BY T MICHELE WALKER – The Lemon Bay High School production of “She Loves Me” is the perfect rom-com musical to celebrate the Valentine’s Day holiday. The plot revolves around two shop owners who, despite being consistently at odds with each other at work, are unaware that each is the other’s secret pen pal. If it sounds like “You’ve Got Mail” with Meg Ryan and Tom Hanks, you’d be correct. The musical is the third adaptation of the 1937 play “Parfumerie” by Hungarian playwright Miklós László, following the 1940 James Stewart-Margaret Sullavan film “The Shop Around the Corner” and the 1949 Judy Garland-Van Johnson musical version “In the Good Old Summertime.”
Students at Lemon Bay High School are excited to be back on stage for their spring production after being sidelined last season due to COVID-19.
“In 2020, we were basically ready for the spring show. We were ready to open in about two weeks,” said Sarah Sutcliffe, cast member of “She Loves Me.”
“We were going to do ‘Addams Family’ last year but we were able to do it this fall as a Halloween show, which was exciting,” said Lauren Wickerson, who is also a student choreographer for “She Loves Me.”
“This year we had to recast a couple of parts and rework it until it was ready again and then finally performed it, so we did ‘Addam’s Family’ for basically a year. We really knew ‘Addam’s Family,’” laughed cast member Reilly Huber.
The production which opened Thursday night and runs through the weekend at Lemon Bay High School is a popular choice with the students. “The singing by the cast is great and we’re all incredibly devoted to what we do, so we’re going to put on the best show we can,” said Lauren.
“I love the story! It’s really cute and wholesome and great for Valentine’s Day, and has some great choreography by our terrific choreographer, Lauren,” explained Sarah. “It’s set in the 1930s and it’s got a different feel and style to what we’ve done in the past. It gives us a good contrast theatrically.”
Performances are February 12-14, Friday and Saturday at 7 p.m. and Sunday at 2 p.m. at the Lemon Bay Performing Arts Center, located at 2201 Placida Rd. in Englewood.
Masks are required for entry. Audience seating will be at 25 percent capacity for all shows and all seating will be socially distanced.
To purchase tickets go to lbhstheatre.net/tickets or call the box office at (941) 474-7702 ext. 3414.