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Interview With Ali Ewoldt: Amalia in Signature Theatre's She Loves Me

When I heard that Signature Theatre was presenting She Loves Me, I was thrilled to pieces - As you all know, it’s one of my all time favourite shows!

‘In a charming 1930s European perfumery, two salesclerks spar endlessly, saving their sweetest words for an anonymous pen pal. Unbeknownst to them, however, their “dear friend” happens to be each other in a joyful, transcendent, and perfectly crafted escapade featuring the treasured songs “Vanilla Ice Cream,” “A Trip to the Library” and the irrepressible title song.’*

My excitement only increased when I heard that one of my favourite performers, Ali Ewoldt, would be playing the role of Amalia.

Ali Ewoldt as Amalia. Photo by Christopher Mueller.

Luckily, Ali was generous enough to welcome me to Maraczek’s by answering a few questions about her experience performing in the show!

Were you familiar with She Loves Me before becoming involved with the production at Signature Theatre?

Only a little! I had never seen the show, but of course had heard folx sing “Vanilla Ice Cream.” I am also a fan of the movie You’ve Got Mail which is based on the same play/premise as She Loves Me. Interestingly, over the last year, I was asked to sing a couple of songs from the show in various concerts (“Will He Like Me” and “I Don’t Know His Name”) and I loved connecting to those pieces my character Amalia sings so much that I began to put the role at the top of my bucket list. So, I feel incredibly fortunate to be part of this production!

Ali Ewoldt as Amalia and Maria Rizzo as Ilona. Photo by Christopher Mueller

How do you prepare to play the role of Amalia, do you have any pre-show rituals?

I do some yoga daily to warm up my body (thank you, Yoga With Adriene!), have a routine of vocal warm ups, try to get enough sleep and stay hydrated. Once I’m at the theater, I love to sing along to my wonderful cast from my dressing room (since I don’t enter until about 15 minutes into the show) and have added some tongue twisters to my routine since Amalia speaks so quickly and articulately. More than anything, I try to stay loose and present and energized so that I can keep up with the sparkly, bouncy feel of this delightful piece.

Company of She Loves Me. Photo by Christopher Mueller

Do you have a favourite moment to perform in the show?

It honestly changes from show to show. I love working with this incredible cast so much because there is always the element of spontaneity and surprise in the comedy, and even more so when the audience reactions are factored in! I always have a blast sparring and flirting with Georg (played by the wonderful and dashing Deven Kolluri) and bonding with Ilona (played by the brilliant and hilarious Maria Rizzo). And the bedroom scene, when I sing “Where’s My Shoe” and “Vanilla Ice Cream,” allows me to be messy and vibrant and goofy and bubbly and that is an incredibly fulfilling challenge.

Ali Ewoldt as Amalia. Photo by Christopher Mueller

She Loves Me is a brilliant musical written in 1963, what do you think keeps the show fresh and relevant for 2022?

I think human connection is at the heart of She Loves Me and that theme will always be relevant. If this tough pandemic time has taught me anything, it is that truly connecting with others is vital and difficult and complicated and wonderful, and the relationship between Amalia and Georg embodies all of those qualities.

Ali Ewoldt as Amalia and Deven Kollurri as Georg. Photo by Christopher Mueller

What do you hope audience members take away from She Loves Me?

I hope the audience leaves feeling uplifted and reminded of the power of live theater to make us laugh and cry and take us out of ourselves for a brief time. I absolutely love having these communal, connective experiences with our audiences and I hope they feel the same way!

Signature Theatre’s She Loves Me will run until April 24th, giving you plenty of time to get a ticket and enjoy this delectable show!

Tickets and additional information can be found at the link below:

A huge thank you goes to Ali and the Signature Team for making this interview possible!

And as a special treat, here is lovely clip of Ali singing Vanilla Ice Cream in this production:

*Summary from The Signature Theatre website.

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