ORU’s production didn’t reinvent the wheel, instead presenting itself solidly and with humorous performances from the cast.
Oral Roberts University put on “She Loves Me” March 1 through 4.
As musicals go, I found this one enjoyable. The acting did a satisfactory job of telling the story, the singing was strong and the production quality impressed me. Laura Holland Directed the musical.
“She Loves Me” is a 1963 Broadway musical adapted from a 1937 play by Miklós László’s called Parfumerie. Another adaptation of the story is the 1998 movie “You’ve Got Mail.”
The plot involves two employees of Maraczeck’s Parfumarie: Georg Nowak, played by Timothy Conn and Amalia Balash, played by Amalia Heiser. They, through a lonely-hearts advertisement, became pen-pal lovers before the action of the play, without either one knowing who the other person is. When they start working together, they immediately despise each other while sending love letters to the other person unwittingly. Nowak discovers this first, which leads to him trying to find the right time to tell Balash.
The other characters each have their own secrets that come out during the play. The plot unfolds as the audience learns what each of the minor characters is hiding. For example, Maraczeck, the shop’s owner, struggles with his personal life and keeping the shop open while his employees try to find love.
I’ll leave it unspoiled whether the lovers find out they have been working together. But rest assured, the ending is satisfying.
With the acting, the treat was the humor. A few of the lines were not expertly delivered, and no one’s performance was perfect, but the overall acting made for good theater. However, audiences will be talking about the humor.
Conn delivered his jokes in both acting and singing with perfect timing, and he rose above the rest of the cast doing so. Heiser came into her character well enough to deliver her lines with a subtle honesty. She was relatable and hilarious.
The singing left little to be desired, and the orchestra left nothing. I found no opera singers, unfortunately, but the talent from ORU is there. Caleb Vaughn as the dastardly Steven Kodaly stood out to me the most. He may have erred on the side of too much vibrato, but I felt like his ostentatious villain of a character would sing the same way. I hope to hear him sing in the future.
I have no commentary on the set and general production. The Maraczek’s store looked just as it should have. The props provided proper utility, and the cast used them well. The choreography with the spinning bar stools was quite fun.
The production served its purpose well. Any audience loves a story about two lovers who hate each other. I laughed, I wanted the characters to have their way and the story took me away from life for a while. “She Loves Me” makes for a heartwarming story for anyone who did not have their fill from Valentine’s Day. Well done, ORU.