Old romance conflict revived at Citadel Theatre



On the one hand it’s hard to review a show that is dated. At least, that is the feeling audience members may get watching “She Loves Me” at Citadel Theatre. The show is a Jerry Bock/Sheldon Harnick, Joe Masteroff muscial with award-winning revivals that started out in 1937 as “Perfumerie” by Hungarian playwright Miklos Laszlo.

It went on to become the film “The Shop Around the Corner” in 1940 then redone as “In the Good Old Summertime.”

The action takes place as the seasons change but mainly during the holidays. However, this is not a family Christmas show. (except for older teens who may appreciate the more risqué parts in a café and the excekkent choreography by Amanda Schmidt in the Perfumerie.)

By the end of the first act, and it is a long first act, minds can also be changed.

What started out as somewhat stilted workplace activities, conversations and rifts, developed into a romantic confrontation, resolution and possible workplace disasters.

Once we meet and get to know Amalia Balash well-played by Hannah Louise Fermandes and nicely done by Georg Nowack portrayed by Travis Ascione as the verbally dueling couple who start out on the wrong foot, the action, directed by Director Matthew Silar, grows on you until you care about their conflict resolution and those of other characters. Kudos also go to Jake Busse as the café waiter.

Considering how small Citadel’s stage is the scenic design by Eric Luchen is perfect.  It includes an excellent side balcony style space for a quintet led by keyboardist Rex Mayer.  

“She Loves Me” is at Citadel Theatre, 300 Waukegan Rd., Lake Forest, IL from  Nov. 17 through Dec. 17/   Running time 2 ½ hrs. For tickets and other information visit Citadel Theatre.

Jodie Jacobs

For more shows visit  Theatre in Chicago



Old-fashioned romance makes a nice break from serious messages


With so many reality, edgy plays pricking the conscience of today’s highly  news-aware theater-goers, an old-fashioned, enchanting boy-girl attraction can become a refreshing change.

Georg Nowack (Alex Goodrich), Ladislav Sipos (James Earl Jones II) and Mr. Maraczek (Terry Hamilton) in "She Loves Me" at Marriott Theatre. Photo by Liz Lauren
Georg Nowack (Alex Goodrich), Ladislav Sipos (James Earl Jones II) and Mr. Maraczek (Terry Hamilton) in “She Loves Me” at Marriott Theatre. Photo by Liz Lauren

Luckily, Marriott Lead Artistic director Aaron Thielen recognized the need by bringing composer Jerry Bock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick’s and writer Joe Masteroff’s delightful 1963 musical,  ‘She Loves Me,’ to this Lincolnshire theatre.

The plot: two people fall in love with each other through letters and later find out that their correspondents are people they know and don’t think they like.

That story line has been too good not to repeat in different forms over the years. Think “The Shop Around the Corner,” “In the Good Old Summertime” and more recently, “You’ve Got Mail.” Continue reading “Old-fashioned romance makes a nice break from serious messages”