The CIU Thespians perform “She Loves Me”
A review by Joseph Knight
CIU Student Writer
Inclement weather caused the cancellation of the April 15 performance. An encore performance is scheduled for April 16 at 7 p.m.
I was excited as I settled into my chair in Hoke auditorium and waited for the stage lights to fade. I had come for an early viewing of the CIU Thespians production of She Loves Me, and was elated to watch CIU talent unfold an entertaining story. I was expecting a bit of romance, a robust laugh, and a happy ending, all of which I got, but something else happened that I did not predict. Woven into the story was an important lesson about love and relationships that added something deeper to the performance.
She Loves Me is a musical written by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Brock in 1963. The story comically follows two employees of a perfume shop, Georg Nowack and Amalia Balash, who are each romantically smitten with secret pen pals. Nowack and Balash spend their work days bickering, but unbeknownst to both, they are actually each other’s secret letter-writing lovers. Several other characters surround this central romance such as the shop owner, Mr. Maraczek, two other employees also romantically involved, Kodaly and Ilona, and the errand boy, Arpad.
A talented cast of CIU students bring this story to life: dancing and singing their way through the show. I thoroughly enjoyed watching all ten members of the cast lead me through several hours of laughs and heart-warming romance. The unexpected element of this musical was that message that I found woven into its songs and humorous banter. Ilona (played by sophomore Bailey Warren), a female shop employee who is involved with her co-worker Kodaly (played by sophomore Nathan Stewart), is attracted to men because of their handsome physical features. Balash, who is expertly brought to life by sophomore Sarah Causey, explains to Ilona that she is in love with a man not because of his physical appearance, but because of the heart he shows through his letters.This causes Ilona to realize that perhaps there is more to relationships then she has thus far experienced and encourages her, and the audience, to look for more in a relationship than just physical attraction.
I left the auditorium a few hours later feeling satisfied and happy. My heart was warmed from the sappy love story, my mind was refreshed to love people because of their character and not just physical appearance, and I was once again blown away by what a talented, creative student body I am privileged to be a part of.
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