“SHE LOVES ME” AT RVP IS A HIT
THE MUSICAL NOW AT THE RVP BARN IS PERFECT PLEASURE FOR THE HOLIDAYS. The Mountain Play Association and Ross Valley Players production of She Loves Me is two hours of absolutely delightful performances by a very talented cast. Nominated for nine Tony Awards, this light musical love story is fast-paced, funny, and shows the combined expertise of Director and Choreographer Nicole Helfer with Musical Director Justin Pyne. The wonderful music was composed by Jerry Bock with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. While there is an intermission during the two hours, the audience does not miss a beat in the book storyline by Joe Masterhoff.
Initially, the set appears to be minimalistic (as designed by Tom O’Brien and Michael Walraven); however, very shortly, the story takes us into a 1930s upscale perfumery that serves to introduce us to the cast. The marvelous Scenic Design (by Dhyanis Carniglia) along with Properties Design (by Becky Parker-Geist), consists of attractive store cases, counters, rolling carts for beautifully-wrapped gifts, and scene-appropriate furnishings, all of which set the stage for the audience to remain engaged without being distracted from the individual performances.
The shop owner is Mr. Maraczek (deftly performed by Ron Dritz), has a nice voice and has a graceful onstage presence. The smoothly-choreographed movements of the employee Ensemble (MacKenzie Cahill, Diana Cherry, Sophie de Morelos, and Katie Rose) were old-department-store charming.
Marah Sotelo (as Amalia, superb female lead) has a beautiful voice and solid acting and dancing skills.
Max Kligman (as Georg, outstanding male lead) has very good vocals and gave a believable performance.
Anthony Maglio (as Kodaly and the Waiter) performed dual roles marvelously with nice vocals and smooth, suave dancing moves. His character was quite the Romeo.
Chelsey Ristaino (as Ilona) showed wonderful talent as a dancer and singer.
Michael Walraven (as Mr. Keller) is a fine character actor and gave a memorable performance. His additional expertise is set design and set construction.
Patrick Barr (as Ladislov Sipos) is a fine character actor and gave a memorable performance.
Alex Cook (as Arpad) was delightful and believable as the sales intern, and he has a natural and graceful stage presence.
Alex Munoz (as the restaurant Busboy) was delightful and believable with a natural and graceful stage presence.
Costume Designer Michael A. Berg created beautiful period-pieces for ease of movement in the rigorous dancing movements. The Lighting was consistent and appropriately designed by Tina Johnson. Additional Production Team kudos go to Production Managers Steve Price and Eileen Grady; Assistant Production Manager Kelsey Sloan; Stage Manager Ben Vasquez; and Graphic Design by Mark Shepard. The Sound Design (by Billie Cox) worked well for the music; however, body microphones are needed for the dialogue. The production Program would have been complete with song titles and names of singers.
By Elle Alexa Simon and
Flora Lynn Isaacson, Theater Critic, San Francisco Bay Area Theater Critics Circle
Production Photographs by Robin Jackson
For Tickets: go to www.MountainPlay.org or telephone 415-383-1100.
The remaining performances are:
7:30 pm on Wednesday, December 18, and Thursday, December 19;
8:00 pm on Friday, December 20, and Saturday, December 21; and
2:00 pm on Sunday, December 22, 2019.
Coming up next at RVP will be Silent Sky, January 17 through February 9, 2020, by Lauren Gunderson and directed by Chloe Bronzan.
All performances take place at The Barn Theatre, home of the Ross Valley Players, Marin Art and Garden Center, 30 Sir Francis Drake Blvd., Ross.