Florida School of the Arts presents “She Loves Me”
Love is in the air! The Florida School of the Arts will present “She Loves Me,” a musical romantic comedy based on the book by Joe Masteroff with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and music by Jerry Bock. FloArts students will perform this comical award-winning show on the School’s main stage located on the Palatka campus of St. Johns River State College. Show times are 7:30 p.m., Thursday, February 23 through Saturday, February 25, and at 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 26. Tickets are $5.
FloArts acting and stage management instructor Patricia Crotty is directing “She Loves Me,” along with student assistant director Kassidy Canova. Crotty said the audience will be entertained as they watch the love story with an interesting twist unfold. “This timeless show is a classic love story about two people who misunderstand each other and don’t know who the other person is, and then they discover that they have much more in common than they thought,” she said.
While younger children might find this two-act play a bit lengthy, Crotty said that “She Loves Me” is definitely appropriate for the whole family. “There is no inappropriate content,” she stated. “It’s simply a funny show performed by a cast that will give the audience a memorable escape from the norm of life.” Cast members include Cameron Bartelt as Georg, Olivia Bleak as Amalia, Yul Carrion as Arpad, Matias De La Flor as Kodaly, Marcus Donaldson as Mr. Keller, Bella Guzman as Ritter, Gordia Hayes as Sipos, Emma Stimpson as the head waiter, and Jordan Tucker as Mr. Maraczek.
“She Loves Me” was initially seen on Broadway in 1963 and has been nominated for nine Tony Awards, including Best Revival of a Musical. It also won the 1994 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Musical Revival. Handling stage management duties for the performance are students Kylee Risdon, stage manager, and Emily Skinner, assistant stage manager.
FloArts voice instructor and musical director Stephanie Masterson explained, “The music for ‘She Loves Me’ is reminiscent of the old MGM comedy musicals and is truly some of the best Harnick and Bock compositional writing. All the songs are enchanting little gems. They are fun comedy numbers along with a couple of sweeping romantic ballades that you just might be humming when leaving the theater.”
Crotty agreed. “The music is gorgeous and very rich, and we have the right voices for it,” she said. “We have some very strong voices in the musical theatre program this year.” Students performing in the chorus are Robert Allen, Kiersten Bartholomew, Mitchel Burns, Caitlin Charrier, Marcus Donaldson, Savannah Faulkner, Ed Marin, Pascale Molina, Emerson Smith-von Wiegen and Stimpson. Timothy Lake is the vocal captain.
Just as the music may get the audience humming, the dancing may inspire movement. FloArts dance instructor Jessica Mayhew said, “There’s a bit of romantic waltzing and flirting tango, as well as high energy, culturally-inspired 1930s movement. And when the musical numbers ‘Romantic Atmosphere’ and ‘Perspective’ are heard,” she continued, “the audience will have a chance to enjoy some sarcasm in the form of very full and energetic movement that is also quite gestural in order to reflect daily life within two business establishments. The audience won't be able to help but smile,” she said with a big smile of her own.
The cast will be stylishly outfitted in 1930s attire designed by FloArts costume design instructor Emily Strickland and her team of students: Sarah Cox, assistant to costume designer; Tiffany Jordan, costume shop manager; Johan Gallardo and Katy Page, cutters and drappers; and the costume construction crew: Steven Austin, Tori Blair, Charrier, Guzman, Alicia Hill, Briauna Osmond, Brooke Ponitz, Libby Rodriguez, Twiggy Session, Emily Skinner and Angel Warren. The wig masters are Cox and Uvenka Jean-Baptiste. First hands are Mitchell Collins, Cox, Jean-Baptiste and Alexa Williams.
And what’s not to love about the set? “It’s going to be beautiful,” said Crotty. “Scenic and lighting design instructor Rob O’Leary has been working hard with his team of students to create a European street where the perfumery is,” Crotty explained. “And we’re populating that with very interesting people,” she stated.
Students diligently working on the scenery and sound elements are: Katrina Babitzke, properties master, paint charge and followspot operator; Braden Harrington, sound engineer, sound board operator and assistant properties master; William Searcy Holley IV, assistant lighting designer; Britanny Posso, master electrician and lighting programmer, light board operator and sound assistant; and John Robinson, assistant technical director, master/show carpenter and followspot operator.
Carpenters, scenic painters and stage electricians are: Samuel Alvarado, Olivia Bleak, Jid Charles, De La Flor, Donaldson, Devin Fuentes, Martin Hamilton, Harrington, Holley IV, Bethany McLain, Posso, Risdon, Robinson and Josh Thomas.
Production assistants are Megan Leclair, Grant Rogers, Jenna Rubiano and Thomas.
Florida School of the Arts is part of the academic and administrative structure of SJR State and awards the two-year associate degree. The School serves the entire state of Florida and is located on the SJR State Palatka campus. For more information, call 386-312-4300 or visit the website at floarts.org.
Florida School of the Arts students have some fun with one of the scenes from this year’s musical while demonstrating the many entanglements of love. “She Loves Me” runs February 23-26. From left, Cameron Bartelt, Emma Stimpson and Olivia Bleak.
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