Can all relationships be boiled down to 18 short scenes? The Everett Theatre takes on that challenge with its latest production: "I Love You, You're Perfect. Now Change!" The show features four New Castle County actors who bring 46 characters to life, all in an attempt to highlight the the life-cycle of romance.
Like a theater production, relationships have acts. Act I would follow budding romance as it tiptoes or barrels toward marriage. Act II might follow everything that comes after marriage, from parenthood to an empty nest.
Four actors—Dan Peck, Mary Spacht, Jon Dalecki and Townsend resident Crystalia Hampton—help bring the trials, tribulations and unexpected joys of romance to the historic stage of the Everett Theatre in "I Love You, You're Perfect. Now Change!" Unlike classic musical theater productions, which typically follow a small cast of characters, this production presents the story of love through 18 snippets of life.
Remember trying to find the perfect guy? Remember getting married? What about sleepless nights with young toddlers? Family trips with rambunctious children and backseat drivers? Ever wondered what life—or even dating—is like once the baby birds have flown the coop? It's all on the stage.
"In this show, you're getting a brand new story every five minutes," said one of the show's lead actors, Dalecki, a Delaware native who grew up in the area, attending Wilmington Christian School in Hockessin. "No two scenes contain the same characters."
Each moment has its own soundtrack, too, thanks to Director Chris Everett's decision to have the band, a violinist and a pianist, share the stage with the actors. He added that the whole production is relatable and the comments they're hearing attest to that.
"It's the life cycle of dating and relationships," Everett said. "Four people play 46 characters while acting out common everyday scenes. It's all the things you think at all the different stages of being in a relationship."
Dalecki and his costars have been talking to the audience after the performances and he said that anybody who comes will not leave disappointed. How does he know? On opening night, he met a couple who saw the play years ago, off-Broadway in New York City. They saw a good deal on Living Social, a daily discount website, for tickets to the Middletown performance. They decided to drive up from Washington, D.C., just for the chance to see it onstage again, telling the cast that they were glad they did.
"What really sets this show apart from others is the camaraderie of the actors. I think it comes through to the audience because you can tell we're close. It seems to elevate the content," Dalecki said. "If you can make it down, it's definitely worth seeing.