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OC Celebrates Homecoming with Musical "She Loves Me"

Thursday, October 29, 2009   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Katy Roybal
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The popular musical “She Loves Me” comes to the stage at Oklahoma Christian University Nov. 5-7. The romantic comedy involves a couple that despises each other at work, but falls in love through a series of anonymous letters. The movie “You've Got Mail” was based on the same story. The show is part of OC's homecoming weekend and is directed by alumnus Chad Anderson.

Anderson is deeply embedded in the theater community in Oklahoma City. He is a former music and theater teacher at Oklahoma Christian Academy and holds a master of performing arts degree from Oklahoma City University. He is also working on his master of fine arts degree in theater from OU. Last year Anderson directed OC's homecoming production of “Guys and Dolls.”

“With only 24 characters, “She Loves Me” has one of the smaller casts for a musical,” Anderson said. “And while our leads are very experienced, much of our cast is fresh. I really welcome the opportunity to work with a younger group, and I have enjoyed seeing how well they have come together.”

According to OC theater professor Phil Reagan, there has been only one local production of “She Loves Me” in the last 15 years.

“We thought this would be a great time to bring it back to the OKC area,” he said. “The show has fun music and is a mainstay of repertory theaters across the country. Plus, most people are familiar with one of the movie versions of the story, such as “Shop Around The Corner.”

The setting for “She Loves Me” is in Vienna, during the Great Depression. The musical is based on the play “Parfumerie,” which was written by Miklos Laszlo in 1937. The play was adapted to the screen in 1940 in “The Shop Around The Corner.” That was turned into a musical movie in 1949 called “In The Good Old Summertime,” starring Judy Garland. In 1963 it was adapted to Broadway and later revived two different times. Each version has always focused on the conflict and romance of the two leads.

“The story really speaks to our ability to hide our real selves in person while being more open in anonymous communication,” Reagan said.

According to Anderson, this topic is even more relevant today.

“Using technology, people create avatars of their ideal selves on places such as Second Life,” he said “They did the same thing in years past, it was just more difficult. If the play was written today, it would involve two people Facebooking, not writing old-fashioned letters.”

An always popular aspect of “She Loves Me” is the music and songs. The show's orchestra is comprised of OC students and professional players from the Oklahoma City area. Anderson said that some of the strongest voices on campus landed the lead roles.

Ryan Gonsalez, a sophomore from Katy, Texas, plays Georg, and Meagan Martin, a senior from Bethany, portrays Amalia. Courtney Tarpley, a junior from Lawrenceville, Ga., plays Ilona. In addition, Michael Raftery, a freshman from Edmond, portrays Mr. Marraczek. Tim Giddens, a sophomore from Idabel, plays Arpad.

“She Loves Me” begins at 8 p.m. nightly Nov. 5-7 in Hardeman Auditorium on the OC campus. All tickets are reserved seating. Tickets are $9 for senior citizens and school groups of 20 or more, $10 for all others. Thursday night only admission is free for OC students, employees and alumni, as well as residents of Tealridge Manor. Tickets can be reserved by calling 425-5540. The show is appropriate for children age 10 and up.

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