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Dating rituals will tickle funny bone at Golden Chain Theatre

George and Melinda Rich in a scene from The Golden Chain Theatre's new musical-comedy "I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change," which opens tonight at 7 p.m.. The play, rated PG13, reveals, in 32 short skits, the difficulties and joys of connecting with another person at nearly every stage of life. Tickets: www.goldenchaintheatre.org, (559) 683-7112.
George and Melinda Rich in a scene from The Golden Chain Theatre's new musical-comedy "I Love You, Your Perfect, Now Change," which opens tonight at 7 p.m.. The play, rated PG13, reveals, in 32 short skits, the difficulties and joys of connecting with another person at nearly every stage of life. Tickets: www.goldenchaintheatre.org, (559) 683-7112. Sierra Star

I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Opening at the Golden Chain Theatre Friday, explores contemporary heterosexual courtship by using two time-tested coping mechanisms for the traumas and elations of love - humor and music.

The play reveals the difficulties and joys of connecting with another person at nearly every stage of life.

“This celebration of the mating game takes on the truths and myths behind that contemporary conundrum known as “the relationship,” explains Director Jennifer Janine. “From dating, to marriage, to the agonies and triumphs of in-laws and newborns, to pick-up techniques of the geriatric set, this hilarious revue pays tribute to those who have loved and lost, to those who have fallen on their face at the portal of romance, and to those who have dared to ask, ‘Say, what are you doing Saturday night?’”

Janine said I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change will go through your funny bone and straight to your heart.

“You’ll fall head over heels for this hilarious musical comedy about that terribly wonderful, absolutely crazy thing called love,” Janine said.

Janine said the show required a cast that is not only talented, focused, confident, and versatile, but also comfortable with each other and able to put 100% into all the different pairings and characters that make up the play. She said the original script was written for four actors, but she first selected 10 actors to include more area talent.

“I thought I had covered my bases pretty well with the 10 cast members I chose, but then I realized that I was still missing something,” Janine said. “That missing piece was Makenzie Hagerman, who is the cherry on top of our fun, irreverent, politically incorrect, laugh-out-loud funny musical sundae. She came in late in the game and we are thrilled to have her join us.”

“When Jennifer asked me to be a part of this show, I couldn’t say no - it’s not very often we get the opportunity to let down our hair, and poke fun at ourselves,” Hagerman said. “This show is filled with adult scenarios from that awkward first date, car rides with the family, and the reality of growing old. This is a great date night show. Grab your significant other, and come enjoy live theater at its best.”

The 11 actors play more than 40 roles in a collection of scenes and songs scaling the dizzying spectrum of male/female relationships. Act I takes a satiric look at being single in today’s world, and Act II turns the attention to married life.

In addition to Janine and Hagerman, cast members include James Mierkey, George Rich, Chase Hagerman, JR Romero, Matt Vanderwal, Melinda Rich, Lyric Gianna, Miranda Simonich, and Darla Dean.

“Rehearsing for this show has been a great experience,” Simonich said. “Besides the script being irreverent and laugh-out-loud funny, the cast itself is a hilarious group. The show is very reminiscent of all of the sitcom, guilty pleasure TV shows we all love to watch like Friends, Seinfeld, and How I Met Your Mother, set to music. Whether you’re single, in a relationship, married, or divorced, there’ll be something in this show you can connect with and laugh about. Life and relationships can be so serious, sometimes we all need a chance to sit back, relax, and laugh about it all.”

Lyric Gianna said the best thing about the show is the relatability of its characters.

“The skits go as deep as the complexities of divorce to the simple humor of really having to use the bathroom, giving it an enjoyable balance,” Gianna said. “A great way to spend an evening, you’ll definitely leave the Golden Chain with a lot to talk about.”

Gianna said the opening group number, Cantata for a First Date, is probably her favorite. “It depicts the panic you experience as you’re preparing for a first date - very relatable and very funny,” Gianna said.

“Each number explores those secret thoughts anyone’s had about dating, romance, marriage, lovers, husbands, wives, and in-laws, but was afraid to admit,” Janine said. “Any ritual in the jungle of the modern-day mating game is fun fodder for this satire.”

Originally written by Joe Di Pietro and Jimmy Roberts, the musical has been translated into more than dozen languages and has been performed more than 5,000 times around the world. It’s the second-longest running off Broadway musical after The Fantasticks, which closed at the Sullivan Street Playhouse in Greenwich Village in 2002 after 17,162 performances.

Details: Details: Friday and Saturday, 7 p.m., Sunday 2 p.m., Aug. 4 through Aug. 20 - Show contains adult themes and language, Rated PG-13 - Golden Chain Theatre, 42130 Highway 41 - Tickets ($8 - $15), goldenchaintheatre.org - (559) 683-7112 (10 a.m. - 2 p.m. Tuesday and Thursday).

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