'She Loves Me' Concludes Rubicon's Tenth Anniversary Festival

The finale of Rubicon Theatre Company’s celebratory 10th Anniversary “Festival” Season is the Bock & Harnick musical comedy SHE LOVES ME. The show Time magazine called “the perfect musical” will be directed by Olivier-award nominee Kirby Ward and star the Belle of Broadway’s Beauty and the Beast, Kim Huber, alongside TV veteran, Kevin Symons.

SHE LOVES ME, a blissfully nostalgic, lighter-than-air musical soufflé, is a love letter from Broadway’s Golden Age. Between its opening on Broadway in 1963 and the Broadway revival in 1993, it garnered 14 Tony nominations and the leading men of both casts won the award.  

The New York Times commented, “SHE LOVES ME is no less an anomaly… than it was 30 years ago. Given how the world has aged since then, audiences may be hungrier than ever for this summons to a continuously melodic evening of sheer enchantment...”
Set in the 1930s, the story follows two extremely competitive coworkers (Huber and Symons) in a Budapest perfumerie who, unbeknownst to themselves, become pen pals and fall in love. The charming play on which the musical is based was also the source for the films “The Little Shop Around the Corner” and “You’ve Got Mail.”  Bock and Harnick’s score features the favorites “Vanilla Ice Cream,” “Dear Friend,” and the title song.

SHE LOVES ME previews at Rubicon September 4th, opens September 6th and runs through September 28th, a dazzling send-off as the theatre proceeds into its second decade. 

About the Creative Team

Kirby Ward directs his first production at Rubicon with SHE LOVES ME although he has been in the entertainment industry for over 35 years and is a veteran of over 60 theatrical productions. As the original Bobby Child in the London West End premiere of Crazy For You he received an Olivier Award nomination and later a Helen Hayes Award nomination at the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. You can hear his performance on the London cast recording. He was also featured in the Broadway revival of Show Boat directed by Hal Prince. As a director and choreographer, Kirby has created material for Debbie Reynolds and Donald O'Connor, worked with Bette Midler and James Caan on the film “For The Boys,” and has directed and choreographed both off-Broadway and regionally all over the United States. Kirby was instrumental in translating George Gershwin’s lyrics and Ken Ludwig’s book of Crazy For You into Korean when he directed the Korean premiere in Seoul. He’s been named Best Director of 2002 and 2005 in Boston for his critically acclaimed productions of Singin' in the Rain and Crazy For You and recently received the San Diego Critics Circle Craig Noel Award for Best Director of a Musical for 2005. He’s appeared in concert at the Hollywood Bowl, with the Buffalo Philharmonic and Virginia Symphony and the Pacific Symphony in Orange County. Kirby has written for television and film, most recently wrapping on an original short film that he also directed for the film festival circuit called “Down in the Mouth.” His original new musical The Gypsy King was featured at the National Alliance of Musical Theatre's conference this past year.

Musical Director Lloyd Cooper is a three time Drama-Logue Award winner for best musical direction and recently received awards for Plan-B Entertainment’s production of Beauty and the Beast. He has served in the past as resident musical director for The San Bernardino Civic Light Opera, San Diego Civic Light Opera and Theatre League. 
He was recently the musical director for Happy Days - A Family Musical! written by Garry Marshall and Paul Williams. Lloyd has worked on such movies as “Prince Of Tides,” “Godzilla,” “Bewitched” and “The Holiday.” In television he has worked in the capacity of composer, arranger, and/or conductor for the music in such shows as “Father Dowling,” “Matlock” and “Perry Mason.” He appeared on television with David Hyde Pierce in a special episode of “Caroline In The City” and has appeared twice with ventriloquist Jay Johnson on “The Tonight Show” starring Johnny Carson. Lloyd had the great pleasure of working with Barbra Streisand and Stephen Sondheim in rehearsing and choosing music for her “Back To Broadway” album. He recently served as orchestrator and musical director (music by Stephen Schwartz) for Rubicon Theatre Company’s My Antonia. 

