.org. For more information, call 751-1100.
What: “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change!”
Who: The Acting Company
When: 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays; to Feb. 26
Where: Acting Company Theater, 815 B St., Yuba City
Information: Call 751-1100 or visit http://www.actingcompany.org