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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, December 18, 2015 - Volume 43 Issue 51
Seattle Musical Theatre presents She Loves Me
Arts & Entertainment
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Seattle Musical Theatre presents She Loves Me

by Miryam Gordon - SGN A&E Writer

SHE LOVES ME
SEATTLE MUSICAL THEATRE
Through December 20


The musical She Loves Me, music by Jerry Brock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, book by Joe Masteroff, is one of the most perfect musicals ever, to me. It has a smallish cast, a fun and charismatic storyline, and killer songs. The songs, lyrics especially, are little bits of brilliance. Pretty much all of them!

You know the story if you've seen the old movie, The Shop Around the Corner, or the new movie, You've Got Mail - two people who work together and seem to hate each other have pen pals they think they love who turn out to be each other. Watching them fall in love with each other is a lot of fun.

The musical is done here every so often and the current production is at Seattle Musical Theatre. Directed by Alan Wilkie, it sports a cast of very good singers, which is great for the somewhat tricky music. A few of them are pretty new to the Seattle musical scene, which is always fun to discover.

The main roles of Georg and Amalia are ably managed by Brian Lange and newcomer Laura Medford. Lange is a local veteran and has all the right chops for the role. He's got great comic instincts and is also a good actor and this role calls for both. Medford plunges in with enthusiasm with a lovely soprano. (She needs to be a bit careful of going off the vocal rails and getting a little screechy when she's rushed.)

Supporting players in the parfumerie (this is set in Budapest in the 1930s) are the owner (a lovely turn by Bill Higham), an unassuming clerk (Doug Knoop), a scheming clerk (newcomer Paul Gauger with a terrific voice), the other female clerk (Jorie Jones), and a bike messenger (funny standout Dustyn Moir). All contribute well and each gets his or her own great song to sing.

The ensemble singers are also all solid singers with some tricky songs to sing. They do most of the choreography created by Taylor Davis, which ties in amusing movement to augment the story comedy.

The orchestra is larger than many SMT shows and has a particularly talented violin section! Music-directed by Josh Zimmerman, they sound great. Usually, I end up feeling frustrated by how loud the music is compared to the singers. On this occasion though, the musicians were way too muted! I even think the cast had a hard time hearing them to stay on beat and in tune. The music for this show is terrific and the orchestration deserves to be heard in a bigger way.

This is a solidly good production. However, there is a certain amount of restraint in it that is a bit puzzling. Everyone feels careful. The directing seems to have been more "presentational" (facing the audience) than interactive on stage, and that undercuts the relationships a bit.

I wish the actors would demonstrate that they're having more fun on stage. Moir, in particular, seems to get that. Let go, have fun! You're in a great show. If you're having fun, it will translate to the audience and we will have more fun, too.

For more information, go to www.seattlemusicaltheatre.org or call 206-363-2809.

Discuss your opinions with sgncritic@gmail.com or go to www.facebook.com/SeattleTheaterWriters. More articles can be found at miryamstheatermusings.blogspot.com.

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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Hottest Artists of the Year
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Feature Artist Interview
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Albums
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Singles
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Live Performances
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Best of Music 2015 and special interview with Allen Stone next week
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BEST OF MUSIC 2015: Worst Music
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Ham for the Holidays with Lisa Koch and Peggy Platt is amazing comedy
FINAL WEEKEND

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Adele gives Seattle a big hello with two concerts next July
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STG presents 'So You Think You Can Dance' at the Paramount Dec. 26
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Seattle Musical Theatre presents She Loves Me
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Seattle LGBT Community Center
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Seattle musicians Brandi Carlile, Death Cab for Cutie, and Seattle Symphony earn Grammy nominations
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Danish Girl a gender journey of self-discovery
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Abrams' Star Wars brings balance back to The Force
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Rambunctious Sisters a Poehler-Fey gem
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Howard's Sea a whale of a disappointment
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