Goshen Playhouse: Relationships from start to finish

It’s a long trip from first date to love and marriage, but Joe DiPietro’s book and lyrics take audiences for a fast-paced two-hour trip through a small-scale, fun-filled musical at the Goshen Playhouse.

Through a series of very funny vignettes, relationships are visited, from awkward first dates to geriatric tips on finding Mr. or Mrs. Right, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” is a clever show with music by Jimmy Roberts. The Goshen production is directed by Colleen Renzullo with musical director Scott Stanchfield as piano accompaniment  and violinist Jean Conner.

Goshen’s talented cast features Michael Accuosti, Sybil Haggard Chamberlin, Kristine Donahue, Chuck Stango, Lea Dmytryck, and Charlie Gill. Since they perform in about 20 scenes, they are continually stepping into new and decidedly different scenarios. Accuosti, Chamberlin, Donahue and Stango play most of the roles. All four have fine voices and have numbers where they excel vocally. Chamberlin hits the mark in her pleasing soprano voice. However, all four are not consistently strong with the vocals throughout the production, though they are on target in portraying their characters.

Accuosti and Chamberlin share one especially poignant scene that occurs after they have broken up as a couple. They bump into each other, but he has another woman with him. Chamberlin captures the hurt so deeply that the audience does feel for her. Both actors are excellent and convincing. He is feeling uncomfortable and she is gracious on the outside, but crying on the inside.

Chuck Stango can be counted on to deliver one comic moment after another. Whether he is dancing about, playing with a tennis racket, singing, or hamming it up, he never fails to get the audience laughing out loud. Kristine Donahue is the big voice in the ensemble. She’s also a terrific actress and hopefully will take to the Goshen stage more often. She’s a natural who seems to effortlessly step into the many staged situations with confidence and ease.

Lea Dmytryck and Charlie Gill come into the action near the end of the show when they portray two senior citizens who meet at funerals. This is a dynamic duo and they make every punch line work.

The set is simple with a few props. Two monitors, one on each side of the stage, flashed scene changes, but went a bit haywire when I saw the show. I’m sure that has since been attended to. The costumes were not always on target, and the bra and bikini number, worn on top of an outfit, seemed especially weird.

Overall, this is a most entertaining musical presented with gusto by these local talents. It’s a perfect date night show.  Box office: 860- 491-9988.


Joanne Greco Rochman is an active member in The American Theatre Critics Association, and covers art and culture in a blog for CBS and CBS-CT.  She welcomes comments. Contact: [email protected]