Monday, June 26, 2017

She Loves Me

Book by: Joe Masteroff

Music by:  Jerry Bock

Lyrics by:  Sheldon Harnick

Based on a play by:  Miklos Laszlo

Venue:  Main Stage, 124 S. Main, Creede Colorado.

Running time:  2 hours, 30 minutes (includes 15 minute intermission).

Date of Performance:  Friday, June 23, 2017.

At one time or another, we’ve all been looking for love.  For some of us, we’ve been looking in all the wrong places.  The quest to find a soul mate has morphed over the last century from pen pals in a lonely hearts club” or classified newspaper ads to email and finally to there’s an app for that.”  It won’t be long before there will be a “virtual reality” version of matchmaking.

She Loves Me is a musical romance based on Miklos Lazlo’s 1937 play The Parfumerie.  The story is based in a perfume shop where the aging owner’s marriage is failing and his staff is rattled by the hiring of a new sales clerk, fresh from their competitor.  The basic plot reappeared in 1940 in the Jimmy Stewart film The Shop Around the Corner, and again in the Judy Garland film In the Good Old Summertime (1949).  The most recent (1998) film adaption, You’ve Got Mail, starred Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.  

Donovan Woods (Georg) and Emily Van Fleet (Amalia).
 "Where's My Shoe?
Creede Repertory Theatre’s (CRT) musical version sparkles with wit, charm, humor and the excellent vocal chops of Emily Van Fleet (Amalia Balash) and Donovan Woods (Georg Nowack).  The pair does a delicate dance, balancing their hostile veneer with a deeper and undeniable attraction.  Their chemistry is special.  Van Fleet’s Amalia works hard at disliking her co-worker Georg, only slowly realizing that her “dear friend” and Georg have much in common.  

Woods, for his part, is a master at conveying meaning without words.  His facial expressions are priceless, revealing the his true feelings despite his words.

The real magic here is the music.  Van Fleet and Woods both have strong singing voices, and when they sing together, the chemistry is powerful.  Their duet Where’s My Shoe?,” sung in Amalia’s bedroom, is my favorite moment in the show.  It’s the point where their mutual attraction becomes obvious, and the hostility starts to dissipate.  Woods and Van Fleet carry off the shoe caper with a modesty that we know will bloom into passion.
Pat Moran (Kodaly) & Kate Berry (Ilona).
The entire She Loves Me cast is strong.  Kate Berry (Ilona Ritter) delivers a beautiful duet with Van Fleet.  When Berry and Van Fleet team up for I Don’t Know His Name, they shoot an arrow into the heart of every woman in the room.  

Spencer D. Christensen is a hoot as the shop suck up (Ladislav Sipos).  If you’ve ever held a job with more than three coworkers, you know a Sipos.  There’s one in every office, and Christensen nails his character.  

Pat Moran (as Steve Kodaly) is equal parts charm and cad.  As with Sipos, you may know a Kodaly.  Moran’s version is an amoral hedonist seeking lust but not love.  

Scenic Designer Rick Reeves created a highly flexible eye popping set with rolling pieces that do double and even triple duty.  Asa Benally’s costumes are period perfect, from Maraczek’s (Logan Ernsthall) pin stripe suit to Arpad’s (CJ Salvani) short pants and delivery boy hat.  Benally puts the ladies in some stunning outfits; her blue dress for Ilona and Amalia’s pink ensemble to meet her “dear friend” are outstanding.

Spencer D. Christensen (Ladislav Sipos).
Ian Leroy provided the music, turning his own pages at the piano while delivering nothing but perfect notes for the soundtrack.  Eaton Sayler’s sound design flawlessly mixed Stuart’s piano with the actor’s microphones.  All the technical parts of She Loves Me mesh seamlessly with the high caliber talent on the stage.  Director Michael Perlman combines behind the scenes technical experts with his onstage artistic talent for a compelling rendition of She Loves Me.  

Perlman reaches for a contemporary message, and hits the target:  

“Sometimes, as these characters find, we have to be willing to sit across from someone we think we hate— with whom we think we share nothing in common, with whom we think there could not possibly be anything on which we agree or even ways in which we see the same world— and discover that there may be plenty to love after all.”

Perlman’s casting of Woods and Van Fleet makes his point perfectly.  When something seems as obvious as black and white at first glance, look again.  You may see a million shades of grey on closer inspection.  

There’s plenty to love about CRT’s She Loves Me.  Looking past our differences to find the qualities in each other is a message we need today.  Whether we’re looking for love or looking for peace, or just looking for something to give our lives meaning, we need each other to succeed.  


She Loves Me is rated PG by the Creede company.  

This show closes on August 10, 2017. 

Photo Credit:  Creede Repertory Theatre and John Gary Brown, photographer.

Tickets HERE.  


Director:  Michael Perlman+

Music Director:  Ian LeRoy

Choreographer:  Maddy Apple

Scenic Design:  Rick Reeves

Costume Design:  Asa Benally

Lighting Design:  Jacob Welch

Sound Engineer: Eaton Saylor

Stage Manager:  Devon Muko*

Asst. Stage Managers:  Nia Sciarretta*, Aaron McEachran, Alexandria Skaar

Dance Captain:  Emily Van Fleet*


Ian LeRoy


Amalia Balash:  Emily Van Fleet*

Georg Nowack:  Donovan Woods*

Ilona Ritter:  Kate Berry*

Steven Kodaly:  Pat Moran

Zoltan Maraczek:  Logan Ernstthal*

Ladislav Sipos:  Spencer D. Christensen

Arpad Laszlo:  CJ Salvani

Headwaiter & U/S Georg:  Josh Zwick

Butterfingers:  Brian Kusic

Pianist:  Ian LeRoy

Ensemble:  Christy Brandt*, Annie F. Butler, Claudio Venancio

Ensemble & U/S Ilona:  Bettina Lobo

Ensemble & U/S Amalia:  Gina Velez

*Member of Actors’ Equity Association, the Union of Professional Actors and Stage Managers in the United States.

+ The Director is a member of the STAGE DIRECTORS AND CHOREOGRAPHERS SOCIETY, a national theatrical labor union.

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