Some musicals endure the test of time better than others, and Eventide Theatre Company’s “She Loves Me” is one of them. This delightfully charming romantic comedy is sure to warm the heart and leave you singing all the way home.
Although lesser known than some classic musicals, “She Loves Me” is a 1963 adaptation of the 1937 play “Parfumerie,” which also inspired the popular 1998 film “You’ve Got Mail.”
Both known for their tremendous attention to detail, director/choreographer David McCarty and musical director Maggie Bossi wow the audience from beginning to end—starting with Nicholas Dorr’s sophisticated and elegant set, which immediately engages the viewers’ imagination as they wait for the fun to begin.
This timeless tale takes place in 1934 Budapest, Hungary, at Maraczek Parfumerie, where the sales clerks are highly attentive and the customers sophisticated. Georg (Christopher Edward Schultz) is the assistant manager, who is in written correspondence with an anonymous woman through a “lonely hearts” ad. As fate would have it, his mystery woman, Amalia (Sara Sneed), starts working at the shop, but they immediately get off on the wrong foot together. The lively play revolves around an impending date, where the two will finally discover they are each other’s romantic pen pal, but in the interest of comedy, nothing goes as planned.
This is not the first time that Schultz and Sneed have leading roles opposite each other. You may have been smitten with them at the Academy of Performing Arts’ “Camelot” two years ago. Schultz easily commands Eventide’s stage with his charm and equally strong singing, while, with the utmost poise, Sneed easily fills the intimate theater with her stunningly operatic voice.
Rebecca Riley and Beau Jackett (he also appeared in the APA’s “Camelot”) are the comic relief, portraying amorous store clerks. As Kodaly, Jackett is a dapper dandy, dressed to the nines with his pencil-thin mustache. As much as he loves women, he loves himself even more, and Jackett’s smug expressions are pure gold. Riley plays the overly eager Ilona, who is waiting for her knight in shining armor. She lights up the stage with her eager smile and feminine wiles.
Ken Bouchard is the gentlemanly owner of the parfumerie, and after his many years on the stage, he has perfected his nuanced acting skills.
The musical is extremely tight without a dull moment or a bad note, and is made all the better by the noteworthy supporting cast: Jeffrey Dexter, Max Dexter, Toby Wilson, Mario Abate, Morgan Dexter, Amy Furey, and Jennifer Kangas.
Amy Canaday’s costumes are period-perfect, refined, and colorful—wonderfully complementing this endearing musical. Lucy Banner expertly accompanies the fine actors on the piano.
Of special note, Eventide will be holding a benefit performance for The Academy of Performing Arts’ school. Director McCarty states, “The Academy School remains the heart and soul of this venerable institution and we are grateful to Eventide Theater and our friends for the continued support of our Educational programming while the organization works to right the ship.”
Eventide’s benefit performance to support the APA’s school will be held on Thursday, May 9, at 7:30 p.m. Please consider supporting them in this worthwhile mission.
“She Loves Me”
At Eventide Theatre Company, 713 Route 6A, Dennis
Through May 19
Information and reservations: 508-398-8588