Musical theater majors to present classic story with modest, performance-based directives

Geneseo’s Department of Music will present “Page to Stage: She Loves Me” on Wednesday April 4-8 in the Doty Recital Hall. The show will feature strictly musical theater majors alongside director Scott Scafidi and music director and Coordinator of Musical Theater Don Kot. The story follows two conflicting coworkers who are unknowingly writing anonymous love letters to each other. (Catherine White/Arts & Entertainment Editor)

The Geneseo community will be treated to what will be yet another spectacular performance from the Geneseo Department of Music.

“Page to Stage: She Loves Me” will be held in the Doty Recital Hall from Wednesday April 4-8 under director Scott Scafidi and music director and Coordinator of Musical Theater Don Kot. 

“She Loves Me” tells the story of coworkers Georg Nowack and Amalia Balash, who unknowingly converse as anonymous pen pals who are in love, even though they are constantly in conflict. The story of “She Loves Me” may sound familiar to audiences, according to Scaffidi. 

“The musical is actually adapted from a Hungarian play from the 1950s, but it’s actually a story that a lot of people know because … the movie You’ve Got Mail, starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, is this musical. It’s the same story,” Scafidi said. “This is the original sort of musical version of it and I think it’s better than You’ve Got Mail. It’s got more humor and more heart to it.” 

A major aspect that will drive the show will be the depth of the characters, according to musical theater communication double major junior Erin Burris—who will play Amalia—and musical theater major sophomore Mick Elliott—who will play Arpad Laszlo. 

“It’s a love story, but I think it’s kind of unique in the fact that it has really strong female characters who work for themselves, make their own career and stand up to the men in their life,” Burris said.

“It is a romantic comedy, so you really focus on the relationship between Georg and Amalia, but … that’s not the main focus,” Elliot said. “You get that ‘feel good’ element, but it’s not too sappy. There’s a lot of emotional depth to this show.”

The “Page to Stage” structure, which has been present in the past, is also different from other productions held by the music and theater department, according to Kot.

“The idea is a chance for all of the musical theater majors to come together and get to work on another show that makes it more cost-effective without the production elements, without a full set, lights, costume and sound,” Kot said. “We get to focus on all of the music and lives of the characters and don’t actually have to worry about any other technical elements.”

Audiences should look forward to being treated to the creativity that comes from the stripped down “Page to Stage” experience based on feedback Kot has received in the past.

“[Audiences] really love opening up their own imaginations, going through this experience and being led through the journey with Scott’s direction and the cast’s work,” Kot said. “They’re always pleasantly surprised at what can happen on stage with a block … and a piano, and a cast of really talented people and a great director.”

As for a highlight of the show, Scafidi cites a more climactic number in “She Loves Me.”

“I think I can speak for everyone when I say that there’s a number called ‘Twelve Days to Christmas’ and it’s the only number actually in the show that involves every single actor, so all the 22 at the same time,” Scafidi said. “It builds on itself, and we use the whole space, and it was real fun to put it together, and we’re still putting it together … so that’s one that I really enjoy.”

“Page to Stage: She Loves Me” is sure to be a high point for the Geneseo theater season, and audiences can look forward to Geneseo students’ talented depiction of this musical.