Arts and Entertainment

Drama Dock reprises its ‘best date night show ever’

Marshall and Stephanie Murray (seated) and Louis Mangione and Elizabeth Ripley raise a glass to romance in “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” The show will be presented this weekend at Vashon High School theater. - Courtesy Photo
Marshall and Stephanie Murray (seated) and Louis Mangione and Elizabeth Ripley raise a glass to romance in “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.” The show will be presented this weekend at Vashon High School theater.
— image credit: Courtesy Photo

The chills and thrills of dating, love, marriage and all that comes after will get the musical theater treatment when Drama Dock presents the off-Broadway hit, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” this weekend at Vashon High School.

The glossy, laugh-filled show — a song-and-dance exploration of modern-day romance by playwright/lyricist Joe DiPietro and composer Jimmy Roberts — holds a record as the second longest-running musical in off-Broadway history, clocking 5,003 performances between 1997 and 2008. When it opened in New York, it won high praise from critics, including a review in the New York Times that called the show “funny and witty” and full of “hip antics.” Since then, the revue has been re-mounted in productions all over the globe.

According to Drama Dock director Elizabeth Ripley, the show has something for everyone who has ever fallen in or out of love.

“You’ll leave it thinking, ‘Were they talking about me?’” she said.

“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will star a particularly talented group of Drama Dock stalwarts — Louie Mangione, a Sinatra-esque crooner who regularly performs with Portage Fill, and Stephanie and Marshall Murray, a married couple who have performed professionally and also done star turns in Drama Dock’s “Rocky Horror Show,” “Sherlock’s Veiled Secret” and “Side by Side by Sondheim.” Ripley, Drama Dock’s artistic director, is also in the show. Two accomplished local musicians, pianist Linda Lee and violinist Karin Choo, will accompany the performers.

“It is such a pleasure to work with them,” Ripley said of the company. “They are a gift.”

It’s the second time that the foursome have appeared in the show on Vashon. Two years ago, a production of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” was presented at Open Space as a benefit for Drama Dock. Word-of-mouth response to it was so strong, Ripley said, that doing it again was a no-brainer.

“Last time, so many people who wanted to see it didn’t get to,” she said. “People came up and said, ‘When are you doing that again?’ So this is an encore presentation and an attempt to respond to what Islanders want from their theater company.”

Ripley added that Drama Dock is making a concerted effort to reach out to Islanders and find out what shows they would like to see the company present in the future. A survey, quizzing audience members about the kind of shows they like best, is in the works.

Drama Dock, now in its 36th year as an Island institution, presents a full season of plays and musicals each year and in recent years has added a vibrant new program — Drama Dock’s new Youth Theatre Initiative, which immerses Island kids in all aspects of theater production. So far, the initiative has presented high-octane productions of “Into the Woods,” “Godspell,” “All Night Strut” and an evening of one-act plays.

The next show in the youth-theater lineup is “Grease,” slated for October with a cast of almost 40 tween and teenage Island thespians.

“It’s in our mission statement that Drama Dock will educate the community and support the development of theater on the Island,” said Ripley. “This program actively fulfills that.”

Drama Dock’s upcoming season includes “It’s a Wonderful Life,” two Thornton Wilder one-acts, the farce “Black Comedy” and the Andrew Lloyd Weber musical “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.”

In the meantime, Ripley is eager to get the ball rolling with “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change.”

“I personally promise you will laugh and you will cry,” Ripley said. “Best date night show ever.”

 

The show has performances at 7:30 p.m. Saturday and 2:30 p.m. Sunday at Vashon High School. Tickets, $10 to $20, gare on sale at Vashon Bookshop and at the door.

 

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