Cumberland University


Theatre Presents 'I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change'



Love is a fickle, funny thing, especially in song.

Cumberland University’s School of Music and the Arts will illustrate that point perfectly on April 12-15 as it unveils its new spring musical, “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” in the campus’ Heydel Fine Arts Center.         

Directed by Professor of Theater and Speech Elijah Dies and featuring an ensemble student cast from the Phoenix Players, the witty musical comedy will tackle one of the thorniest (and rewarding) of subjects: romance.

“It’s a show about relationships, from the awkwardness of the first date to the pain of a break-up,” said Dies. “The play has 20 different scenes, each with up to four unique characters, which seem to have nothing to do with one another. In one scene, you have someone in a room and pouring their heart out, and the next scene is someone’s imagination exploding on stage. But when you put all the scenes together, they tell the story of a relationship.”

In a series of vignette-style scenes with titles such as “Cantata for a First Date” and “Funerals Are for Dating,” the bitingly witty, PG-13-style comedy explores the ins and outs and ups and downs of modern-day love. Created by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts, the off-Broadway hit features a host of musical numbers as varied as the play’s subject.

“The show goes all over the place musically,” said Dies. “The first song, for example, starts off with a contemporary sound and changes halfway through into a reggae beat. There’s country, pop, and even some soulful church like music. Each scene has its own feel.”

Those scenes will be enlivened by a large ensemble cast from Cumberland’s Phoenix Players, including such Cumberland University Theater stalwarts as Chelsie Hochradel and Thom Wilkinson and newer players such as Brittany Heater and Casey Owens.

The play has posed challenges to Cumberland’s theater department, necessitating a dedicated tech crew for changing scenes and a unique multi-tiered set design by Technical Director of Theater Chris Byrd.

Dies hopes that that commitment will come through to audiences in what is shaping up to be one of Cumberland University’s most unique musical productions thus far.

“It’s a very fun production, and we’ve been spectacularly busy working on it,” said Dies. “We’ve had a great time, and I hope that will translate to the audience.”

“I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change” will run at Cumberland University’s Heydel Fine Arts Center Theater. Show times are 7:30 p.m. on April 12-14 and 2:30 p.m. on April 15. Tickets for adults are $15; tickets for CU Faculty, staff (with id), and children are $10.  CU students are still free.  Cash or checks are accepted. For more information, contact the Heydel Fine Arts Center Box Office at (615) 547-1380.


*Due to mature content, this musical is not recommended for children younger than age 14.