June 20, 2006

McLeod Summer Playhouse opens June 23

by Sun Min

 CARBONDALE, Ill. -- The McLeod Summer Playhouse at Southern Illinois University Carbondale kicks off its 2006 season with the hilarious musical "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."

Opening night is Friday, June 23 at 7:30 p.m. The show will also play on June 24 at 7:30 p.m., June 25 at 2 p.m. and on June 30 and July 1 at 7:30 p.m. The show appeals to couples and audiences over 17.


Media Advisory

To schedule an interview with the director or a cast member, contact McLeod Summer Playhouse Coordinator Vincent Rhomberg at mcldpub@siu.edu or 618/453-7589.


"I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" is a hip, clever, funny and sassy off-Broadway show that gained international attention. The play is a tribute to relationships and love and it packs a "powerful punch," said director Tim Fink, who also is co-general director of the summer playhouse and an SIUC music faculty member. "It's a riot. If you've ever had a relationship, wanted a relationship, or wanted to get out of a relationship, you'll love it!"

In the show, four actors sing in contemporary harmony and portray more than 60 characters in a collection of sketches and songs that cover every topic from getting ready for a date to a husband's surprise at still loving his wife after decades of marriage.

The vignettes include a guy and girl geek who wish they were "a stud and a babe" and "marriage tango," in which couples with children try to find time for romance.

The cast includes actors Rachel Landon, Peter Johnson, Michael Guilfoyle and Tiffany Topol.

"It's really challenging," said Johnson, a third-year master of fine arts acting student from Western Illinois University. "You have to sing all these incredible songs, create 20 some-odd characters, change your clothes every five seconds, try not to get hit by the moving scenery and do it all in less than two hours with an intermission."

Landon, a recent graduate of the University of Evansville, Ind., said, "We'd just started rehearsals, so sometimes I was thinking, ‘What comes next, the football shoulder pads or the video dating scene.'" Topol, a senior musical theater major at Millikin University and Guilfoyle, a member of the resident acting company Arizona Repertory Theatre, round out the quartet of performers.

Musical director is Margaret Simmons, who also plays the piano for the show. Paula Allison provides accompaniment on the violin.

The production features colorful sets designed by SIUC theater student Jason Allen and costumes by visiting guest designer Lisa Lantz. SIUC alumnus Pat Immel adds dazzle with his spectacular lighting design.

Season tickets, which include admission to "I Love You," "Cats," "Scriptworks" and "Beauty and the Beast" are available for $48 for adults and $25 for students/children. Individual tickets for "I Love You" are available for $20 adults and $10 students/children.

Box office hours are noon-5:30 p.m. weekdays and an hour before each performance. The theater and box office are located in the Communications Building on campus. Tickets can also be purchased over the phone at 618/453-3001.

Coordinating and expanding major cultural outreach programs are among the goals of Southern at 150: Building Excellence Through Commitment, the blueprint the University is following as it approaches its 150th anniversary in 2019.