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Tuesday, Jan. 20, 2009

Laws of Attraction

Theater Review

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How to find the perfect mate? Figure out that process and peace and harmony will reign worldwide.

In the meantime, there's ILove You, You're Perfect, Now Change, a series of musical vignettes that poke fun at the laws of attraction and the elaborate rituals of dating and mating. Thanks to a well-directed and well-acted production at Sunset Playhouse, audiences will have plenty of time to truly see themselves-and make some changes-in time for Valentine's Day.

Four actors (two women, two men) showcase the arc of romance, from dating and having children to facing death and the "rebirth" of romance. Given a clever book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro, coupled with Jimmy Roberts' solid musical composition, I Love You is the perfect way to warm the heart amid these wintry days and nights.

Much credit goes to the ensemble of actors. While the four actors work well together in different couplings, each has standout numbers individually. Sarah Laak Hughes does a wonderfully comic yet serious turn as a recently divorced woman making her first dating video in "The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz." As a new daddy, Kyle Breitzman is hilarious-and realistic-in his baby babble (along with Laak Hughes as mom) in "The Baby Song." Both Cindy Zauner and Bill Rolon make "The Tear Jerk" an all-too-real sendup of the eternal difference between men and women in their choice of movies (he wants blood-and-guts action; she wants the teary romance).

I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change is an entertaining reminder of how affairs of the heart onstage are mirrored offstage. Runs through Feb. 1.