CLINTON — The Clinton Ara Showboat Theatre’s fourth musical of the 2013 season, “She Loves Me,” opens Thursday.
Based on the play “Parfumerie” by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo, the musical, with a book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick is one of several adaptations.
The 1940 James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan film “The Shop Around the Corner” and the 1949 Judy Garland and Van Johnson musical version “In the Good Old Summertime” came first, with another adaptation in 1998 as the Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan feature, “You’ve Got Mail.” The musical “She Loves Me” premiered on Broadway in 1963.
The story follows fellow shop employees Georg Nowack (Elliott Litherland) and Amalia Balash (Carly Berg). The two work in a 1930’s Budapest parfumarie, where they develop an intense dislike for each other. Meanwhile, they are falling in love by writing anonymous letters through a lonely hearts club. Filled with delightful songs and humorous situations, the show includes Nicole Tompkins as Ilona Ritter; Darian Lunsford as Kodaly; and James Putnam Smith as Sipos.
Rob Engelson, who directs the community choir Riverchor and portrayed Max in “Sound of Music,” will play shop owner Mr. Maraczek. Upcoming Prince of Peace senior Noah Strausser will play Arpad. Nate Curlott is the hilarious Headwaiter and Taylor Wiebers will dance as the busgirl. Members of the ensemble include: Laurel Decker, Dorothy Farach, Jordan Hirl, Sheila McMinimy, Savannah Medley, Ellen Miller, Audrey Simpson, Kris Doss, Matt Espey, Aiden McMinimy, Joe Mroz, Katie Peck, and Kami Zeimet.
“She Loves Me” is directed by Jonathan Flom, the musical theatre program coordinator at Shenandoah Conservatory in Winchester, Virg. Flom has directed professionally in New York, New Jersey, Chicago, Virginia, and New England. He is the author of “Get the Callback: The Art of Auditioning for Musical Theatre” and the forthcoming Scarecrow Press publication, “Act Like It’s Your Business.”