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Washington DC by Tracy Lyon

She Loves Me

The holiday season is upon us and there is no better time for a light and charming musical like She Loves Me. Now playing at the Olney Theatre Center, this production is a delight to watch. She Loves Me is a musical comedy based on a play by Miklos Laszlo. In addition to She Loves Me, Mr. Laszlo's piece has inspired a number of films which include The Shop Around The Corner and, most recently, You've Got Mail.

Set in Budapest during the 1930s, She Loves Me explores the relationship between Georg, a very single store clerk, and his co-worker Amalia. Upon meeting, the pair is immediately combative. As they go through the months working together, their hostility toward each other continues. All the while, neither one realizes that they have been anonymously corresponding with each other through a lonely-hearts club.

Although the Tony nominated musical was originally produced in 1963, this production feels like a breath of fresh air. Undoubtedly, most of the credit goes to director Jim Petosa. It is obvious that Mr. Petosa has stayed true to the engaging book by Joe Masteroff and the lovely score by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. However, he has also added his own energy to the show, thus presenting a product that has a wide appeal.

She Loves Me
Stephen F. Schmidt , Daniel Felton, and Peggy Yates
The talented cast is also a large part of its appeal. Stephen F. Schmidt, known to Washington audiences from productions such as Songs from the Tall Grass (Ford's Theatre) and Arcadia (OTC), delivers a charismatic portrayal of Georg Norwack. The role is wonderfully acted and sung. Mr. Schmidt possesses a rich voice that is worthy of any Broadway stage. Peggy Yates, as the antagonistic Amalia, is a joy to watch as well. She not only has a beautiful voice but also is quite adept at comedy. Her performance of "Where's My Shoe?" is incredibly funny. Sherri L. Edelen as Ilona Ritter, Georg and Amalia's brassy co-worker, gives an outstanding performance as the wronged shop girl. Finally, Daniel Felton as the meek Ladislav Sipos, is both sweet and amusing.

This production of She Loves Me is definitely one of the high points of the Washington, D.C. theater season. She Loves Me runs through December 30th so don't miss this holiday treat.

She Loves Me
The Olney Theatre Center
Book by Joe Masteroff
Music by Jerry Bock and Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Directed by Jim Petosa
2001 Olney-Sandy Spring Road
Olney, MD 20832
Tickets: 301-924-3400 or www.olneytheatre.org


Photo: Stan Barouh.


-- Tracy Lyon


Also see the Current Theatre Season Calendar for D.C.



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