The design team of SHE LOVES ME features Scenic Designer Tom Giamario, Lighting Designer Christina L. Munich, Costume Designer Shon LeBlanc, Hair and Make-up Designer Spanky Reynoso and Resident Property Designer T Theresa Scarano with production stage manager Harold Apter.

About the Cast

The cast of  SHE LOVES ME is led by Kevin Symons and Kim Huber as the unknowing lovers and pen pals of a 1930s Budapest parfumerie.

Kevin Symons is making his first appearance at Rubicon. Recently he worked with writer/director Ray Cooney in the original musical Twice Upon A Time at South Bay Cities Civic Light Opera and just completed working at the Laguna Playhouse in the World Premiere of Alexandros.  Other Laguna Playhouse appearances include Shear Madness, Rounding Third, The Constant Wife, Tabletop and Spinning Into Butter.  At the Colony Theatre he appeared in The Nerd with French Stewart, Gunmetal Blues, Stage Struck, Rounding Third and Beautiful in the Extreme.  Other theatre credits include Wicked City Blues (York Theatre, Off-Broadway); New World (MET Theatre); Tallulah and Tennessee with Betty Garrett, Baby Cradle and All with Lee Meriwether and Steve Allen’s A Christmas Carol (Theatre West); Demon Wine with Tom Waits and Bill Pullman, Death of a Salesman, The Crucible and Boys’ Life (Los Angeles Theatre Center); Our Town (Grove Shakespeare); Finding the Sun directed by Edward Albee and The Hairy Ape directed by Jose Quintero.  On television he was a series regular on the NBC comedy “Darcy’s Wild Life” and has numerous other appearances including recurring and guest star roles on “My Name Is Earl,” “Numbers,” “Big Shots,” “Mad Men,” “Shark,” “Drive,” “iCarly,” “Medium,” “Veronica Mars,” “Joan of Arcadia,” “The West Wing,” “The Bold and the Beautiful,” “Sabrina, the Teenage Witch,” and HBO’s “Indictment.”  Film credits include “Alvin and the Chipmunks,” “Terminator II,” “Valhalla,” “The Little Death,” “The Wild Side” and “A New Tomorrow.”
 Kim Huber also makes her Rubicon debut as Amalia. She previously starred on Broadway as “Belle” in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (a role she created for the National Tour). Also on Broadway she was an original cast member of both Sunset Blvd (with Glenn Close) and Marie Christine. Her portrayal of “Nellie Collins” in the Floyd Collins National Tour earned her Barrymore and Jeff Nominations for Best Actress. Now a resident of L.A., Kim created the role of “Missy” in The Marvelous Wonderettes for its L.A. premiere  (LADCC Award/ Ovation Nomination - Best Ensemble), and starred in the West Coast Premieres of The Last Five Years (Cathy), The Spitfire Grill (Shelby), both at the Laguna Playhouse, and Stephen Sondheim's Saturday Night (Helen), for the Musical Theatre Guild. Favorite regional credits include: My Fair Lady (Eliza), Chess (Florence), Aspects of Love (Rose), The Scarlet Pimpernel (Marguerite), Into the Woods (Cinderella), 7 Brides for Seven Brothers (Milly), Show Boat (Magnolia), Good News! (Connie, World Premiere and Cast Album), and The Sound of Music (Maria). Kim can be heard as the singing voice of “Sleeping Beauty” on Disney Records and various video games.

Joining them are fellow equity members George Ball, Larry Cahn, Rick Cornette, Leslie Henstock, Nathan Holland, Matthew Rocheleau, Jamison Stern and, the talented wife of the director, Beverly Ward.

