REVIEW: ‘I Love You, You’re Perfect’ at Black Box perfectly lovable


If the title “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” inspires a chuckle, don’t miss this musical.

Composer Jimmy Roberts and book writer and lyricist Joe DiPietro aptly named this light-hearted journey through the frustrations of dating, the mayhem of weddings, the ups and downs of marriage, the wild ride of childrearing and the inevitability of aging. Opening night, the audience sometimes responded like a sports crowd to the familiar scenarios.

Watching six performers transform between 60 characters is much of the appeal of this musical that’s been performed in all 50 states and 25 countries.

This has come to be actor David Reyes’ specialty: He morphs in fittingly broad comedic style from a young nerdy love-seeker to an intimidating 40-year-old convict to a doddering funeral attendee.

Four of the cast will be new to Las Cruces theatre goers. Jessica Broaddus and Jonathan Lee, performers training at The University of Texas at El Paso, are very comfortable with an audience. Broaddus’ spoken deliveries and physicality vary nicely between characters. Lee’s facial expressions are enough to amuse in any scene.

Active in children’s theatre, Delaney Sivils confidently inhabits roles much older than she is. While playing a workaholic she amusingly delivered “I just don’t have time to make up all the reasons I’ll need to convince myself to go out with you.” Her frequent scene partner, Orlando Rodriguez, is entirely new to the stage. His lack of polish serves this material well. Like the other men, his vocals are powerful on “Why? ‘Cause I’m a Guy!,” but his crassness was wonderfully believable.

This 2018 update of the script includes two portrayals of gay couples, which several audience members audibly appreciated. Added references to Tinder and Netflix keep the script current. It retains a couple of heartfelt, earnest moments. Those were my favorites when I attended the first New York run of the musical in the late 1990s, as well as when I performed in the show nearly 20 years ago.

Autumn Gieb skillfully navigates the most complex of these moments, as a divorcee recording a video intended to attract a romantic match. Gieb brings equal nuance to her comedic musical complaint, “Always a Bridesmaid.”

Gieb’s impressive, detailed work as the show’s costumer also crippled the performances. We don’t marvel at the universality of characters or the virtuosity of actors if the costumes are too elaborate in a revue.

Scenic and lighting designer Peter Herman’s pop art scenic painting and simple cubes set a fantastic tone that would have been useful throughout the show. Like the costumes, realistic set pieces hindered the momentum. Thanks to the professionally energetic stage crew and gorgeous piano playing of Steve Jones, the lengthy transitions weren’t unpleasant.

Director Kate Keyser-Dewitt recruited a talented, energetic team. She successfully helped many novices learn the theatrical ropes. I loved it! It may not be perfect, but I doubt you’ll want it to change.  

Catch the musical through Sunday, Feb. 25h at the Black Box Theatre, 430 N. Main Street. For more information visit or call  575-523-1223 to purchase tickets.