Tonight at 8: Arena's She Loves Me, With Kraft, La Cause and O'Malley, Begins

News   Tonight at 8: Arena's She Loves Me, With Kraft, La Cause and O'Malley, Begins
 
She Loves Me, the charming musical — some would call it a "charm musical" — about co-workers who don't know they're secret romantic pen pals, begins performances Nov. 17 at Arena Stage in Washington, D.C.
Brynn O'Malley in She Loves Me at Arena Stage.
Brynn O'Malley in She Loves Me at Arena Stage. Photo by Scott Suchman

Kyle Donnelly directs the Sheldon Harnick-Jerry Bock-Joe Masteroff show, featuring Kevin Kraft as George and Brynn O'Malley (Broadway's Beauty and the Beast) as Amalia. "Ice Cream," "Dear Friend," "She Loves Me" and "Tonight at 8" are fan favorites in the score.

The musical director/conductor is William Foster McDaniel and choreography is by Kenneth Lee Roberson.

Performances play to Dec. 31 on the Fichandler Stage. Opening is Nov. 28.

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"Arena Stage has wanted to produce this musical gem for several years," said artistic director Molly Smith, in production notes. "It occupies a special place in the hearts of many musical theatre fans, and is an especially great match for [Kyle] Donnelly, who has truly mastered the Fichandler space with an impeccable style of her own." She Loves Me originally opened at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre in 1963 with Barbara Cook, and earned a Best Supporting Actor Tony for Jack Cassidy's portrayal of Kodaly. It played in London at the Lyric Theatre in 1964 and received a Broadway revival at the Roundabout Theatre Company in 1993. (There are two American cast recordings of it, and two British cast recordings.)

The musical is based on a Hungarian play by Miklos Laszlo, which has inspired the films "The Shop Around the Corner" with Jimmy Stewart, "In the Good Old Summertime" with Judy Garland and the more recent "You've Got Mail."

Kevin Kraft (George), a Springfield, VA native, is making his Arena Stage debut and "coming home" to the city where he first earned his Equity card at Ford's Theatre (A Christmas Carol).

Brynn O'Malley (Amalia) most recently starred as Kate Monster/Lucy T. Slut in the original Las Vegas production of Avenue Q. She has also appeared on Broadway as Belle in Disney's Beauty and the Beast.

The She Loves Me cast also includes Sebastian La Cause (Broadway's The Rocky Horror Show) as Steven Kodaly; Jim Corti as Ladislav Sipos; Hal Robinson as Mr. Maraczek; Clifton Guterman as Arpad Laszlo; Nancy Lemenager (Broadway's Movin' Out, Never Gonna Dance); J. Fred Shiffman as Headwaiter; with Jennifer Andersen, Kurt Boehm, Rosalie Tenseth, Joe Jackson and Ashlee Fife with swings Gia Mora and Jeremy Leiner.

Kyle Donnelly recently directed Ford's Theatre's State of the Union.

The creative team also includes Kate Edmunds (set designer), Nan Cibula-Jenkins (costume designer), Nancy Schertler (lighting designer), Garth Hemphill (sound designer).

For more information about Arena Stage, visit www.arena.org.

Kevin Kraft
Kevin Kraft
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