In our latest behind-the-scenes interview, SBMT Executive Director Sara Dean talks about SBMT’s upcoming production of “She Loves Me,” calling it “storytelling at its best.” She provides a brief overview of the plot, and discusses the challenge of casting the show from the large pool of eager and talented actors who turned out for auditions. The show opens Jan. 25, 2020 and runs through Feb. 15 at the Saratoga Civic Theater.
Watch the video embedded here, or read the transcript below.
Video shot by David Simon; edited by Doug Hughes.
My name is Sara Dean, and I am the executive director at South Bay Musical Theatre. She Loves Me is considered by many to be one of the most perfect musicals. It has a very book-heavy script, and the musical numbers insert themselves into the story. All of the songs further the plotline, which is one of the criteria for having a wonderful piece of musical theatre.
At South Bay Musical Theatre, we are definitely trying to enhance our audiences’ knowledge of musical theatre. She Loves Me is a rarely done show. And I think our audiences will absolutely fall in love with the story, with the plot, and with the characters that are on stage.
At South Bay Musical Theatre, we absolutely strive for passionate, community-driven productions. We seem to draw a wonderful talent of staffs, who I am beyond impressed with. Martín Rojas Dietrich is our director, and I’ve known him for I think about 20 years now—although we’ve never worked together before. His vision for this story is almost storytelling in “its quaintest form” is how I would see it. His vision is strong and enhanced by his production staff, with Brett Carlson’s set design, and Sharon Peng’s costumes, (and) Gwyneth Price on hair and makeup. All of those elements are going to come together for something quite spectacular and lovely to be on our stage.
The story of She Loves Me is a story of Amalia and Georg, who are an unlikely pair, and how their lives intertwine with each other.
Casting the show was a challenge, quite frankly, especially for the roles of Amalia and Ilona. A wonderful plethora of fabulous performers came out for those for roles in particular, so the choices were very, very challenging. We are thrilled with Marie and Jessica as our two principal ladies. And this story really does center on their journeys more than the male characters. The casting of the ensemble, again, we had just so many to choose from and we’ve ended up with a cast of new faces. And that’s wonderful. We just love expanding our community here at South Bay Musical Theatre.
You should come see this show because it is storytelling just at its best. Everything will further the plot and be enhanced by all of the scenic elements as well.
So, our 2019 2020 season has included A Gentleman’s Guide to Love and Murder, She Loves Me as our winter show, and then South Pacific as our spring show. It’s always a challenge to make these shows… to find the right pairings. We had something very new and exciting with Gentleman’s Guide. She Loves Me is a show that most people will be familiar with but maybe not have seen before. It’s less done. It’s a little bit more unique. As well as ending the season with South Pacific, something that everybody’s familiar with. We hope all of our audiences will enjoy all three shows of our season.