Boyne City’s Billy Raveau is leading the cast of the classic romantic comedy musical “She Loves Me,” playing now at Oakland University.
The show—which is set in a 1930s perfume shop in Budapest and is based on the play “Parfumerie” by Hungarian playwright Miklós László—was also the inspiration for the 1940 film “The Shop Around the Corner,” the 1949 film “In the Good Old Summertime” and the 1998 movie “You’ve Got Mail.”
“When I was first cast as Georg in ‘She Loves Me,’ I was ecstatic,” Raveau told the Gazette late last week. “This was my first lead role at Oakland University. I felt honored and excited to start getting to work on the show.”
In this musical comedy version, which according to the show’s director, Karen Sheridan, is “long on comedy,” two of the shop’s employees, Georg Nowack and Amalia Balash, clash with each other at work, but are happily falling in love as they correspond with each other anonymously.
“The process has been incredibly different from any production I’ve worked on, as four of the lead roles—including my own—were double cast, meaning that two people were cast in the role and that we would share the performances; six each,” Raveau said. “This created the challenge of having about half of the rehearsal time.”
He added, “Regardless of the challenges, I think the outcome is incredible.”
“She Loves Me,” which opened on Thursday March 19, is the work of Broadway greats. It has a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock.
“We just completed our first weekend to almost 100 percent sold-out shows,” Raveau said. “It has been a truly rewarding experience.”
He added, “I have one more year down here in Oakland University’s Musical Theatre program. After completion of that in the spring, I’ll be moving to New York in the fall.”
Raveau said that, while performing on a Broadway stage is his ultimate dream, just being able to perform and support himself while performing would be incredibly rewarding.
According to the show’s producers, the production features intricate sets and accurate period costumes that were all all student-designed.
Performances are in Varner Studio Theatre at Oakland University. Maps at oakland.edu/map. Parking is free. Tickets are $18, $10 for students, and the 10 a.m. matinee. Call (800) 585-3737 for tickets or get them at the Varner Box Office on OU’s campus.
“If you’re interesting in seeing me in ‘She Loves Me’ at Oakland University, you have three opportunities,” said Raveau. See Raveau perform at the following times and dates:
8 p.m. on Thursday March 26
8 p.m. on Friday March 27
8 p.m. on March 28