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Play has four busy actors who offer lots of laughs



Published: Sat, February 26, 2005 @ 12:00 a.m.



The play finds humor in relationships between the sexes.

YOUNGSTOWN -- SEX! From the first date through Sex and the Married Couple!

Now that we've got your attention, here is the story. The first line of this dissertation pretty accurately explains the new musical at the Youngstown Playhouse -- "I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change."

This is an ingenious bit of musical comedy. Penned by Joe DiPietro and Jimmy Roberts, this musical revue format takes a light and very comedic look at the relationship between the sexes at every level. Just keep in mind that before you go to the theater, bring plenty of tissues, because you'll laugh until you cry.

This is no "cast of thousands" show. On the contrary, there are only four very busy actors to be found on stage. But the speed with which they execute costume changes and the depth of character development makes it seem like a much larger troupe.

The show starts out solemn enough with all four actors entering in choir robes and pronouncing -- "and God said, 'Let There Be Light.'" From then on, it becomes totally irreverent.

Cassidy's return

Connie Cassidy returns to the Youngstown Playhouse stage after her Marquee Award winning performance in "Mame" last season. She sets this stage on fire.

The full range of her talent comes full circle as she plays everything from an awkward sex symbol wannabe to a frumpy housewife grousing about her hubby's driving. Her energy explodes off the stage with both strong acting and a powerful singing voice.

She is right on target all night but has particular shining moments as Babe in "A Stud and a Babe," as Mom in "And Now the Parents," and as Rose Ritz in "The Very First Dating Video of Rose Ritz."

Her real-life husband, Tim Cassidy, shares the stage, and it's tough to decide which one to watch. The ageless Cassidy hasn't been on stage in some time, but he certainly has not lost any technique or talent. Cassidy's versatility is phenomenal as he goes from a quirky Jerry Lewis-esque character to a doting daddy who babbles more than the baby with considerable ease in between. His most notable moments are "A Stud and a Babe," "Scared Straight" and "Whatever Happened to Baby's Parents?"

Array of character changes

Lois A. Schneider puts in an equally strong performance. A strong vocalist, she takes a back seat to no one on the acting side. This is a demanding show, and Schneider is in top form going back and forth between character women, kids and a "professional" bridesmaid. Schneider works well with Connie Cassidy in "Single Man Drought" and is excellent in providing great colors to her characters yet making them a contrast to those being done by Cassidy. Schneider is memorable in "Not Tonight, I'm Busy, Busy, Busy," "Always a Bridesmaid" and "I Can Live With That."

David Schneider, her husband, brings a wealth of experience to this show. As opposed to Tim Cassidy, he provides characters that are more down to earth but certainly no less amusing. He is strong in all facets.

Schneider's strengths show through in "Scared Straight," "Sex and the Married Couple" and "Shouldn't I Be Less in Love with You?"

Director David Jendre has put together a first-class production. His work with each individual cast member is evident as he has drawn out every piece of humor and has formed it into a fine ensemble piece.




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