Thursday, October 2, 2014

Audiences adore ‘She Loves Me’

The Dept. of Theatre Arts wraps up its fall schedule with a musical love story

Love in the air — The popular story that students are performing has been adapted many times for the stage and for movies. Photo credit: Nathan Rohrer

The Theater Arts Department has put on many successful shows this semester, but they are not finished quite yet. With the themes of love and Christmas floating across the stage “She Loves Me,” is set to be the last production for the fall semester.

“She Loves Me” was inspired a Hungarian play called “Parfumerie” by Miklos Lazlo.
Although the musical itself did not make it big on Broadway, the plot is well known to audiences through films such as “The Shop Around the Corner” and “You’ve Got Mail.”

This romantic comedy is set in the 1930s and tells the story of two pen pals who fall in love while unwittingly working side-by-side at a perfume shop. The relationship between the two co-workers is far from a loving one, but behind the mask of pen and paper, the relationship slowly blossoms into love.

According to Natalie Cleek, the tale is one that is sure to appeal to all members of the audience.

“Everybody can relate to some type of love, and I think that’s what’s beautiful about it,” Natalie Cleek, who plays the lead role of Amalia, said. “If you can’t relate to us, you’re going to be able to relate to someone else in the show.”

As the story progresses, the relationship grows deeper between main characters Georg and Amalia. Within the heart of the story is a play on words: love at work.

“They fall in love at work … but love is like a work in progress,” Cleek said.

That play on words spills over onto the set, with the actual stage itself being a work in progress.

“It goes from a sketch, to a watercolor, to a painting, to a finished product,” Kyle Blanchard, holding the role of Georg, said.

This constantly-evolving set mirrors the relationship that is acted out on stage.
“By the end of the show, you should see a big picture of our love story, drawn on a canvas,” Blanchard said.

The musical will be a new experience for most viewers, and the tale holds many unexpected twists.

“I’m really excited for people to come see the show. The show isn’t well known, and so I think nobody knows what to expect,” Cleek said. “The twist of love at work, and all the paintings, is going to take everybody so off-guard.”

The entire musical holds the promise of being visually appealing, not only within the set but in the costumes as well.

“The 1930s is all about the pin curls and the matching shoes and matching handbags and coats. I’m just excited for people to see the overall picture and the beauty of it,” Cleek said.

Striving to always put on a good show, Cleek hopes that this year will be no different.

“People come from all over the place to see our shows, because our professors and directors (push) us to do excellent work,” Cleek said.

Remaining performances of “She Loves Me” will take place Dec. 7-9 at 7:30 p.m. For more information, visit the Department of Theatre Arts page. Tickets can be bought at the box office or by calling 528-SEAT.

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