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A CurtainUp Connecticut Review
She Loves Me
It won't be long now before my love discovers that she and I are lovers. Imagine how surprised she's bound to be. — Georg
What's not to love in Joe Masteroff's delightful musical tale, She Loves Me, opening the 80th anniversary season at Westport Country Playhouse? Director Mark Lamos has put together a strong vocal cast led by Jessica Grove and Jeremy Peter Johnson as competing, bickering shop clerks who don't realize they also are each other's pen pals with whom they have fallen in love.
Jessica Grove and Jeremy Peter Johnson
(Photo: T. Charles Erickson)
She Loves Me has music and lyrics from Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (the team that brought us Fiddler on the Roof and Fiorello! among others). It is just one of five adaptations of Miklos Lazlo's original play, including a Judy Garland movie and the more recent You've Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks. The Westport production does it justice from the casting to the large vintage set (Riccardo Hernandez, design) and stunning period costumes by Candace Donnelly (I'd love that gray coat with the three buttons at the shoulder for my own wardrobe).
Besides the love story of the two clueless pen pals, there are some subplots involving the other folks who work with them at the Budapest parfumerie where the clerks always treat their customers with a musical sendoff after they have made their purchases. There's the shop's owner, Mr. Maraczek (Lenny Wolpe) who thinks Georg is having an affair with his wife, the unscrupulous salesman Steven Kolday (Douglas Sills) who is, and who also is seeing bookkeeper Ilona (a very funny Nancy Anderson) on the side, family man Ladislav Sipos (an engaging Michael McCormick) who offers Georg advice on his love life and Arpad Lazlo (a perpetually smiling Christopher Shin), who wants to graduate from cleaning the shop to selling its contents.
She Loves Me is everything a musical should be: easy on the ears and eyes and a lot of fun. Due to ticket demand, the run has been extended through May 15.
She Loves Me
By Joe Masteroff
Music By Jerry Bock
Lyrics By Sheldon Harnick
Directed by Mark Lamos
Cast: Nancy Anderson (Ilona Ritter), David Bonnano (Keller/Headwaiter), Aaron Galligan-Stierle (Busboy), Jessica Grove (Amalia Balash), Jeremy Peter Johnson (Georg Nowack), Michael McCormick (Ladislav Sipos), Christopher Shin (Arpad Lazlo), Douglas Sills (Steven Kodaly), Lenny Wolpe (Mr. Maraczek), Alison Simmet, Jenny Latimer, Robin Lounsbury, Sam Pinleton (emsemble)
Scenic Design: Riccardo Hernandez
Lighting Design: Rui Rita
Sound Design: Domenic Sack
Costume Design: Candace Donnelly
Musical Director: Wayne Barker
Choreographer: Jonathan Butterell
Running time: 2 hours 15 minutes, with a 15-minute intermission
Westport Country Playhouse, 25 Powers Court, Westport, CT
Performances: Tuesdays at 8 pm, Wednesdays at 2 pm and 8 pm, Thursday and Friday at 8 pm, Saturdays at 4 pm and 8pm and Sundays at 3 pm.
Tickets $35-$55. Student, educator and group discounts are available (toll free 1-888-927-7529) or www.westportplayhouse.org.
April 20-May 15, 2010
Review by Lauren Yarger based on performance of April 24, 2010
Good Morning, Good Day/Georg, Arpat, Sipos, Ilona, Kodaly
Sounds while Selling/Customers, Sipos, Kodaly, Georg
Thank You, Madam/Clerks
Days Gone By/Maraczek
No More Candy/Amalia
Three Letters/Amalia, Georg
- Tonight at Eight/Georg
- I Don't Know His Name'Amalia, Ilona
Goodbye George/Customers, Clerks
Will He Like Me?/Amalia
A Romantic Atmosphere/Waiter
- Tango Tragique/Georg
Mr. Nowack, Will You Please?/Amalia, Waiter
Where's My Shoe? - Amalia, Georg
Vanilla Ice Cream/Amalia
She Loves Me/Georg
A Trip to the Library/Ilona
Grand Knowing You/Kodaly
Twelve Days to Christmas/Carolers
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