Beginning Friday, advanced drama students at Marysville Charter Academy for the Arts will present the Tony Award-winning musical “She Loves Me” at the Marysville Community Auditorium.
With music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joe Masteroff, the production is directed by Wendie Marks. Rebekah Hood directs the live orchestra.
“It’s a wonderful romantic comedy beginning with a little bit of Cupid (Stephenie Rodwell). It takes place in the 1930s in a little parfumerie called Maraczek’s. It’s pre-World War II, but people were still concerned about money and keeping their jobs. It definitely has a European flavor to it,” Marks said.
“Work ethic, keeping your job, money is tight — and also there are some issues about trust and gossip, maybe not believing everything somebody might tell you. A little intrigue in that way,” she added.
“It’s the story of two shy people (Max Jeffrey as George Nowak and Heather Chavez as Amalia Balash) who meet through writing letters to one another. They answer an ad in the paper — not exactly eHarmony, but it’s very charming watching these two people fall in love in spite of themselves,” Marks said.
Supporting characters include Charles Tate as the parfumerie shop owner, Mr. Maraczek, and Derek Olsen as Sipos. The cast includes Chase Armstrong, Cameron Day, Elias Denny, Robert Denny, Tamara Gresham, Bethany Harris, Gabrielle Hayes, Mariah Kuhn, Sarah Kuhn, Caraya Lende, Ben Olsen, Courtney Purdue, Cora Rickert and B.J. Rivera.
“She Loves Me” is an adaptation of Hungarian playwright Miklos Lazlo’s “Parfumerie.” The story was brought to film in 1940 in “The Shop Around the Corner,” with James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan; in 1949, a musical film version, “In the Good Old Summertime,” was made with Judy Garland and Van Johnson; and in 1998, it was remade again as “You’ve Got Mail,” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
“The music is delicious; it’s written by the same people who wrote ‘Fiddler on the Roof.’ We happen to be very fortunate because Rebekah Hood, who is the co-founder of the Veridian Symphony here in Yuba City, is conducting students as well as professional musicians in our wonderful orchestra,” Marks said.
“It’s so romantic and wonderful watching two kind of nerdy people — not anybody who feels they deserve love — fall in love. And I think that we all can relate to that feeling of: ‘Am I loved?’ and, ‘Do I deserve to be loved?’ and, ‘I am loved!’” Marks smiled.
“I’m just attracted to the charm of it, really — the old world charm. But I think people young and old will enjoy it,” she said.