Chamber Version of She Loves Me Will Feature Chicago Stars; Michael Halberstam Directs

News   Chamber Version of She Loves Me Will Feature Chicago Stars; Michael Halberstam Directs
Writers' Theatre, the Chicago-area theatre that premiered the New York City-bound musical A Minister's Wife, has announced casting for its new production of the musical She Loves Me.
Heidi Kettenring
Heidi Kettenring

Artistic director Michael Halberstam will direct the upcoming production of A Minister's Wife, based on George Bernard Shaw's Candida, at Lincoln Center Theater in spring 2011. The musical was Writers' Theatre's first full-length musical.

She Loves Me, the romantic musical comedy about anonymous pen pals who are co-workers in a parfumerie, will also be directed by Halberstam. It plays the Glencoe, IL, company's Tudo Court home Sept. 14-Nov. 21.

The cast includes Bernard Balbot (as Arpad), Andrew Goetten, Kevin Gudahl (as Sipos), Stephanie Herman, Heidi Kettenring (as Ilona), Ross Lehman (as Mr. Maraczek), Jessie Mueller (as Amalia), James Rank (as Kodaly), Jeremy Rill, Nicky Schuenke, Bethany Thomas and Rod Thomas (as Georg). With book by Joe Masteroff, music by Jerry Bock with lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, She Loves Me is, as production notes point out, "often considered the perfect musical by aficionados. Set in a 1930s European perfumery, we meet shop clerks Amalia and Georg, who more often than not don't see eye to eye. After both respond to a 'lonely hearts' advertisement in the newspaper, they now live for the love letters they exchange, but they have no idea they're actually writing to each other."

Musical direction for this intimate chamber version of the show is by Ben Johnson.

Halberstam said in a statement, "One of the great privileges of the Writers' Theatre experience is that of getting to explore great classics in intensely intimate environments. Our venues compel us to bring out the core values from the scripts we chose to bring to life. She Loves Me is no exception to this rule." The creative team includes Jack Magaw (scenic), Keith Parham (lighting), Nan Zabriskie (costumes), Keith Parham (lighting), Jessica Redish (choreographer and assistant director), Alan Schmuckler (orchestral reductions), Maria Honigschnabel (assistant musical director and piano/conductor/contractor). The musicans are Nina Saito (violin), Margie Halinski (reeds) and Beth Anderson (cello).

Opening is Sept. 24. For more information, visit


Writers' Theatre is a professional company "focusing on the Word and the Artist." Now in its 19th season, the company both revives classic scripts and cultivates new works and adaptations "while invigorating them with fresh energy in the intimacy of its venues." Founded in 1992, Writers' Theatre performed exclusively at Books on Vernon, 664 Vernon Avenue for the first 12 years. In the fall of 2003, the organization opened a new 108-seat performance venue at 325 Tudor Court. Writers' Theatre continues to produce in both spaces, maintaining an intimate theatrical experience for audiences.

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