Theater Review: Beloit Civic Theatre opens its new season with ‘She Loves Me’

By Edith McCauley
Theater Critic

Loren Sass is an integral part of Beloit Civic Theatre, appearing on stage in many shows since 1968. Currently, he is vice president of the board, and after teaching and directing 51 shows at Beloit Memorial High School, he retired in 2002. An actor, director, program advertising manager, he is also an avid theater-goer. As a resource for the company, he is invaluable.

In speaking with him, he said the choice of She Loves Me involved working with many newcomers, building a complicated set, and mounting the play in a limited space. Movement and dance numbers especially were a challenge.

Playing George Nowack, Greg Wilson performs on stage for the first time. He achieves an excellent performance. His solo, “She Loves Me,” in the second act, is especially well done. Rachel Pregont is Amalia Balash, recently hired as a clerk in Mr. Maraczek’s Perfume Shop. The plot becomes more complicated when we discover her determination to find true love by writing to an unknown pen pal. Her many numbers in the production are a real challenge. I’m sure she will develop after time, but she has work to do.

Susan McCumber is Ilona Ritter, and her talents are many. She moves well, delivers her lines beautifully, and has a feel for comedy. Dietrich G. Heiss is Arpad Lazlo, the man of all work in the shop. A sophomore at Beloit Memorial High School, his career is just beginning. Opening Act II with his pleas to Mr. Maraczek for a position as clerk, he displayed a talent for song, movement and comedy that will take him far.

The show runs well over two-and-one-half hours, so plan ahead. The production runs through Oct. 9 with a matinee at 3 p.m., Oct. 8. For details concerning tickets, contact the box office at (608) 362-1595 or call Loren Sass at (608) 365-0235. On your drive to Beloit, you can admire the fall foliage.

From the Oct. 5-11, 2011, issue

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