Ryan Cunningham & Joshua Salzman on Creating ILYB!

Set in New York City, I LOVE YOU BECAUSE is a modern twist on Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice. A young, uptight greeting card writer’s life is changed when he meets a flighty photographer. Along with their eccentric friends and siblings, they learn to love each other not in spite of their faults, but because of them.

Significant changes in talented writers Ryan Cunningham and Joshua Salzman’s own lives catalyzed this Austen-inspired musical. “When we began work on I LOVE YOU BECAUSE,” Cunningham notes, “One of us was about to get engaged and the other had recently become single. The obvious question arose, ‘How does one get from one place to the other? And in New York City of all places?’” This question led them to the novel Pride and Prejudice. On the book, Cunningham lauds, “It immediately struck us with its sophistication, emotional honesty, and humanity. It didn’t have a naïve or antiquated view on love, but instead presented love as a complex and difficult prospect that takes knowing who you are, as much as it takes knowing who you are looking for.”

I LOVE YOU BECAUSE at the Know Theatre in Cincinnati, OH

After reading Austen’s novel, Salzman and Cunningham’s mission became clear as they began to write an updated, musical version of this praised piece of classic literature. Inserting some of their own experiences into the story, the writers found that I LOVE YOU BECAUSE took on a life of its own. But, Cunningham asserts that the message of both Pride and Prejudice and I LOVE YOU BECAUSE remains the same: “the notion that in order to find love you must move past your preconceived notions of what love is going to be for you and embrace all of its surprises, both good and bad. Because it’s easy to say, “I love you anyway,” but hard and all the more rewarding to say, ‘I love you because’.

The show earned rave reviews for its Off Broadway run in 2006, including this from the Wall Street Journal: “I Love You Because is everything an Off-Broadway musical should be! A charming piece of work that will send you home smiling!” And BroadwayWorld gushed: ‘“Adorably fun! Ryan Cunningham’s laugh-filled book and cleverly constructed lyrics matched with Joshua Salzman’s light jazz/pop score is a winning combination. Add a cast that bubbles over with comic zing and you’ve got a loveable show that shoots Cupid’s arrow straight to the funny bone!” And, Talkin’ Broadway wrote: “As feisty, friendly and funny a musical comedy as New York has seen in ages! If you’ve been looking for the perfect date musical, or just a show to restore your faith in musical comedy, your search ends with I Love You Because!”

For more information on licensing your production of I LOVE YOU BECAUSE, visit the show’s homepage at www.theatricalrights.com.