David Rockwell – Set Designer
The centerpiece of our design for She Loves Me is Maraczek’s Parfumerie. Set in 1930s Budapest, this high-end emporium is a saturation of extravagant Art Nouveau details. Around the turn of the 20th century, the Art Nouveau style influenced hundreds of Budapest buildings in the use of ceramics, Asian motifs, decorative curves, stained glass windows, and lavish ornamentation. The audience first sees the exterior of the parfumerie sitting within a colorful streetscape of bas relief buildings, all constructed in exaggerated perspectives. After the shop employees arrive for work, gathering outside during the opening number, the walls rotate and separate to revealing a “jewel-box” interior. Three perfume counters slide out to define the space with stools emerging from each one. The entire shop travels downstage as its central portion itself rotates to reveal the shop’s humble workroom tucked away from the busy shop floor. The shop returns upstage for the three scenes that occur in different locales: the big production number in the restaurant that concludes Act I and the hospital and bedroom scenes that open Act II. In all three scenes a section of the streetscape glides upstage, allowing wagons to appear from the wings and create each new locale.
Jeff Mahshie – Costume Designer
My first encounter with the musical She Loves Me was when Scott Ellis asked me to work on it for a one night benefit reading produced by the Roundabout. I then had the luxury of viewing the 1993 version at the Lincoln Center Performing Arts Library with Scott and Paul Gemignani. Scott’s production was perfection. It was immediately apparent to me why this musical is so beloved. I was excited to start working on this project because it is such a stylish period, which appeals to me as a fashion designer. Some of my favorite designers like Schiaparelli and Vionnet made huge contributions to the period. Using them as a starting point -- as well as vintage illustrations, clothing, and photographs from the 1930s of my dear friend Jessica Weinstein's European relatives -- I tried to reinterpret it all with a sense of minimal realism. I never want the actors to look like they are wearing "costumes." I designed a wardrobe for each character based on the storyline/lifestyle of the character -- which is what I would do designing any clothing collection.
Donald Holder – Lighting Designer
She Loves Me is a charming and heartfelt romantic fantasy, set in 1930s Budapest. David Rockwell’s lavish and colorful Art Nouveau set further enhances the sense of nostalgia and romance, and the lighting will very much follow suit. Many lighting gestures will support the storytelling: the play begins on a bright summer afternoon and ends near the Christmas holiday. The detailed cityscape that surrounds the Parfumerie offers the perfect canvas to communicate the passage of time by subtly and continually shifting the angle and color of the light that glances across the bas relief building facades. Although the musical moves from one interior to the next, each space will be revealed with its own particular quality of light: from the sparkling and gleaming interior of the shop, to the monochromatic and sculptural light of the workroom, to the richly-hued and golden glow of the restaurant, to the cool wintry daylight of the hospital room, and the rosy-hued interior of Amalia’s bedroom. The entire world of She Loves Me will be embraced in a lavender twilight and colorful glow that I hope will allow the audience to lose themselves in the enchanting story and music, and to be transported for a few short hours to a simpler time and era that has long passed us by.
Jon Weston – Sound Designer
The original cast recording of She Loves Me is one of the musicals I listened to on vinyl. It was a two LP set and, thanks to the beautiful voices of Barbara Cook and Jack Cassidy, I wore the grooves out. I then started listening to the revival that Scott directed in 1993 and was determined that, someday, I would get to work with this exquisite music first hand. That determination paid off, and now with this production my dream is coming true. In fact, this production is fulfilling two dreams in one because another one of my professional dreams has been to work with Paul Gemignani as a designer, and now that is coming true as well. And if that wasn't fulfilling enough, orchestrator Larry Hochman is a genius and a wonderful collaborator, making this a special one-of-a-kind experience. While Studio 54 has some challenges when it comes to sound design, my team has been working alongside the house staff to meet every challenge head on and will make this production one to remember for years to come.
She Loves Me begins performances on February 19 at Studio 54. For tickets and information, please visit our website.
2015-2016 Season, Education @ Roundabout, She Loves Me, Upstage