Orange County Theatre Reviews

All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio

All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio

Written by Alina Mae Wilson 

Welcome to the original “You’ve Got Mail”.  Oddly enough, I had no idea going into this show that that is what it is, but there you have it: You’ve Got Mail as set in Hungary in the 1930s.  And infinitely worthy of so much more recognition than that–this is one of the classier and more enjoyable romantic shows I have seen in years,  however I am fairly certain that this can be attributed more to the peppiness of the songs than to the originality of the script.

It is a beautiful, no glorious, no radiant day in 1930s Hungary when the show opens.  We know this because the employees of Maraczek’s Parfumerie tell us so in the sunnily sung “Good Morning, Good Day”.  Jerry Bock’s music and lyrics by Sheldon Harnick ensure that this number glows with charm rather than the relentless cheer that the lyrics might imply out of context.   This is an accurate preview of what is to come in the rest of the evening.  The songs are mostly cheerful, even the ones that are intended to express sadness and/or anger have tinges of comedy that make this a real “feel good” story.   Yet there is just enough interest in the question of the day “when will they realize who their pen pals are?” that the audience is never bored.   It should be noted that the song of the night is definitely “Romantic Atmosphere”, this number will have you bouncing in your seat.

All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio

All photos by Doug Catiller, True Image Studio

The main tension of the story comes from the relationship with the shop owner rather than the lead’s relationships with each other.  But that tension is given the proper attention that it deserves, so it does not feel like an inappropriate aside.  Everything in this show fits together and the story fulfills it’s mission without any serious bumps.

9/10 

Date & Location :

November 28th – December 28th

The Chance Theatre in Anaheim    

5522 E. La Palma Ave.
Anaheim Hills, CA 92807

The Chance Theatre 

Side note :  I really enjoyed the violinist Tina Nguyen she really sets the atmosphere for the entire play. 

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