She Loves Me, directed by associate professor and artistic director Earl D. Weaver, is a classic love story, and in fact, may be the classic love story. Showing March 17-26, this Tony Award-winning musical will play on the Theatre UCF Main Stage.
Adapted from the play Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo, She Loves Me is set in a 1930’s perfume shop located in Budapest, Hungary. Two of the characters, Amalia Balash and Georg Nowack, played by Sunny Gay and Terry Farley, are bickering perfume shop employees. Both of them have pen pals, but neither knows who their secret friends are and the answer may surprise audiences. The musical is written by Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick.
“This is a family-friendly, romantic, feel-good musical that is easy to understand,” Weaver says.
She Loves Me is a both a comedy and a romance that speaks to all generations. Several screen versions of the story have been made, including the popular 1998 film You’ve Got Mail starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan. First premiering in 1963, this musical is “almost historical,” actress Sunny Gay says. And as the lead performer playing the part of Amalia, Gay would know best. “Researching the characteristics of the time period like the movements, makeup, even the language itself, is an interesting challenge,” she says.
Alongside the musical itself, the actual design of the stage will be a treat for audiences to view. Figuring out how to best use the physical size of the theatre has always been an experiment in creativity, but Theatre UCF found a way. “We’ve created a revolving set with different scenes on each side, as the stage turns, so do the settings. And there will be movable walls next to the stage that will reveal scenes, as well.” Weaver says.
For Gay, playing the lead part of Amalia is a dream come true and she wants to share this musical with audiences. “This is a great experience for me to have before graduating and I’m excited to show everyone our hard work and share this eternally relatable story,” Gay says. For a light-hearted night of entertainment, She Loves Me will have audience members singing its praises.
Event at a glance:
She Loves Me
Book by Joe Masteroff
Music by Jerry Bock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick
Based on a play by Miklos Laszlo
Directed by Earl Weaver
Dates: March 17, 18, 19, 24, 25, 26 at 8 p.m., March 20, 26 at 2 p.m. (note: the second matinee is on a Saturday.)
Price: $20 standard, $18 senior, $10 student
Location: Theatre, Main Stage (107)