George Ball returns to Rubicon (for the sixth time) as Mr. Maraczek, the owner of the perfumerie. George has appeared in Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris on and off Broadway, and in the San Francisco, L.A., Boston and Dutch productions. George starred in the pre-Broadway production of the new musical Cowboy in New York. He originated the role of Man One in Lies and Legends: The Musical Stories of Harry Chapin at the Apollo Theatre in Chicago, and won both the Drama-Logue and L.A. Drama Critics’ Circle Award for his recreation of that role at Pasadena Playhouse and the Canon Theatre in L.A. Other L.A. credits include leads in Brecht, Sacred and Profane at the Mark Taper Forum, Vincent at the Las Palmas Theatre, Merry-Go-Round at the El Rey, and Most Happy Fella for Reprise! Broadway’s Best. He co-starred opposite his wife Amanda McBroom in Sondheim’s A Little Night Music and Sweeney Todd for Gold Coast Plays, winning a Robby Award for the latter, which was named one of the ten best theatrical events of the year by the LA Times. George originated the role of Steve in the musical Heartbeats at the Old Globe Theatre in San Diego and starred in subsequent productions at Pasadena Playhouse, Sacramento Music Circus and the Mechanic Theatre in Baltimore.

His numerous credits include Ed Earle Dodd in the Pittsburgh and San Jose CLO productions of Best Little Whorehouse in Texas, Ben Rumson in the Goodspeed Opera House revival of Paint Your Wagon, Joe in Damn Yankees at Sacramento Music Circus and John Hancock in 1776 for Santa Barbara Civic Light Opera. On television, George has been seen on “Judging Amy,” “Cheers,” “General Hospital,” “The Young and the Restless,” and “Late Night with David Letterman” (in which he played Peter Lund, the singing President of CBS). He directed the award-winning anniversary production of Lies and Legends: The Musical Stories of Harry Chapin; and acted in Man of La Mancha, Neil Simon’s Fools, Jacques Brel is Alive and Well and Living in Paris (Ovation nomination) and All My Sons (Ovation nomination).

Larry Cahn made his Broadway debut as Ewart Dunlop in Michael Kidd’s revival of The Music Man, starring Dick Van Dyke.  Other Broadway credits include Mr. Robinson in The Graduate with Kathleen Turner, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls, both Billy Crocker and Sir Evelyn Oakleigh in the Lincoln Center revival of Anything Goes, and David Crane and Larry Coen’s Epic Proportions, with Kristin Chenoweth.  He played Max in the National Company of Lend Me a Tenor, and Henry Ford in the National Company of Ragtime.  Off-Broadway credits include Tyrone in The Portable Pioneer and Prairie Show, Harvey in Hello Muddah, Hello Fadduh! and Branch Rickey in Play to Win. He originated 12 roles in Karole Armitage’s avant-garde The Predators’ Ball at the Teatro Pegola in Florence, Italy, repeating his performance at the Next Wave Festival at BAM.  Regional credits include John Gernstein in the premiere of The Rhythm Club, Moon Over Buffalo, Company, The Golden Land with the late Bruce Adler, LUV, Give My Regards to Broadway, and the World Premieres of Miracles and Johnny Pye & The Foolkiller.   Film credits include “Freedom Writers” and “The Lobster Wars.”  Television audiences have seen him on “The West Wing,” Grey’s Anatomy,” Law & Order,” “Chappelle’s Show” and “Law & Order: SVU.”  

Rick Cornette returns to Rubicon after starring in Rubicon’s You Can’t Take It with You in December, and most recently being involved in Paris Barclay’s One Red Flower as part of Rubicon’s Plays-in-Progress Series.  His credits include The West Coast Premiere’s of Jason Robert Brown’s Song’s for a New World at LATC, Jason Robert Brown’s The Last Five Years at The Laguna Playhouse (w/Kim Huber), the World Premiere of Michael John LaChiusa’s Hotel C’est L’Amour at The Blank Theatre in Hollywood, Sky in The National Tour of Mamma Mia!, The MC/Band Leader in The National Tour of Swing!, Nick Piazza in Fame Off-Broadway, Tony in West Side Story, Danny in Grease, Chris in All My Sons, Mickey in Blood Brothers, Mark in The Inner Circle, Pippin in Pippin, and Cinderella’s Prince in Into The Woods.  TV and Film Credits include “CSI: NY,” “Hannah Montana,” “Days of Our Lives,” “Promise,” “Jarhead,” and “Guiding Light.” He received his BFA in Music-Theatre from the University of Wisconsin at Stevens Point. 

