The Sheridan Arts Foundation presents a four-night run of the musical “I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change,” beginning Thursday night and running through Sunday at 8 p.m. each night. The musical is the first production from the Not-So-Young People's Theater.
Tickets are $25, plus a $5 ticketing fee. Opening night Thursday will be local’s night, with tickets costing only $10, plus a $2.50 ticketing fee.
Each night will essentially be local’s night, as all four cast members are Telluride locals.
“The show will appeal to locals for that reason: to just see some friends performing who are amazingly talented,” said Maggie Stevens, opera house PR and marketing director.
In addition to a stellar local cast, the musical has drawn praise since first premiering in New Jersey in 1995 and then moving to off-Broadway in 1996. The comedic musical is the second longest-running musical in off-Broadway history, with its last performance in 2008.
“I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change” follows four friends as they navigate and “take on the truths and myths behind that contemporary conundrum know as ‘the relationship,’” according to an opera house news release.
The play’s tagline is “everything you have ever secretly thought about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives and in-laws, but were afraid to admit.”
Portrayed in a series of vignettes, the play sets up the relationships in small, chronological-yet-independent clips, providing an arc for each relationship throughout the respective characters’ adult lives.
Because of the unique style and pace of the musical, director Leah Heidenreich is confident audience members not typically attuned and interested in theater will enjoy the production.
“There is not a person who won't enjoy this show,” Heidenreich said. “I encourage the community who wouldn't normally think to go to a musical to come and support the show and the Sheridan Arts Foundation. I also encourage them to support these four incredible actors who have worked so hard.”
While Heidenreich believes most who attend the show will enjoy the production, she thinks the musical would be the perfect “date night show” and describes the show as “PG-13.”
“It's a show that a seventh grader would enjoy sitting next to Mom and Dad while they watch,” she said.
Heidenreich, who is the foundation’s Young People's Theater artistic director, typically works with youth productions but was excited to work with an all-adult cast. The show has always been on her radar but would be impossible to ever produce with kids. In the future, Heidenreich would love to feature cast members of all ages in Not-So-Young People's Theater productions.
“What we hope to bring with the Not-So-Young People's Theater is the incorporation of adults with kids,” Heidenreich said. “The main goal is bringing theater to the community that will unite people of all ages.”
The four cast members range in age from early 30s to late 40s. The small, intimate cast includes director Heidenreich's husband, Ryan; Meghan Knowles, who grew up in Telluride and was recently in the Telluride Theater production of “Macbeth;” Megan Murphy, who owns Pearl Aesthetics in town; and her husband, Andrew.
All four members were chosen because of their respective acting and musical abilities, Heidenreich explained.
“There's a lot of music in this show, and a lot of it complicated music. I needed four solid vocalists, but not just solid vocalists, solid musicians,” she said.
Knowles is excited about the show and acknowledged the challenging task of performing demanding musical numbers and dialogues with such a small cast.
“Being a four-person show, the amount of memorization is daunting. You're never not talking or singing,” she said.
Despite the challenges, Knowles looks forward to the showing and encourages people to come since it’s so relatable.
“It's just so important to get out there and do something light-hearted and not have everything be so serious in the midst of COVID and everything else,” Knowles said.
Stevens, whose office is on the floor above the stage, has listened to and watched some of the rehearsals this week.
“You can tell that there's chemistry between all of them and it really sells the show with how much it's about human interaction and relationships,” Stevens said. “Also, the charm of the 108-year-old building feels like it always rounds out whatever is on stage whether it's a big band or it's a four-person cast for a musical.”
Heidenreich, Stevens, and the Sheridan Arts Foundation are taking COVID-19 precautions to keep audience members and cast safe during the showings. Molekule air purifiers and hand sanitizer stations will be dispersed throughout the building. At the door, everyone must provide proof of vaccination or a negative test taken within 72 hours of the event.
For tickets, visit sheridanoperahouse.com or call 970-728-6363.