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BWW Feature: SHE LOVES ME Combines Old World Elegance with New Perspectives at HITS Theatre

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BWW Feature: SHE LOVES ME Combines Old World Elegance with New Perspectives at HITS Theatre

BWW Feature: SHE LOVES ME Combines Old World Elegance with New Perspectives at HITS Theatre
Alric Davis and Rae McAloon, HITS instructors
who appear in the show as "Sipos" and "Ilona",

Since 1980, HITS Theatre has engaged children in high-quality, performing arts education. Our nurturing atmosphere and trained instructors give students the opportunity to grow and perform on stage, whether the children are novices or more seasoned. The HITS Theatre philosophy is to use positive affirmations and a safe learning environment to deliver professional arts training, enrich lives through cultural experiences and talent development and provide a creative outlet for children regardless of their financial background.


In an elegant 1930s Budapest perfumery, we meet two clerks, Amalia (played by Alexa Rae) and Georg (played by Arjun Singhal), who, more often than not, don't see eye to eye. After both respond to a "lonely hearts" advertisement in the newspaper, these unwitting pen pals become the most unlikely of lovebirds. Widely considered the most charming musical ever written, this delightful confection promises to bring out the hopeless romantic in all of us. Join Amalia and Georg to discover the identity of their true loves... and all the twists and turns along the way!

While all our students enjoy HITS classes, some also choose to pursue careers in acting long-term. Others may not, having enjoyed their time in the arts while also learning important civilian skills such as empathy, team building, time management and problem solving.

As a teacher at HITS Theatre, my goal has been to challenge all students to step out of their comfort zone and embrace what's unfamiliar. She Loves Me, a musical comedy written in 1963 and set in Budapest in the 1930's, is not usual fare for young musical theatre performers. Popular, more hip titles such as Heathers, Descendants, In The Heights and Be More Chill are easy draws for the young performer. However, we at HITS Theatre strive for each performer to understand the fullness of the musical theatre canon. Where there is a Lin Manuel Miranda, there was a Stephen Sondheim. And so on. Simply put, there's enough room for both.

BWW Feature: SHE LOVES ME Combines Old World Elegance with New Perspectives at HITS Theatre
The full ensemble rehearses "12 Days of Christmas"

We thought She Loves Me would be an awesome production to usher in the holidays and get us cozy for the winter. But how were we to pull off this huge show with both students and staff? After our initial casting notice, we received stellar audition videos from HITS students familiar and unfamiliar that showed promise that we could indeed pull this off. By students being in a rehearsal process with staff, the students would be able to learn firsthand tips and tricks within a musical process. What I didn't know is how much they would teach us too!

"It's an honor to share the stage as a role model and fellow performer," says Dennis Arrowsmith, a staff member since 2017. "They had their parts memorized way before I did. In some scenes, they were whispering lines to me on stage during the rehearsals!"

BWW Feature: SHE LOVES ME Combines Old World Elegance with New Perspectives at HITS Theatre
Lauren Philpott and Scout Brooks are a winning
"Featured Customer" and "Arpad"

By diving headfirst into Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick's score, we were met with tons of challenges. The intricacy of the patter songs and quick-witted lyrics and the soaring melodies with ample challenging sustained notes and phrases sounded much differently that what musical theatre is known for today. Musical Director Micheal Mertz worked closely with students ages 12 to 18 and oversaw the staff members, whose ages I won't expose here, to create one detailed ensemble sound. One of the most memorable moments in the show is "12 Days of Christmas" which highlights the frenzy of holiday shopping using a lyrical blitz of increasing speed. The combination of consonants and numbers matched with physical comedic hysteria makes for an audience delight.

BWW Feature: SHE LOVES ME Combines Old World Elegance with New Perspectives at HITS Theatre
Alexa Rae and Arjun Singhal dazzle as Amalia and Georg

"It's my favorite song in the show 'cause it's so hard!" says Nya Guidry, age 13, who plays multiple characters in the show.

The show is jam-packed with great comedic opportunities for both principal characters and ensemble roles to shine. Rehearsing it, performing it and crafting this process has been not only a love letter to the theatre but also a love letter to our community. We hope you decide to join us!

3 MORE CHANCES TO CATCH THIS ABSOLUTELY CHARMING SHOW at HITS Theatre in Houston (311 W 18th St. Houston, TX 77008). Performances are Friday, December 17th @ 7pm and Saturday, December 18th at 2:30pm and 7pm. Buy tickets here!


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