Leslie Henstock recently starred as Jerusha in Daddy Long Legs as part of Rubicon’s Plays-in-Progress series and continues to be involved in that exciting project. She completed Frankenstein off-Broadway this past winter and appears on the recently released cast album. Last summer she completed the tour of The Light in the Piazza as the Clara u/s, receiving wonderful reviews for her performances. She was also seen as Cosette in the Les Miserables tour. Regional work includes Manhattan Theatre Club and Pittsburgh Civic Light Opera. Leslie is a graduate of the University of Michigan Musical Theatre Program.

Nathan Holland studied acting under the G.I. Bill after a stint in the U.S. Air Force.  His many regional theatre performances include Guys and Dolls, Tommy, Jesus Christ Superstar, Violet (Laguna Playhouse), Steve Martin’s The Underpants at the Geffen Playhouse, Crazy For You (Bella Zangler),and Lullaby of Broadway (Al Dubin).  Nathan appears in multiple television commercials including KFC, Coca Cola and Mazda.

Matthew Rocheleau has performed in Los Angeles in Les Miserables (Hollywood Bowl), Flora the Red Menace (Reprise!), Bloody Bloody Andrew Jackson (World Premiere, Center Theatre Group), Zanna Don't! (LA Premiere, LADCC nom, West Coast Ensemble) Paul Williams' and Gary Marshall's Happy Days: A New Musical (Falcon Theatre), Ragtime (Ovation nomination, Inland Theatre League Award for Featured Actor- Musical Theatre West, Performance Riverside, Cabrillo Music Theatre), Sweeney Todd (Starlight Theatre), 24 Hours: The Musical (Stella Adler Theatre). In film, Matthew appears in “Alive and Well” (SXSW) and for TV, “Orastories” (Independent Television Festival). Matthew holds a BFA from Boston's Emerson College, and was a founding member of the Academy Repertory Company in association with the Academy for New Musical Theatre. 
 Jamison Stern returns to Rubicon after a successful run in John Bucchino's  It's Only Life directed by Daisy Prince.  Jamison's Broadway and National Tour credits include By Jeeves (Bingo Little), Little Shop Of Horrors (Seymour/Orin), and Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Lumiere). Off-Broadway, he has appeared in Newsical the Musical, Love! Valour! Compassion! (Bobby),  Minnie’s Boys (Harpo), and Bush Wars. Regional credits include Fully Committed, Alley Theatre and La Mirada;  Black Comedy (Brindsley), The Invention of Love (Pollard), As Bees in Honey Drown (Kaden et. al.), A Flea in Her Ear (Camille), and A Comedy of Errors (Angelo), Alley Theatre; Best Little Whorehouse… (Melvin), Arvada Center; Ragtime (Younger Brother), Pioneer Theatre; The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr (abridged), Cincinnati Playhouse in the Park and Repertory Theatre of St. Louis; Tommy (Cousin Kevin), Houston’s TUTS; I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, Cincinnati Playhouse;  Forever Plaid (Frankie), Actor’s Theatre of Louisville; and Big River (Huck Finn), North Carolina Theatre, AMTSJ, and Conn. Rep. His television and film credits include “Law and Order,” “Day Zero,” “The Finger Lakes,” “Joke Bitch,” and “The Entrepreneurs.”  

Beverly Ward makes her Rubicon debut with SHE LOVES ME. On Broadway she has performed in Epic Proportions, in London, Crazy for You and on National Tours she was Polly Baker in Crazy for You (Helen Hayes nomination), Ellie Mae Chipley in Hal Prince's revival of Show Boat! and Sugar Babies with Ann Miller and Mickey Rooney. On Regional stages, she was seen in Falsettos, The Spitfire Grill, The Sound of Music, My One and Only, The School for Wives, Company, They’re Playing Our Song and many others. Beverly writes music and is working on the scores for two new musicals with her husband Kirby. 

Non-equity cast members include Ventura resident Jessica Gordon and Beth Sobo.

For ticket purchase and a detailed performance schedule please visit www.rubicontheatre.org

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