Shows About Love

Two of our recent shows were both about amusing romantic entanglements: The musical She Loves Me, and the comedy Lovers and Other Strangers.

The spring 2004 production was Lovers and Other Strangers. A popular comedy by Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, the show consists of five short vignettes about love and marriage, and the relations between men and women. For this show, we brought back our popular cabaret-style seating, with refreshments available before and during the show. Performances were on 23, 24, 25, 30 April and 1 May 2004.

The cast included: Lisa Scopa and Kurt Lusas as Brenda and Jerry; Kelli MacNeil and Derek Clark as Susan and Mike; Amanda Kelly and Donald Pinnelle as Wilma and Johnny; Larry Segel and Jean Amorosi as Hal and Cathy; Les Tarmy and Rosemary DeGregorio as Frank and Bea; and Kenneth Senibaldi and Carolyne Gallo and as Richie and Joan.

The director was Kelly Bucher, the producer was Monica Bruno, and the stage manager was Jaime Stevens. Costume coordination was by Renee Glowacki, with set design by Laura Schrader.

Each vignette of Lovers and Other Strangers was set in a different decade of the 20th century. In the first scene, set in the 1950s, we see Jerry invite Brenda into his apartment, although they each have different intentions. In the next scene, set in the 1960s, Mike tries to call off his imminent wedding to Susan. In the third scene, set in the 1970s, the long-married couple Wilma and Johnny, argue about whose turn it is to initiate the nightly love-making.

In the fourth scene, set in the 1980s, Hal doesn’t want to give up his wife and kids, nor his affair with Cathy. In the final scene, set in the 1990s, Richie and Joan plan to divorce, but not before his parents Frank and Bea use every argument they’ve got to convince them to stay together. Between each scene, we watched as the movers took away the furnishings of the last couple and brought in the next, while the house key was exchanged by the owners.

Our fall 2003 show was She Loves Me, a beautiful romantic musical, including a fair amount of comedy and intrigue. The stage was in a horseshoe arrangement, with the audience on three sides, in the little theater at St. John’s Episcopal Church. Performances dates were 14-29 November 2003.

The cast included some new performers on our stage: Chris Alberto (Busboy), Derek Clark (Chorus), Renee Glowacki (Chorus), Bobby Imperato (Arpad Laszlo), James Languirand (Keller), John Macero (Stephen Kodaly), Michelle Margulies (Amalia Balash), David Palen (Waiter), Sabrina Raftery (Chorus), and Jennifer White (Chorus).

The cast also included returning members: Rosemary DeGregorio (Mrs. Sipos), Rich Italiano (Georg Nowack), Carolina Lanney (Chorus), Frances Latour (Chorus), Elaine Lerman (Chorus), Sherri Raftery (Chorus), Laura Schrader (Ilona Ritter), Lisa Scopa (Chorus), and Larry Segel (Mr. Maraczek).

The director was Leo Nickole, the musical director was Nancy Lemoine, the choreographer was Trudy Macero, Mary Moffett was the stage manager, and Hank Zappala was the producer, assisted by Ramona Zappala.

Costumes were by Monica Bruno, technical direction by Jim Scheri, properties by Kris Reynolds and Jennifer Lago, lighting design by Larry Segel, lighting operation by Sarah Belliveau and Rachel Seavey, house management by Maria Gouviea, ticketing by Barbara Hunt and Jean Amorosi. Percussion by Alex Donovan, bass by Steve Constantino.

She Loves Me is a romance about two 1930s shop clerks who seem to dislike each other, and don’t realize they are actually pen pals. It is based on a play called Parfumerie, by Miklos Laszlo, which was also made into the movies Shop Around the Corner (Margaret Sullivan and James Stewart), The Good Old Summertime (Judy Garland and Van Johnson), and You’ve Got Mail (Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks). The book is by Joe Masteroff, who also wrote Cabaret. The music and lyrics are by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, who also wrote Fiorello, The Apple Tree, The Rothchilds, and Fiddler on the Roof. She Loves Me was first produced on Broadway in 1963 with Barbara Cook, Daniel Massey, and Jack Cassidy. It was revived on Broadway in 1993.

For more information about the show, click here or here.