Foothill Music Theatre's production of "She Loves Me" is charming all the way around.
Based on "Parfumerie" by Miklos Laszlo, Joe Masteroff's book tells the story of two lonely people who call each other Dear Friend in the letters they exchange as anonymous pen pals.
Unbeknownst to them, though, they become acquainted after the woman, Amalia Balash (Jessica Whittemore), gets a job in the Budapest perfume/cosmetic shop, Maracek's Parfumerie, managed by the man, Georg Nowack (Michael Doppe). Right away, their relationship is prickly and antagonistic.
This state of affairs continues for several months until the pen pals agree to meet in person. The nervous Georg sends his friend and fellow employee, Ladislav Sipos (John Rinaldi), into the restaurant ahead of him to see the woman who awaits him. When he learns that it's Amanda, he sits with her but doesn't reveal that he's her anonymous correspondent. Instead he annoys her.
Eventually all works out for the best. This is a love story, after all.
Director Milissa Carey fields an excellent cast of actors who create believable, likable characters who sing well. Even the two-timing Steven Kodaly (Nick Rodrigues), another employee, is a charmer.
The other principals are Anthony Stephens as Arpad Laszlo, the bicycle-riding shop delivery boy; Morgan Dayley as Ilona Ritter, the shop's cashier; and George Mauro as Mr. Maracek, its owner.
The large ensemble also is noteworthy, with everyone creating a realistic character.
The appealing music is by Jerry Bock with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Musical direction is by Dolores Duran-Cefalu, who conducts the offstage six-member orchestra from the keyboard.
B. Modern has created the stylish 1934 costumes. The revolving set is by Kuo-Hao Lo with lighting by Keenan Molnar and sound by Andrew Heller.
Running about two and a half hours with one intermission, "She Loves Me" is a sweet show that's sure to please.
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