By Kathy Carpenter
San Diego Musical Theatre Presents ” She Loves Me”. Book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Block, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Directed by Richard Israel. Music director, Don Le Master and Choreographer Lauren Haughton. A delightfully Nostalgic Romance. Sweet, pure and relaxing.
Based on a 1940’s film “The Shop Around the Corner.” The play opened on Broadway in 1963. A simple story of two people who meet via a lonely hearts club, newspaper advertisement. Remember those? They swap letters for months growing closer and closer before falling deeply in love. We have the same thing today even though things go faster. Does match.com and eharmony sound familiar? The twist, they both wind up working at the same shop not really caring for one another before they actually meet. No photos were exchanged in those days.
Wonderful characters simple plot. The stage is dressed mainly with a storefront, set alongside other shops and a couple of green rod iron park type benches. Which turns around to the inside of the shop. A classy upscale perfumery, with glass counters, creams lotions, perfume and the like. The costumes are relevant to the forty’s including some delightful hats. I love hats.
The music is performed flawlessly by Don Le Mater and his orchestra. The voices as noted by more than one source are fabulous. Everything you’d want from an old fashioned Doris Day type musical. The original movie starred Margaret Sullivan and James Stewart, if you remember them?
My favorite characters Ladislav Sipos, the Hungarian clerk, played by Steven Preitas. His comedic timing hitting my laugh buttons. The other perfect character, the headwaiter, a small but memorable role, played by Dylan Pass.
The female lead, of Amalia Balash, is played by Allison Spratt Pearce. The male lead, Georg Nowack, is played by Joshus David Cavanaugh. Equally matched, their talent complimented each one, creating the ah moments as a couple. Steven Kodaly, played by Davis Sasik, is the villain of the piece, so to speak. He played his role as rake and jerk to a tee. The other clerk, Ilona Ritter, the ditzy blond type, but not ditzy, played by Sami Nye. She played the role perfectly, you wanted her to be happy. The delivery boy was another favorite, you can’t help by like him. Arpad Laszlo, poortrayed by Lucas Blankkenhorn. The last main character is Mr. Maraczek, the shop owner, played by Jeffrey Arnold Wolf. The rest of the cast rounds out with, Cassie Bloeher, Alexa Querin, Morgan Carberry, Christopher Szabo, Wyatt Rhinehart, Evan Borboa, Chase Fischer, Aaron Jerry Skipper.
Come, sit down, relax and be drawn back into a simpler era where that was still possible. Enjoyt his Romantic Comedy in the February the month of love.
She Loves Me
Februry 7, 2020 – March 8, 2020
Horton Grand Theater
Catch Me If You Can
May 29 – June 28, 2020