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BrightSide Theatre to Present SHE LOVES ME in October

BrightSide Theatre Artistic Director Jeffrey Cass and Executive Director Julie Ann Kornak have announced that they will begin their 10th season with She Loves Me, running from October 14 through 30th.

She Loves Me

Book Joe Masteroff | Music Jerry Bock | Lyrics Sheldon Harnick
Director Jeffrey Cass | Choreographer Jeni Donahue | Music Direction Sara Cate Langham

October 14-30, 2022
Fridays 8 pm/Saturdays 8 pm/Sundays 2pm
Theatre at Meiley-Swallow Hall at North Central College
31 S. Ellsworth in Naperville

Tickets are on sale now at www.brightsidetheatre.com, or by phone at 630-447-TIXS (8497). $33 for adults/$28 for seniors and students. For Group Ticket pricing for 10+, please call 630-447-8497.

Affordable Subscription Tickets for BrightSide Theater’s 2022-2023 Season start at $25 per show, providing opportunities for Season Subscribers, Groups and Individuals to enjoy our Season Ten AGAIN – To Fully Celebrate Our 10th Anniversary! as only BrightSide Theatre can produce. Individual tickets and Subscriptions are on sale NOW. For more information on purchasing tickets, visit us at www.BrightSideTheatre.com or call the Box Office at 630-447-TIXS (8497)

Travel back to Europe in the 1930’s and the romance of Maraczek’s Parfumerie where 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 that they exchange, but the identity of their admirers remains unknown. Join Amalia and Georg to discover the identity of their true loves… and of all the twists and turns along the way!

Written by the composers of Fiddler on the Roof, Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, She Loves Me is the musical adaption of the play Parfumerie. This romantic comedy has also been adapted into the films The Shop Around the Corner (1940), In the Good Old Summertime (1949) with Judy Garland and You’ve Got Mail (1998) starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.


Julie Ann Kornak (Naperville)………………………………..Amalia Balash

Jon Cunningham (Schaumburg)…………………………….Georg Novak

Michelle Bolliger (Roselle)…………………………………….Ilona Ritter

Paul Mullen (Naperville)………………………………………Steven Kolady

Ken Rubenstein (Chicago)……………………………………Mr. Maraczek

Tyler Sonkin (Lisle)………………………………………………..Ladislov Sipos

Logan Baffico (LaGrange Park)………………………………Arpad Laszlo

Craig Zeller (Oak Park)…………………………………………..Head Waiter/Ensemble

Amy Arbizzani (Naperville)…………………………………….Ensemble

Mark Bartishell (Chicago)………………………………………Ensemble

Meghan Kessel (Chicago)……………………………………….Ensemble

Kenny Miller (Naperville)……………………………………….Ensemble

Emma Widlowski (Park Ridge)………………………………..Ensemble

Dean Zervadas, Jr. (Downers Grove)…………………….Ensemble


Artistic Director – Jeffrey Cass

Choreographer – Jeni Donahue

Music Director – Sara Cate Langham

Stage Manager/Assistant Director – De Haddad

Scenic Designer – Eric Luchen

Lighting Designer – Samuel Stephen

Costume Designer – Leslie Heath

Assistant Stage Manager – Haley Shadden

Sound Designer – Tim Elliott

JEFFREY CASS (Artistic Director/Director) a Joseph Jefferson Award Nominee has successfully directed over 20 Productions for BrightSide Theatre, most recently the smash hit Mamma Mia!, Disney’s the Descendants and Miracle on 34th Street: A Live Musical Radio Play last season and most recently played Edna in BST’s production of Hairspray. He holds a B.F.A. in Musical Theater Performance from Roosevelt University. He previously served as the Producing Director for Circle Theatre where he directed 8 Productions including The Who’s Tommy (6 Joseph Jefferson Nominations including Best Musical and Best Director).

JENI DONAHUE (Choreographer) earned her BFA in Dance/Vocal Performance from Columbia College. She has been choreographing professionally for over 30 years, working with all age levels/abilities. She is on staff with High Schools, Universities and Theatre companies all over the U.S. Jeni choreographed the Illinois All State productions of Ragtime, Urinetown & Into the Woods and has directed productions of Rocky Horror & American Idiot. She is the proud mom of Benjamin and Noah, who have followed in her footsteps of pursuing a career in the Arts.

