The Mercer Theatre Department held the last performance of the hit musical: I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change on September 25th, 2011. This show is the second-longest running Off-Broadway musical and is now the longest running show in Mercer Theatre history. The story is told through short, mostly disparate vignettes, but the performance has a quick pace and a subject matter everyone can relate to.This show was ideal for Mercer Theatre because it used a small cast and crew, the music could be played on a keyboard, and by the taste of Director Scott Mann who said that this was “A musical I have always enjoyed.”
When it first opened on April 7th, 2011 the Mercer’s Backdoor Theatre, with seating for an audience of only 60, had to turn people away every night of its’ two week run. It was the suggestion of one of these turned away patrons that the show have a second run. When Director Scott Mann heard this suggestion, he realized that it was an ideal time to have a show repeated. Most of the cast and crew were able to return making for a lighter work load thus allowing the Theatre Department to give more focus to the two upcoming shows at Macon’s Grand Opera House. A repeat of a show is unprecedented in Mercer Theatre history, however, it has been a great success.
When asked about what made the show so popular among the Mercer-Macon community, Mann indicated the familiarity of the plot and themes to everyone. “Every scene is about relationships” Mann said, “[and] every audience member fits in at one time.” That is certainly part of the magic of this show that has kept it so popular over since its premier off-Broadway in 1996. The show has been translated in to more than a dozen languages and preformed around the world, however the unique atmosphere of Mercer’s Backdoor Theatre, located in the cozy basement of Willingham Hall, added a tangible sense of participation. Of the quaint Theatre, Mann said that the small size and closeness of the seating to the stage “makes it more immediate for the audience; it feels like they are really participating.” This is just one more way Mercer has taken a well known work and presented it in a unique style.
While this theatre experience at Mercer has concluded, there are many upcoming shows where students and community members can experience the Magic of Mercer Theatre. One will be an exceptional “steam-punk” rendition of Alice in Wonderland to be preformed at the Grand Opera House November 10th, 2011 only. For spring semester 2012 there will be The Colored Museum at the Back Door Theatre in February and the final performance of the academic year will be a cooperative effort between Mercer Opera and Mercer Theatre to preform A Little Night Music at the Grand Opera House.
Finally, when asked for any further comments on the success of I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, he said he gives his thanks to the cast, crew, and Mercer community for their support.