Carmel Community Players production takes a lyrical look at relationships

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The four-person cast of “I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change,” hastens through rapid character development.

“You don’t have arc of character throughout the show, but you have that in every scene,” actress Brenna Whitaker said.

The Noblesville resident appears in the Carmel Community Players’ nine performances of the musical on weekends from Feb. 22 to March 10 at The Cat, 245 Veterans Way, Carmel. The musical examines relationships from first dates to dealing with marriage, child rearing, empty nests and beyond.

“I did this show for the first time at Mud Creek, maybe 10 or 15 years ago,” Whitaker said. “A few years after that I did it at Myers Dinner Theatre in Hillsboro. Every character plays multiple parts. We’re a different person in every scene. After this show I will have done every women’s part. The fun thing about doing multiple times is I was at a different stage in life each time I did it. The first time it resonated because I was single and dating. Now, I’m married with a young son, so the second act is what is resonating now.”

Westfield resident Dee Timi suggested staging the musical to CCP, having directed it in Joplin, Mo. in 2008 when she lived there.

“It’s that show that makes you laugh, makes you cry,” Timi said. “No matter what stage of life you’re in, it’s fun.”

Libby Buck, an Indianapolis resident, saw the musical for the first time in New York on a field trip with her Valparaiso High School musical theater class.

“I’ve been obsessed with it ever since,” Buck said.

But she hasn’t seen it since.

“This has been one of my bucket-list shows, so it’s been really exciting to participate,” she said. “The most challenging part is recalling what your character is from scene to scene. When I saw it in high school, I just thought it was funny. Now, I’ve been married for 10 years and have two kids of my own, so a lot of the second act makes more sense to me now.”

Buck and the two male cast members, Jonathan Scoble, Carmel, and Christian Condra, Indianapolis, are making their CCP debuts.

“Playing different characters is the thrill,” Scoble said. “Playing different characters are, to me, what is the most fun about acting. It’s hilarious. the script drew me in pretty quickly.”

Scoble said he got a call that CCP was looking for men because not many showed up to the auditions.

“Christian and I have been working together for a couple of shows now and we want to work together more,” Scoble said.

Scoble, who is single, said he identifies with several of the characters.

“The trials and tribulations of dating, don’t we all have a story?” Scoble said. “From beginning to end, you can see interactions between men and women, which is fascinating.”

The experience is new for Condra.

“I’ve always done shows that are one consistent story, and this is a bunch of different skits,” Condra said. “It’s almost ‘SNL, the Musical,’ that’s what stood out to me. It runs the range of different acting styles.”

Noblesville resident Sandy Baetzhold is the musical director.

The book and lyrics are by Joe DiPietro and the music is by Jimmy Roberts. The musical played off-Broadway for more than nine years before being released to community theaters.

For more, visit carmelplayers.org.

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