by Michael Meigs
The Wimberley Players' production of She Loves Me directed by Dawn Youngs delivers a serene and intricately musical vision of a 1930s fairy tale. Preserved as if in one of those snow globes awaiting a gentle shake to send the flakes whirling, a perfume shop in Budapest is a holiday setting where affairs of the heart predominate. The elegant ladies of the city come seeking their creams, perfumes and philtres; the clerks of the shop, good earnest working folk, do their best to please. Love will not be lured by artifice, of course, but it does thrive on mystery.
This gentle musical comedy uses one of the oldest comic plot devices in the book: the anonymous love letter. The audience's fun is doubled as it watches as both participants in this courtship by mail just happen to become employees of the shop and quickly become annoyed rivals.
Ann Pittman is new arrival Amalia Balash who won't take 'no' for an answer, brashly outdoing shop manager Georg Nowack (Jim Lindsay), gaining a job and causing Nowack to lose a wager with the boss. Pittman and Lindsay have paired before, as Juan and Evita Perón in the Georgetown Palace's Evita last February, where each demonstrated stature and dignity along with fine singing voices.
In She Loves Me you can enjoy a different take: they're lively, self-assured and assertive in their in-store rivalry but vulnerable and sentimental in the imaginings of their correspondence, each writing letters to the anonymous 'Dear Friend.'
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