BEGINNING FRIDAY, HITS Theatre begins its run of the romantic, comedic musical She Loves Me, featuring a talented cast of middle and high school age actor-singers — along with a few grownups doing their best to keep up with the energy of their much-younger co-stars.
She Loves Me tells the story of Amalia (played by Alexa Rae) and Georg (played by Arjun Singhal), two bickering clerks at a fancy perfumery who on the surface seem about as compatible as oil and water. After each respond to a “lonely hearts” newspaper ad, the two unknowingly become pen pals, and eventually (surprise!), lovebirds. Sarah Sneesby directs, Dana Lewis choreographs and Michael Hertz handles the music, playing an array of synthesizers and percussion.
The cast rehearses
One of the grownups starring in She Loves Me is HITS education and engagement manager Dennis Arrowsmith, who plays the role of Mr. Maraczek, the owner of the perfumery where Amalia and Georg’s unlikely romance unfolds.
“It’s an honor to share the stage as a role model and fellow performer,” says Arrowsmith, who notes most of the young cast had never heard of She Loves Me, which premiered on Broadway in 1963, but quickly devoured the material. “They had their parts memorized way before I did. In some scenes, they were whispering lines to me on stage during the rehearsals!”
In today’s Zoom-laden world of on-demand, streaming, computer-animated entertainment, live musical theater can be a transformative experience, both for the audience and the performers. It’s something HITS Theatre’s founder Carolyn Franklin understood when she created the school in 1980 to provide young people with opportunity to study with seasoned theater professionals and “create in reality what lives so vividly in their imaginations.” Now back with their first holiday show since 2019, HITS remains committed to nurturing the theatrical aspirations of students K-12 and producing high quality shows like She Loves Me for the Houston audiences.