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.