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Marriott's 'She Loves Me' is perfect for a date night out

For the fan of more traditional theater, Marriott Theatre’s latest production of “She Loves Me” will be right up your alley.

This musical, while, in this reviewer’s mind, is no longer a groundbreaking piece of theater, is a fun, good night out that will leave audiences rooting for a happy ending, and it serves as the perfect date night with your sweetie.

The show opens in a 1930s Hungarian perfume shop owned by Mr. Maraczek and follows the story of his assistant manager, Georg Nowack, who has been exchanging anonymous love letters with a woman he knows simply as “dear friend.”

The shelves are being stocked with a new musical cigarette box Mr. Maraczek insists will be quite easy to sell. Enter Amalia Baslash, a woman we later learn also is corresponding with a man she knows as “dear friend,” who looks to acquire a job at the perfumery.

When Nowack tells her they are not hiring, she insists on speaking to Mr. Maraczek. In desperation, she sells one musical cigarette box to a customer and is hired on the spot.

Later, despite the fact the two drive each other insane, we learn the true identity of each of their “dear friends” – each other.

The feel-good, upbeat plot will be just what some theater patrons are looking for in a night out. However, this same plot will be a drawback to the more contemporary theater patron who is looking for more than entertainment when attending a performance.

This drawback will be overcome if you allow yourself to be drawn in by the smarmy and witty humor exhibited by the characters.

The story relies heavily on casting. You must be able to root for the characters in order to like the show, and Marriot Theatre’s Lead Artistic Director Aaron Thielen has cast this show superbly. The entire cast, led by Alex Goodrich and Elizabeth Telford, provide wonderfully strong performances and possesses deeply strong chemistry with one another.

The score is pleasant to listen to and fits very well with the time period and location in which the story is set, and, again, brings to mind the classic scorewriters of the era. It also helps to smooth out scene transitions, which rely heavily on blackouts, so as not to lose momentum. Again, however, this same pleasantness may be a drawback to a contemporary musical fan that looks to be challenged by the performance they attend.

The set is eye catching from the moment you set foot in the theater. It is very well done for the space and fades into the background as you’re drawn into the story. It is blocked well enough so as to not take the audience out of the action for more than a moment.

Go see this show if you’re looking for a feel-good, fun night out. However, if you’re looking for something that will make you feel like a different person once you’ve left the theater, this may not be the show for you.