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DOOR COUNTY ADVOCATE REVIEW

CAST SHINES IN “SHE LOVES ME”
BY MARTY LASH

In recent years Isadoora has taken on musicals such as “Assassins” by Stephen Sondheim and the ever popular, “Chicago.” Their recent offering, “She Loves Me,” by Joe Masterhoff, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick is their best effort to date.

The show was adapted from a play called “Parfumerie” by the Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo. The original show had modest success on Broadway and in London but was made into several fine movies. Most recently the story’s basic plot line reappeared in the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan hit, “You’ve Got Mail.”

Basically, the show takes place in an eastern European perfume shop between the wars. It’s a time when life was simpler and old world courtesy was the order of the day. The inhabitants of the shop include two battling co-workers who have no idea they are romantic pen pals. There are others in the shop and several customers who add to the merriment but the story revolves around the unlikely couple, Georg and Amalia, who eventually become lovers.

This show is appealing because it’s light and breezy and does not pretend to be serious.  Its catchy, lively and a lot of fun.

Once again Isadoora’s actors excel and are clearly having a good time. Newcomer Elliot Goettelman is wonderful playing Georg; his performance is very heartfelt. His singing partner, Mary Hall, could not be better. Ms. Hall’s warm, lush soprano voice is a delight and she manages to make light of a very demanding part. The actress has appeared in other Isadoora shows, and was quite good, but this time she really shines. She is soaring, moving and sweet.

Also very enjoyable is Katie Lott Schnorr who plays one of the shop’s many workers. Ms. Schnorr is radiant and has a special twinkle in her eye when performing. She has exceptional stage presence. The very capable Hervy Hodges does a nice job playing his rather unlikable character, Steven. The supporting cast has a blast, adding merriment throughout.

The physical production is an outstanding combination of color and elegance. Ann Thenell did a remarkable job with the costumes and Mark Bushmann’s set is
thoughtful and unobtrusive. Craig McClelland capably leads the band through their paces.  Director Ginger Alud clearly has encouraged her cast to put forth their best.

One of the unsung stars of this show is Birch Creek’s Juniper Hall. This is the first time a theatrical production has been staged there and it was a great choice. The feel of the hall and its atmosphere lends itself to this kind of undertaking and the open stage concept works well. The hall made this production seem both large in scale and intimate at the same time. I hope Isadoora chooses to perform at Birch Creek in future seasons.

Isadoora Theater Company presents “She Loves Me” by Joe Masteroff, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, Saturday, 7:30 p.m. and Sunday 2:00 p.m., February 21 & 22, Birch Creek Performance Center, Juniper Hall, Highway E, Egg Harbor. All tickets are $15. For tickets and information call 493-3667; or go to www.isadoora.com. There are limited ticket availabilities for the remaining performances.

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