Made to Order? – a Review of “The Perfect Mate”

If you can’t find the perfect mate, why not create one? After all, it is 2063 and technology has advanced to a new level.

Joan Sweete (Autumn Hurlbert) still wants true love with a human but as she pursues the dating scene, no one she encounters passes the test. Humans are letting her down. Her bubbly enthusiasm as she meets new possible love interests dwindles with each new encounter.

Susan Botelli (Josey Miller), a savvy business woman, intent on promoting and gaining funds for her idea, wants to create a humanoid, someone who looks like a man but can be programmed to have the qualifications required by that specific client.

Note: One of those techie advancements but not on the level of a humanoid is HomeBody (Ryan Cavanaugh), a human-looking robot built like a man but with an arm appendage that is a sweeper nozzle. He diligently (with appropriate sweeper sounds) earnestly cleans everything in sight.

Sweete finally agrees to the creation of a humanoid. Kenna and others (Jimmy Nicholas), based on Sweete’s criteria is programmed and created.

The perfect mate is perfect for a short period of time. He is agreeable, maybe too agreeable, doesn’t move much, possibly even boring. He is deprogrammed and Sweete agrees to another incarnation of her perfect mate with perhaps more realistic changes. This perfect mate comes to life as an Elvis-type gyrator who never stops moving and prancing. Another perfect mate

What does Sweete decide to do after these fiascos?

Note: I think we’ll leave the finale unknown. Come and see this funny, music-filled world premier rom com musical and you’ll find out!

Autumn Hurlbert gets ready to meet her match.

Hurlbert shines as the young woman looking for love (sometimes in the wrong places). Her character evolves from a bubbly energetic woman to one who becomes more frazzled as her experiences in finding the perfect mate reach a dead end. It becomes apparent that she really doesn’t know what she wants. Hurlbert also has a lovely voice and “Ready for Love” exemplifies

Nicholas is excellent as the multiple perfect mates. He is endearing and agreeable in one of his incarnations and extremely humorous as a gyrating Elvis-type in another version. He has great comedic skills and timing and his facial and body movements contribute to his delivery.

Miller does a great job of portraying Botelli as the dominating business woman intent on obtaining funds to produce the perfect mate. She is overbearing at times but she’s on a mission.

Buchheit as Moya delivers with the song “Moya’s Opinion”.

Only making a brief appearance as HomeBody, Cavanaugh is delightful as the human-like robot with the sweeper nozzle arm who consistently exclaims: “I love dirt”! “I love dirt.”

The set’s backdrop is a huge computer with multiple buttons and flashy lights. In front of this mammoth mechanism is a bulky and very large desk. Behind the desk are three people who at first glance appear to be computer operators. It is apparent as the show begins that this large
desk partially hides the fact that the musicians are on stage.

Wonderful direction by Carolyn Cantor.

Hats off to the Pittsburgh CLO Band.

This world premiere of Rom Com Musical of the future was developed and made in Pittsburgh, with book, music, lyrics by Dan Lipton and David Rossmer.

Its genesis is the result of SPARK, an initiative dedicated to the development of new small musicals.


“The Perfect Mate” is a production of the Pittsburgh CLO Kara Cabaret Series. Performances at the Greer Cabaret Theater run from February 2 through March 17. For more information, click here.

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