SARA CATE LANGHAM (Music Director/Vocal Director/Keys 1) is thrilled to be a part of this wonderful team in a celebratory 10th season! Her Chicagoland credits include My Fair Lady and The Fantasticks as Musical Director and onstage in A Piece of My Heart (Maryjo), as well as numerous productions as keyboardist with BrightSide, Wheaton Drama, and other local companies. Hawaii credits include The Importance of Being Earnest (Gwendolen Fairfax) and her Po’okela-winning performance in A Doll’s House (Fru Kristine Linde).

JOE MASTEROFF (BOOK) was a renowned playwright of the 1960s. His long-lasting works made a splash in the theatrical community and are still produced today.

Joe Masteroff was born in Philadelphia to parents Louis and Rose Masteroff. He attended Philadelphia public schooling with his sister, Vera. From there, he progressed to Temple University where he graduated with a degree in Journalism in 1940. After college, he decided to join the army; he enlisted on December 8, 1941, the day after the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and served for three years in England, mostly doing clerical work.

Once returned from war, he studied playwriting with the American Theatre Wing from 1949 to 1951, an opportunity he received due to his status as a veteran. His first successful work was a comedy called The Warm Peninsula which centered around two women who fall for gigolos on their vacation to Florida. It toured around the country, and then transferred to Broadway in 1959 where it ran for 86 performances. His next work was the book for the beloved musical comedy, She Loves Me, which he worked on with Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick, composer and lyricist respectively. Originally eclipsed by the premiere of Hello Dolly!, She Loves Me has since been successfully revived several times on Broadway to great success.

Masteroff, however, is best known for his work on the groundbreaking musical Cabaret, which premiered on Broadway three years later, in 1966. Painting a provocative picture of Germany on the cusp of World War II, Cabaret broke boundaries with its revolutionary depictions of sexuality and relationships in the final days of the Weimar republic. Cabaret was a smash hit, running for 1,165 performances and winning eight Tony awards, including Best Musical. It has since been revived three times on Broadway; its 1998 revival surpassed the length of the original run with 2,377 performances and garnered ten Tony nominations, making Cabaret the third-longest running revival in Broadway history (as of this writing in October 2018). Cabaret has also toured around the U.S. and U.K. and has been produced three times on London’s West End and in many countries internationally.

In his years as an active writer, he also penned the libretto for musicals like 70, Girls, 70 (1971), Six Wives (Off-Broadway, 1992), and Paramour (Old Globe Theatre, 1998), as well as the libretto for an operetta of Desire Under the Elms. He passed away at the age of 98, leaving behind a rich theatrical legacy.

JERRY BOCK (MUSIC) was born in New Haven, Connecticut on November 23, 1928. That was his first out-of-town tryout. Thirty years later, he and Sheldon Harnick gave birth to The Body Beautiful in Philadelphia. That was his fourth out-of-town tryout. In between was Catch a Star, a fleeting revue that, according to critic Walter Kerr, posed the question: “What do you call something between a flop and a smash?” Kerr’s answer? “A flash.” Next, Jule Styne and Tommy midwifed Bock, Larry Holofcener and George Weiss into birthing Mr. Wonderful starring Sammy Davis Jr. The title song and “Too Close For Comfort” are still active off springs.

Bock and Harnick’s celebrated collaboration yielded five scores in seven years. The Body Beautiful, Fiorello! (winner of Broadway’s triple crown: The Tony Award, The New York Critics’ Circle Award and The Pulitzer Prize in drama, the fourth musical to do so). Tenderloin, She Loves Me (winner of Variety’s poll of critics as best musical, citing Bock and Harnick as best composer and lyricist). Fiddler on the Roof (nine Tonys, notably the citation for best musical of the year), The Apple Tree and The Rothschilds. In addition to the 1989 silver anniversary production of Fiddler (from which a major excerpt was featured in Jerome Robbins’ Broadway), a highly esteemed revival of The Rothschilds enjoyed a successful run off-Broadway the following year.

