“She Loves Me” brilliantly tells the classic story of two feuding coworkers unknowingly falling in love with each other.
The Geneseo Department of Music put on a Page to Stage production of the musical “She Loves Me” from April 4 to Sunday April 8, under director Scott Scaffidi and music director and Coordinator of Musical Theater Don Kot.
The show featured only musical theater majors, with the goal of emphasizing the music and acting in the work, Kot said.
The show, set in the 1930s, follows the story of main characters Georg Nowack—played by communication and musical theater double major junior Brian Sousis—and Amalia Balash—played by communication and musical theater double major junior Erin Burris—who work together in a perfumery shop.
The pair often argues at work, leading the audience to assume they dislike each other. Both characters look forward to receiving separate letters from anonymous love interests, whom they met through a “lonely hearts advertisement.”
Georg is the first to realize that Amalia is his secret admirer, and he hers, when he sees her in the restaurant that his anonymous letter-sender asked to meet. The bitter tension between the two begins to resolve after that night, and they start to fall for each other. In the end, Georg reveals he was Amalia’s letter-sender all along and the two share a kiss.
Meanwhile, the other workers in the shop undergo their own struggles of finding love, keeping previous relationships alive and trying to get promoted.
The crowd thoroughly enjoyed the story and the cast’s talent. English and French double major freshman Sydney Schmidt also appreciated the minimalistic style of the show.
“My favorite part of the show was how inventive they were and how they made the most of the minimal set,” Schmidt said. “It was entertaining to see the things that you can tell were written and the things that clearly weren’t written.”
The unique nature of the Page to Stage style encouraged the actors to innovate and collaborate, according to Burris.
“There are so many great things about the show. I think the fact that this is . . . about a collaboration between all the theater majors, it’s the only thing we can all work on together as performers,” Burris said.
The show placed the audience and cast on an emotional roller-coaster as Georg and Amalia fall in love; it is the love between the two main characters that defines the show, according to Burris.
“It sounds kind of cheesy, but I think it’s almost like first impressions aren’t always the best,” Burris said. “Love is really about your heart and your passion and your intelligence more so than your exterior, because Georg and Amalia fall in love through words and through sharing what they love, rather than just physical attractiveness. I think it shows the importance of loving someone for who they are as a person.”
The show stresses the need to love a person on a deeper level. The cast did an incredible job getting these themes across through their acting and beautiful singing.
“It was amazing to see what we can all do as a whole major, especially in this space with the limited sets, costumes and props,” Burris said. “It was like we had to create the story all on our own and with each together. I think that’s just an experience that I love having at Geneseo and I think it’s the only place this does happen.”