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Abilene Community Theatre is proud to present their musical of the season and 5th Annual Bob & Peggy Cummings Memorial Show: the hit musical comedy, fresh off of its Broadway revival, ‘She Loves Me!’ SLM! is the basis for the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan romantic comedy ‘She’s Got Mail.’ Set in a 1930s European perfumery, in SLM! we meet Maraczek’s Parfumerie 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 (the 30s equivalent to matching on Tinder but less cringy), they now live for the love letters that they exchange, but the identity of their admirers remains unknown. 

“It’s an entertaining and delightful show that centers around a story about unknown lovers,” says Sarah Gonzalez who plays the woman who exchanges letters, Amalia.

Expect some comedy, some drama, a lot of great songs, and some heartfelt laughs. There are some very serious scenes in the show, but overall it is a lighthearted musical! I think I the audience will leave the show feeling uplifted, happy, and in the Christmas spirit.” Says Tony Barone who plays Maraczek, “The audience should expect to see, at first, the businessman in my character and then as the show progresses they will be able to see the family man and more personal side of him.”

Barone has been seen everywhere in the local theatre scene lately.  He is a rising star with an air of relatability that makes it easy to approach him. He is one of the friendliest talents in Abilene.

Another rising star, Trey Smith, plays Arpad and says, “Expect to laugh and be moved by the story. Don’t underestimate Arpad.”

Arpad works in Maraczek’s Parfumerie along with Ilona Ritter, played by Kendra Brown, who says of her character, “She’s a sassy girl looking for love.”

The set is an integral part of this play.  So much so, it is a character itself.  It rotates and transforms which is no small feat.

“For a smaller theatre, the set is impressive and quite ambitious. There is one central, fixed platform that spins 360 degrees to show the inside and outside of Maraczek’s Parfumerie. 

Two wagons – one on each side of the stage – can be moved independently of the center to create additional locations: a bedroom, hospital room, the back workroom at the store.” Advises Liz Berry, chorus member, “The play is a lot of fun.  The music is very catchy and engaging – you will leave and find yourself with one or more of the songs stuck in your head.”

The show features music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) and book by Joe Masteroff (Cabaret) and showcasing a stellar cast assembled by director mike stephens, She Loves Me! is sure to warm the hearts of your whole family.

The remaining performances are December 15th, and 16th at 7:30pm, and 2pm on December 17th. Tickets are $18 for general admission, and $15 for military, seniors, and students.  There is a coat and blanket drive in the lobby as well.  Please bring your donations.

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