It’s a tale as old as time- no, not the one with the singing teapot and the magic rose- the one with bantering would-be lovers who don’t realize that they’ve already succumbed to cupids arrow. SHE LOVES ME, now playing at San Diego Musical Theatre through March 8th, is a delightfully entertaining and sweet musical, that will have people leaving the theatre humming and that warm and fuzzy feeling of true love conquering all.
Georg (Joshua David Cavanaugh) and Amalia (Allison Spratt Pearce) meet at Maraczek’s perfumery, but don’t immediately hit it off. Actually, sparks fly but it’s due more to their constant clashes and quips back and forth. Little do they know that they’re each other’s anonymous pen pal who each has been corresponding and falling in love with via daily letter writing. Pearce and Cavanaugh have the chemistry to keep the audience rooting for them and just enough bite in their banter to keep the show from feeling treacly.
Every good romantic comedy has some stellar supporting characters and this musical has them in spades. The ensemble is exceptionally talented, which is what makes this show come together so well.
The store’s staff provide multiple subplots including Ilona (Sami Nye) the lovely sales girl who may or may not be finding true love with fellow co-worker Steven Kodaly (David Šášik), and store owner Mr. Maraczek (Jeffrey Arnold Wolf) struggles to keep his personal feelings from impacting the store. Ladislav (Steven Freitas) is the steady nice guy who is trying to get everything resolved, he just wants to keep his job and the store running smoothly, while delivery boy Arpad (Lucas Blakenhorn) is looking for an upgrade in responsibility.
With gorgeous music and lyrics by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (creators of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF) the score is romantic, funny, and operatic. Nye finds more than books in “A Trip to the Library,” waiters and restaurant patrons dance and cavort while trying to create “A Romantic Atmosphere,”, Pearce showcases gorgeous vocals as her Amalia marvels at the sweet gesture of Georg bringing her “Vanilla Ice Cream,” while Cavanaugh’s Georg is charming as he revels in his realization that “She Loves Me.”
Directed by Richard Israel, choreography by Lauren Haughton and the 13 piece orchestra led by Don Le Master all come together beautifully. The set design by Mike Buckley and lighting by Michelle Miles transforms the stage with clever and beautiful designs. Costumes by Janet Pitcher put the final icing on this sweet confectionary of a show.
SHE LOVES ME has plenty of heart, and it may just break yours if you miss it.
San Diego Musical Theatre’s SHE LOVES ME is playing at the Horton Grand Theatre through March 8th. For ticket and showtime information go to www.sdmt.org
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