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Video: Get a First Look at Citadel Theatre's SHE LOVES ME

Citadel Theatre's production of SHE LOVES ME opens on November 17 at 7:30 pm

By: Nov. 10, 2023
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Hannah Louise Fernandes (Amalia Balash) and Kaitlin Feely (Ilona Ritter) sing "I Don't Know His Name" from She Loves Me SHE LOVES ME, with songs by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, of FIDDLER ON THE ROOF, and book by Joe Masteroff of CABARET, premiered on Broadway in 1963 and has been revived on Broadway twice since then. It follows the story of two quarrelling co-workers in a Budapest perfumery. Unaware that they are anonymous pen pals, they have fallen in love with each other through their letters. Will they share their truths and find love in time for Christmas? The musical is based on a Hungarian play that was also adapted into the films THE SHOP AROUND THE CORNER, IN THE GOOD OLD SUMMERTIME, and YOU'VE GOT MAIL. Matthew Silar, director of Citadel's 2022 LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS, returns to Citadel to helm this holiday musical. SHE LOVES ME will open on November 17, 2023 (following previews on November 15 and 16) and play through December 17, 2023. Single tickets are now on sale at

See footage below!

Silar is thrilled with cast's impressive credits at the Chicago area's Equity-affiliated musical theaters.  Leading his cast as the anonymous pen pals are Hannah Louise Fernandes as Amalia Balash and Travis Ascione as Georg Nowack. Fernandes appeared as Cinderella in Paramount Theatre's INTO THE WOODS earlier this year. Ascione played Picasso in Citadel's PICASSO AT THE LAPIN AGILE and since then has appeared in key roles with the Texas Shakespeare Festival and the touring company Shakespeare and Co.
The brash and egotistical shop salesman Steven Kodaly will be played by Jeffrey Charles, who earlier this year appeared in I LOVE YOU, YOU'RE PERFECT, NOW CHANGE at Glenview's Oil Lamp Theatre. Kodaly's secret paramour Ilona Ritter will be played by Kaitlin Feely, coming straight from her role as Holly in THE WEDDING SINGER with Chicago's Surging Films and Theatrics. The gruff owner of the perfumery, Mr. Maraczek, will be performed by Geoff Isaac, last seen at Citadel in LIGHT UP THE SKY.  Darian Goulding of Paramount's LITTLE SHOP OF HORRORS and INTO THE WOODS has been cast as the sympathetic co-worker Ladislav Sipos. Brody Tyner, who played Friedrich in THE SOUND OF MUSIC this past year at both the Paramount and the Marriott Theatres, will appear as the naïve and eager assistant Arpad Laszlo. Also in the cast are Laura Brennan, Jake Busse, Jill Iverson, Abbey Loria, Trey Mendlik, Natalie Stahl, and Adam Thatcher.

Leading the creative and production team for SHE LOVES ME, in addition to Silar as stage director, are Music Director David Zizic and Choreographer Amanda Schmidt. The design team includes Jeff Award-winner Eric Luchen (Set Designer), Danielle Reinhardt (Costume Designer), Jodi Williams (Lighting Designer), Kurt Ottinger (Sound Designer), Nicholas Bartleson (Properties Designer), and Courtney Abbott (Intimacy Director). Rounding out the production team are Jason Clark (Master Carpenter), Alex Trinh (Sound Board Operator), Erin Galvin (Run Crew). Jessica Greenhoe is Stage Manager, and Scott Phelps and Ellen Phelps are Production Managers. Set design for She Loves Me by Jeff Award-winning designer Eric Luchen. Danielle Reinhardt's costume designs for She Loves Me. Citadel Theatre is in residence in the West Campus of the Lake Forest School District at 300 S. Waukegan Road, Lake Forest. Further information and ticketing is available on the company's website at or by phone at 847-735-8554, ext. 


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