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But it's the songs -- the tunes -- that determine the success of a musical comedy. This one abounds with marvelous music, and familiar tunes brought to life by mostly classically-trained voices. Standouts were the title song which came to vivid life with the singing and dancing of Mr Hoy, with his goofy just-in-love demeanor. (This role, incidentally, won the 1964 Tony Award for best featured actor in a musical for Jack Cassidy, and again for Boyd Gaines in the 1994 revival on Broadway.)

A petite charmer, Ms Bégué imbued Dear Friend and Vanilla Ice Cream with vivacity and gentle emotion. The latter song requires great concentration, as it's almost two songs in one, but Ms Bégué was up to every nuance.

Nicole Bégué as Amalia in Lyric Opera Cleveland's SHE LOVES ME. Photo © Steve Zorc
Nicole Bégué as Amalia in Lyric Opera Cleveland's SHE LOVES ME. Photo © Steve Zorc

Next up for Lyric Opera Cleveland is their final production The Fall of the House of Usher with music by Philip Glass on 20, 23 and 24 July 2005, followed on 27 July by their Annual Apprentice Showcase. For tickets or other information, visit their website.

Copyright © 19 July 2005 Kelly Ferjutz, Cleveland USA

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LYRIC OPERA CLEVELAND

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