OCP unveils musical comedy for season opener


Last updated 8/16/2016 at Noon

Beth Brooks, at left, and Shauna Temple perform the song "Single Man Drought" during a dress rehearsal of the Orange Community Players production of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" at The Playhouse on Tuesday night. The OCP production opens at 7:37 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18, and is the first show of the 2016-2017 OCP season. Photos by Tommy Mann Jr.

Tommy Mann Jr.

For The Record

Weeks of rehearsals have been fine tuned and now it is time for the debut.

The Orange Community Players announced its 59th season earlier this month and the first production of the new season will open this week as OCP presents "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."

Shows are scheduled for 7:37 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 18, through Saturday, Aug. 20, and Thursday, Aug. 25, through Saturday, Aug. 27. Matinees will be offered at 2:37 p.m., Sunday, Aug. 21, and Sunday, Aug. 28. General admission tickets are $20 and student tickets are $15.

According to stageagent.com, "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" is based on the book and lyrics by Joe DiPietro and music of Jimmy Roberts. It is a hilarious musical comedy which traces the overall arc of relationships throughout the course of life.

Set in the modern world, it is a witty musical that tackles modern love in all its forms, from the perils and pitfalls of the first date to marriage, from having children to the twighlight years of life and is told through a series of vignettes and songs.

One of the high points of this year's OCP season is the influx of new faces, including actors, crew members and directors.

One of the three new directors on tap for the OCP's four productions for the 2016-2017 season is Barry Foster.

Foster is a member of the Orange Community Players Board of Directors and has plenty of experience assisting in OCP productions, but he got "the itch" to start directing from his involvement with dinner theater events outside of OCP.

"I've directed some dinner theater productions previosly and I really enjoyed those events," Foster said. "That's why I wanted to give it a try with OCP."

Foster was the assistant director in the highly popular presentation of "Steel Magnolias" during the 2015-2016 OCP season and he produced "Bye, Bye Birdie" during the same season.

Foster submitted four events earlier this year in hopes one would be selected and was pleased when "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change" and "The Red Velvet Cake War" were both selected. He opted to direct the former for a simple reason.

"I watched some videos and performances of it online and I absolutely fell in love with it," Foster added with a laugh. "It's really funny and so true to dating and relationships. I think it is something people will enjoy and be able to relate to in some way."

Foster said the show is for mature audiences only, so patrons should be aware.

"It's definitely a 'PG-13' show," Foster continued. "It has some language and situations. All of the scenes are stand alone scenes and there is a lot going on in this show. I think people will be pleasantly surprised."

Directing is not without its difficulties as Foster found out.

"We have the same problem that every community theater has and that is finding people, more specifically men, to be in a musical," he said. "It's why I'm also acting in this production, along with directing. I would rather not be in it and just direct, but it's what I had to do to help make it happen."

Along with Foster who will direct and star in the production of "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change," Jay Vincent will serve as the accompanist. Also starring in the musical comedy are Eric Andrus, Beth Brooks, Meg Brown, Amber Martin, Michael Benson and Shauna Temple.

Andrus has participated in five dinner theater productions with the Bridge City Chamber of Commerce and has even directed once, but this is his first time taking part in an Orange Community Players production.

"Barry (Foster) and I go to same church and he asked me if I would be involved with this musical," Andrus said with a laugh. "I asked if he had ever heard me sing and then I told him there's a reason I don't sing."

Andrus, who is a business owner and a city councilmember in Bridge City, enjoys participating in theater productions, but he was surprised at the differences between dinner theater productions and OCP.

"The amount of time we practice each week is a big difference between the two," he explained. "And the production is so much bigger (at OCP). You not only have the cast, but there is a crew and wardrobe and so much more compared to dinner theater."

Andrus and many of the other cast members may be new to OCP, but they all have some common traits.

"I didn't really know any of them before I started, but we've all become friends over these past few weeks," Andrus added. "Everyone involved is very animated and that makes it easier, and everyone is very dedicated because the amount of time it takes in your personal life to be involved in rehearsing and getting ready for the play is huge. We are all really excited about it and can't wait for opening night."

Visit http://www.orangecommunityplayers.com or call 409-882-9137 for more information on the organization and its schedule. The Playhouse is located at 708 W. Division in downtown Orange.


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