‘She Loves Me’ opens tonight at Riverland; Creating the 1930s set was challenging, director says

Published 7:39 am Wednesday, November 15, 2017

Riverland Theatre presents the musical “She Loves Me,” opening tonight at 7 p.m. at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre.

Set in a 1930s European perfumery, “She Loves Me” tells the story of shop clerks Georg Nowack and Amalia Balash who do not see eye-to-eye. After they both respond to a “lonely hearts” advertisement in the newspaper, they live for the love letters that they exchange without knowing the identity of their admirers.

The story is by Joe Masteroff. It features music by Jerry Bock with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick.

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“It is truly a romantic comedy,” said Riverland Theatre instructor Lindsey Duoos Williams, who is directing the show. “It has a great score, and the music is funny and fun. It doesn’t get performed that much. It has never been performed at Riverland, and we haven’t done a show set in this era for quite some time.”

Williams said the era was a challenge when creating the set.

“The show has a fairly small cast, but requires a big set and a lot of props, especially perfume bottles,” she said. “We had to be specific about the era of the show and create the right atmosphere. Being able to focus on the details was fun for the cast because it allowed them to get immersed in the show.”

Williams was praiseworthy of the cast, calling them “fantastic” and saying they “embraced the challenges of the show.”

The cast includes Anders Nelson, the pastoral intern at Our Savior’s Lutheran Church, as Georg Nowack and Southland High School graduate Jannel Howard, who has studied music and theater in Los Angeles and New York, as Amalia Balash.

Williams calls “She Loves Me” the “perfect holiday show. … It is heart-warming and funny. It is pure escapism.”

Performances for “She Loves Me” will be held at the Frank W. Bridges Theatre on the Riverland Community College campus Nov. 15-18 at 7 p.m. and Nov. 19 at 2 p.m. Tickets are $16. Riverland students receive two free tickets with a valid student identification.

To purchase tickets, go to www.riverland.edu/tickets or visit the Riverland Box Office from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. Monday through Friday, located in room E107 in the East Building. Contact the box office at 507-433-0595 or emailing boxoffice@riverland.edu. Tickets may also be purchased one hour before the performance.

For more information, contact Lindsey Williams at Lindsey.Williams@riverland.edu or 507-434-7390.

The Riverland cast of “She Loves Me,” kicks off rehearsal Tuesday night at Frank W. Bridges Theatre.
Eric Johnson/photodesk@austindailyherald.com

Cast (in order of appearance):

Arpad Laszlo – Momen Salama

Ladislav Sipos – Austin Hodnefield

Ilona Ritter – Lindsey McAlister

Steven Kodaly – Vic Wylde

Georg Nowack – Anders Nelson

Mr. Maraczek  – James Zschunke

Amalia Balash – Jannel Howard

Customers – Caohime Farrell, KariLynn Finley-Cook, Joseph Gerber, Sadie Mortenson, Maurene Olson, Mandie Siems

Mr. Keller – Joseph Gerber

Waiter – Maurene Olson

Busboy – KariLynn Finley-Cook

Diners–  Caoimhe Farrell, Joseph Gerber, Sadie Mortenson, Mandie Siems

Nurse – Caoimhe Farrell

Production Staff:

Director – Lindsey Duoos Williams

Choreographer – Marny Rohr

Vocal Director – Kaye Perry

Technical Director – John Deyo

Stage Manager – Carrie Braaten

Rehearsal Accompanist – Jan Matson, Dori Schou

Scenic & Lighting Design – John Deyo

Costume Design – Madlain Vander

Light Board Operator – Max Deyo

Sound Board Operator  – Ian Gearhart

Backstage Crew  – Maria Cristina Aranda, Emily McAlister