Stories & Cast Interviews
Joe & Jimmy..a PERFECT team!
Joe DiPietro & Jimmy Roberts, Writer & Composer of I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE!
In 1989 Joe DiPietro, then in his early 30’s began writing sketches about how he and friends dated in their 20s. In 1990, he says, “they were presented in a basement theatre over a weekend. As fate would have it, a producer saw it and said, “This is a musical revue.” To me, a musical revue was something like Ain’t Misbehavin’. I was still unsure when a friend introduced me to composer, Jimmy Roberts. He saw a video of the sketches and said. “Don’t change it, it’s funny, you don’t need music.” Impressed with his honesty, DiPietro said, "I want you." Roberts, in his early 40’s was unsure “I was tired of revues with five actors on stools wearing cutesy sweaters.” However, He liked the material, “It was funny and sharp. It rang true-to-life. With music, however, I worried it would soften it. It turned out just the opposite.” Roberts had written other things (including A..My Name is Still Alice) and took DiPietro under his wing. "Any collaboration is a marriage," says DiPietro. The show evolved, says Roberts, “with the message that, dating or married, it’s worth connecting.” They were warned that the title was too long and it wouldn’t fit on a marquee and it wasn’t marketable. “We didn’t listen,” says DiPietro, and the title went on to become a catch phrase everywhere from religion to politics. “I hoped for a modest run. Never did I imagine we’d have thousands of productions in the US and worldwide!” Lyricist and composer agree their show strikes a chord with male and female, young and old. "It's about love and maerriage," says Dipietro. Adds Roberts, "Every culture has relationship rituals, so our show is easy to identify with in any language."
The team also collaborated on the Off Broadway musical, The Thing About Men. and a children's musical based on "The Velveteen Rabbit." Di Pietro also wrote Off broadway's current musical hit, The Toxic Avenger, based on the '80's cult sci-fi film. His other show, Memphis will hit Broadway in the Fall.
Noel Molinelli plays 15 "perfectly lovely, ever-changing" characters in I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! After a smash opening and a few weeks into a ctitically acclaimed run...we asked her to share some insights with us about what makes her tick!
I was born in NYC while my parents were getting respective PHD's in Physics and BioChem at Columbia, but grew up in Northern Virginia. My mom instilled her love of old movie musicals and her fearless silliness from a young age. My dad taught me about visual and literary arts...and a wacky/nerdy sense of humor. Both my parents shared their artistic talents with me and my older sister and younger brother and encouraged the arts along with high academic expectations. Growing up was filled with fun and family! No major extravagances...but a wealth of love and attention and positive reinforcement on every level.
I assumed I would grow up and be a scientist like both my parents! But...after my freshman year of high school and a summer music theatre program at the Institute for the Arts in NOVA...I realized I wanted to get involved in Drama and chorus at school. When I got the role of Adelaide in GUYS AND DOLLS at Robinson Secondary in Fairfax, VA my sophmore year, and the people laughed...and laughed...I was addicted. I realized that telling stories and connecting with an audience on that organic emotional level was my future! I went to a great state school, James Madison University. I majored in musical theatre, but had a rich, well rounded academic experience including a semester abroad in Italy!
My dream role? This is an impossible question!!!! I am notorious for loving just about anything ever put on stage for either the whole or the sum of its parts. A Dream role would be something that I could help create with some talented writers...something with a rockin' score.
The task of.....developing so many different characters in the show?
I'm just starting to figure this one out....get back to me at the end of the run, and I may have scratched the surface! Joining this amazing cast who have spent such good quality time with the material (having done previous productions of the piece) helped crate a safe and solid environment for me to discover. They made it easier and immense fun to learn in our 10 days of rehearsal! I already feel like each scene has evolved and improved for me, and I look forward to see how things progress to the end!
The Epilogue is my favorite moment in the show....it's a great song full of fun harmonies, and we all get to be together on stage to wrap up the stories and recognize the universal and eternal search to find Love...and keep it.
Full- time Mommy is my best AND most challenging job yet. I have a 4 and a half year old son who keeps me constantly amazed and inspired, along with my phenomenal husband. With all that love, I'm a lucky girl.
I'm a big home body. I love cooking and baking and enjoying my family! I love lighting candles and listening to music, and creating a comfortable home environment. And, I love enjoying the outdoors whenever possible!! I YEARN to live on the water in New England one day!
My ipod has Everything from Bluegrass to Rap. Favorites right now include Iron & Wine, Sara Bareilles, Carrie Underwood, Green Day, Martin Sexton, Boys Like Girls and....any and all 80's rock.
A "Perfect" Cast!!
The talented cast of I love You, You're Perfect, Now Change! with Jimmy Roberts (composer) and Joe DiPietro (playwright) enjoying the accolades at the Press Night party!
left to right: Courtney Balan, Brian Cooper, Noel Molinelli, Jimmy Roberts, Joe DiPietro and Jonathan Rayson.
A Sneak Peek!!!
Enjoy a glimpse from Press Night!