Review of She Loves Me in Pequot Lakes
Quote of the Day: Nothing says “I Love You” more than a pint of vanilla ice cream. Me, observing a sweet scene from She Loves Me, the musical, on stage now at Greater Lakes Area Performing Arts (GLAPA) in Pequot Lakes, MN. It’s a sweet romantic comedy musical that sweeps you away for a few hours. It’s community theatre at its finest, where I can just sit back, relax, and watch my friends and neighbors have fun telling a story together.
If you’ve seen the movie You’ve Got Mail starring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, you have the basic plot line. It is a spin-off from this 1960’s musical, as well as the movies The Shop Around the Corner, starring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, and the Judy Garland musical In the Good Old Summertime. It has had several runs and revivals on Broadway and was nominated for the Best Revival of a Musical in the 2016 Tony Awards.
This story takes place in the 1930’s (no cell phones, computers, or email) in and around Maraczek’s Parfumerie. Amalia and Georg have both answered the Lonely Hearts Club ads in the newspaper and have begun a letter writing (that’s actual paper to pen letters, kids) correspondence. They have no photos, no face to face meetings, no chance to google each other, just their words to build the relationship. They like each other, in writing. They meet in person without knowing who the other one is. They don’t like each other at all. In fact, they are forced to work together and are not happy about it.
What makes this production special is watching the talents shine from people who, by day, are much like the characters they portray on stage, just regular folk, trying to make a living, and interacting with each other in shops like the Parfumerie. All of the singers are spot on. Laura Oldham shines as Amalia, hitting those high notes with ease, and drawing us into the romance of the story. Travis Chaput plays Georg, the shy, but eager shop manager, who doesn’t quite know how to show his affections any other way than writing them. His facial expressions, line delivery, and singing are wonderful. Laura Marsolek and Eric Boyles are excellent as the comic couple. The ensemble is on for many of the scenes, and have great numbers to sing and dance.
Tim Leagjeld has outdone himself with the set design. We see the shop from the outside, then, with a pull of the sides, it opens up like a dollhouse to the inside of the Parfumerie. Everything rolled in and out smoothly, and the colors added to the mood of the play, light pastels, and elegant touches. He also appears as the Headwaiter in the restaurant scene with fun lines, singing, and characterization. It was fun to see him on stage.
You can read more about the production in this article in the Brainerd Dispatch. The show is running Nov. 11-13 & 18-20, 7:30 performances on Friday and Saturday, and a 2:00 Sunday matinee. Please visit the GLAPA website for tickets, call, or arrive early to buy tickets.
Go. Create. Inspire!
Journaling Prompt: What are some thoughtful, loving, gifts and gestures that you’ve given or received from someone you love?