Since then, Bock and Harnick were triply honored by being inducted into the Theater Hall of Fame, receiving the Johnny Mercer Award from the Songwriters Hall of Fame and the Spirit of American Creativity Award from the Foundation for a Creative America. But the “award” that Bock holds near and dear is the honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from the University of Wisconsin. It was there that he met his wife Patti, and it was there that he decided to be a composer.

Mr. Bock is a member of a number of professional guilds and associations, among which the BMI Foundation, Inc. is a membership he relishes.

As for Patti, his wife, George, their son and Portia, their daughter, Bock confesses they are his longest running hit.

SHELDON HARNICK (LYRICS) Born in Chicago in 1924, Sheldon Harnick is one of the most distinguished lyricists in the history of musical theater. He studied music at Northwestern University and was eventually drawn to Broadway, where he wrote the words of “The Boston Beguine” for the revue New Faces (1952). He later contributed material to Two’s Company and The Littlest Revue.

By 1958 he had joined forces with the composer Jerry Bock, and the team of Bock and Harnick would turn out a series of musicals that included some of the best loved in the middle 20th century. Their first joint venture was The Body Beautiful (1958), a musical about an aspiring boxer, which had only a brief run on Broadway.

Their next collaboration, however, was a smash hit, Fiorello! (1959), about New York’s celebrated mayor Fiorello LaGuardia. Tom Bosley played the corruption-routing mayor, and the musical enjoyed great acclaim, winning the Pulitzer Prize for Drama, the New York Drama Critics’ Circle Award, and several Tonys®, including one for Best Musical.

Reform is also the central theme of the next Bock and Harnick collaboration, Tenderloin (1960), a musical about a priest’s uphill battle to clean up New York’s 1890s red-light district in the face of establishment corruption. In 1963 the team brought out She Loves Me, based on the romantic comedy Parfumerie by the Hungarian Miklós László.

But the most successful musical that Bock and Harnick worked on is surely Fiddler on the Roof (1964), the original production of which ran for an unprecedented 3,242 performances. A tale about a Jewish husband and wife and their five daughters, all living in a Russian shtetl in the early 20th century, the musical snapped up numerous Tonys®, including Best Musical, Best Composer and Lyricist, and Best Choreography and Best Direction of a Musical (both for Jerome Robbins).

The next Bock and Harnick musical, The Apple Tree (1966), consisted of three short acts, the first based on Mark Twain’s “The Diary of Adam and Eve,” with Alan Alda as Adam and Barbara Harris as Eve. The production earned several Tony® nominations, and Barbara Harris won the Tony® for Best Actress in a Musical. The team then collaborated on The Rothschilds (1970), about the famous banking family, and the work garnered several Tony® nominations and two awards – Best Actor in a Musical for Hal Linden and Best Featured Actor in a Musical for Keene Curtis.

Harnick collaborated with many other musicians over the years, including Richard Rodgers on one occasion; the two joined forces for Rex (1976), a musical about Henry VIII, with Nicol Williamson as the king and Glenn Close – appearing for the first time in a musical – as Princess Mary.

Original cast recordings of The Apple Tree, The Rothschilds, and Rex are available on Sony.

Harnick’s translations include English-language versions of the librettos for Stravinsky’s Soldier’s Tale, Lehár’s The Merry Widow,and Bizet’s Carmen. Harnick has also written original librettos for Jack Beeson’s Captain Jinks of the Horse Marines, Thomas Z. Shepard’s Love in Two Countries, and Arnold Black’s The Phantom Tollbooth, among others. He wrote the theme-song lyrics for the films The Heartbreak Kid and Blame It on Rio.

BrightSide Theatre (Jeffrey Cass, Artistic Director and Julie Ann Kornak, Executive Director) BrightSide Theatre is committed to Enlighten, Educate, and Entertain through comedies and inspirational stories from across the globe. A unique blend of award-winners, premieres, modern works and timeless classics meant to reflect upon and inform our community inhabit BrightSide’s stage. BrightSide Theatre is partially supported and funded by a generous SECA Grant, the DuPage Foundation, Illinois Arts Council Agency, and the Naperville Lion’s Club. For more information on BrightSide Theatre, please visit www.brightsidetheatre.com.

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