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Classic love story hits the State stage

Placer Community Theater presents “She Loves Me”
By: Loryll Nicolaisen, Journal features editor
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Love is in the air at the State Theatre. It’s opening night for Placer Community Theater’s production of “She Loves Me,” presented Aug. 13-29 at the State Theatre. “It’s a sweet story,” said Brenda Lindley, Placer Community Theater president and director of this summer’s musical. “She Loves Me,”which takes place in the 1930s in Hungary, is based on the 1940 film “The Shop Around the Corner,” also the premise for 1998’s “You’ve Got Mail.” Amalia Balash, played by Eliza Webb, and Georg Nowack (Erick Lindley) are clerks who work in a parfumerie. They feud face to face, but unknowingly become and hit it off as pen pals, falling in love. Amalia and Georg agree to meet in person at a café — he’ll wear a rose in his lapel and she’ll keep a rose in her book so they know to recognize each other. “As it turns out, poor Georg finds out who she is before they meet and that’s when the plot turns,” Lindley said. Part of what makes “She Loves Me” a great show is the audience-friendly music, Lindley said. “It’s got some sweet, sweet music,” she said. “’Vanilla Ice Cream,’ people will recognize it, and ‘She Loves Me’ is a familiar tune. They’re the kind of tunes where people here them and say, ‘Oh, I know that!’” Auditions were held in May, and the cast and crew have been on an eight-week rehearsal schedule under the musical direction of Patricia Leftridge and choreography guidance by Patti Baker, retired Roseville High School dance instructor. Lindley said “She Loves Me” is a feel-good production appropriate for all ages. “I like that it’s charming, it’s romantic. It’s just one of those plays that makes you go ‘Aw,’” she said. “It’s lighthearted, it’s sweet, but the actors get the chance to convey some real emotion.” Placer Communty Theater’s last performance of “She Loves Me,” a matinee that takes place at 2 p.m. Aug. 29, is a benefit for the Auburn Placer Performing Arts Center. Placer Community Theater had great success after securing a Placer Community Foundation audience delopment grant last year, selling out every performance of “Mid-Life! The Crisis Musical” and becoming one of the State Theatre’s most successful performances. Lindley hopes Placer Community Theater can re-create that audience enthusiasm with “She Loves Me.” She said the audience can expect a great experience with local theater with Eliza Webb and Erick Lindley at the forefront. “Both of them are terrific actors,” Brenda Lindley said. “They’re the ones who get to bring emotion to their characters. The two of them together, they just have a nice rapport on stage. I thought they’d be a nice fit for the show.” Webb, an Auburn resident, worked with Placer Community Theater earlier this year on “Toxic.” “She is definitely somebody who is a take-charge kind of girl,” Webb said of her character, Amalia. “She projects confidence, but she has a very vulnerable side. She is very much looking for love.” There’s a lot of love about Amalia, Webb said. “I like that she is a romantic, a hopeless romantic,” she said. “I think her sense of self confidence, she really speaks to a lot of women. She’s trying to make her way in the world.” __________ “She Loves Me” When: Aug. 13-29; 8 p.m. Fridays and Saturdays, 2 p.m. Sundays Where: State Theatre, 985 Lincoln Way Cost: $18 general, $15 matinee/senior/child; cost includes dessert and beverages Info: www.placertheater.org, livefromauburn.com