Arts Club Theatre Company

She Loves Me

Book by Joe Masteroff, Music by Jerry Brock, Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick

Based on the play by Miklos Laszlo

Directed by Morris Panych

Nov. 16-Dec. 31, 2000 at the Stanley Theatre, Vancouver

Tickets:$15.50-$45 BOX OFFICE (604)687-1644 or Ticketmaster (604)280-3311


by Ed Farolan

This delightful, holiday musical is just the right thing to see during the holiday season.

Taken from a Hungarian comedy originally written in the 30s (Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo), it has been transformed into several film adaptations. First, Ernst Lubisch's 1940 movie classic The Shop Around the Corner (which starred Jimmy Stewarrt); then the 1949 musical film, In The Good Old Summertime with Judy Garland and Van Johnson; and lately, in 1999, the Nora Ephron film, You've Got Mail, featuring Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks.

She Loves Me was originally produced in 1963 with inspiration taken from the play and films that preceded it. Composer Jerry Brock and lyricist Sheldon Harnick are best known for Fiddler on The Roof which ran for eight years on Broadway, and is considered one of the longest running shows.

I enjoyed this show very much.  It was wonderfully performed.  The talents of Morris Panych are just amazing.  He is truly at his best directing comedies and musicals.  

Kudos to all the actors.  They were just simply superb.  They not only sang well, but acted and danced with precision.  It's rare to see good singers also act well.

Of course, I must tip my hat especially to Katey Wright who truly shone in her rendition of the songs with her radiant and delightful vocal performance. Also, to the laugh stealer of the show, James Fagan Tait, who brought everyone in the audience guffawing at his eccentric and energetic acting antics.

Overall, this seems to be the best show so far I've seen from The Arts Club.  At least we now have a company here in Vancouver that can compete in quality with the musicals on Broadway.

Just a few observations: I think the actors should smile more at the start of the show, especially when they greet and sing "Good morning" to each other.  And later in the show, they should hold more for laughs and applauses, so that their next lines could be understood.  From the set design, I was a bit bothered by the spelling of "Par fumerie". There seemed to be a gap between the letters "r" and "f", giving the impression of a smoking place (in French "fumerie") rather than a perfume shop.