Josh Holliday is the former Director of Communications at Midland Center for the Arts. Telling the stories of artists, innovators and modern day explorers!
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An Unsuspecting Love is in The Air This Holiday Season with the Upcoming Production of ‘She Loves Me’ at Midland CenterLike many classic stories that we have grown to know and love, She Loves Me, the upcoming Center Stage Theatre production at Midland Center for the Arts, has a long history as a charming tale worth retelling with new and unique interpretations. The script for this upcoming production is the third adaptation of the 1937 play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklós László. The story quickly went to the silver screen in 1940 in The Shop Around the Corner starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, and then a musical in 1949 with In the Good Old Summertime starring Judy Garland and Van Johnson. And most recently, the story resurfaced in 1998 with You’ve Got Mail came out on film with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.
This adaptation brings a new life to the original story and based on the 1963 Broadway production. Set in Budapest, Hungary in the mid-1930s where two shop employees, despite being consistently at odds at work, are unaware that they are each other’s secret pen pal that met through lonely-heart ads. While the identity of their admirers remains unknown throughout the production, they live for the letters that they exchange.
“She Loves Me is old-fashioned and optimistic. It is not nostalgic or sentimental, however, because the characters are real and fully developed,” described Annette Thornton, director of She Loves Me. “With a strong book by Joe Masteroff, poetic lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and beautiful score by Jerry Bock, She Loves Me is a is a musical jewel box of emotions, desires, longings, disappointments, and discoveries.”
The production features many local actors from the Great Lakes Bay Region including Erin Whitfield and Steven P. Holty as coworkers and pen pals, as well as Madeline Vallazza, Tony Lynch, Brady Katshor, John Tanner, Jon Hook, Dr. Lauren Jackson, Aja Jade Philpot, Drew Hoag, Elizabeth Reinhardt, Lauren Neil, Mary Louise Monroe, Melissa Bornemann, Missy Lewis Hobart, David King and Mandy Winchester.
“We are thrilled to bring this beautiful production to the Center with gorgeous costume design, a very-realistic perfumery shop that will rotate on the stage as actors move between rooms, and the incredibly hard work of many volunteers that have made something really special,” added Travis Kendrick, the Center’s new Manager of Produced Theatre and Theatre Education. “We hope you will join us this holiday season for this warm, charming and festive production.”
She Loves Me runs for seven performances over two weekends starting December 3, 2021 on the Little Theater Stage at Midland Center for the Arts. Tickets are available online at midlandcenter.org, at the Center Ticket Office, or by calling 989-631.8250.