November 8, 2022

Benjamin Hahn (BM ’24) is a featured performer in MSM Musical Theatre’s She Loves Me on stage at MSM November 11 to 13

[ Editor’s Note: This interview was conducted prior to the successful November 11–13 run of MSM Musical Theatre’s production of She Loves Me. ]

Benjamin Hahn (BM ’24) performs the role of Ladislav Sipos in the MSM Musical Theatre production of She Loves Me running for four performances only, from November 11 to 13 in Neidorff-Karpati Hall.

Benjamin chats with us about being in the production and being a student at MSM.

Originally from Millstone Township, New Jersey, Benjamin is in his junior year as a Musical Theatre major at MSM studying with Claudia Catania. Last spring at MSM, he played the role of Samson in the MSM Musical Theatre production of Don’t Stop Me. He is an active and enthusiastic member of the MSM Musical Theatre organization Alpha Psi Omega where he is social media manager.

What is She Loves Me about?

Benjamin: She Loves Me takes place in 1930s Budapest and follows two shop clerks, Amalia and Georg, who dislike each other from the moment they meet. What they don’t know is that they’ve been secretly writing to each other as part of a Lonely Hearts Club and have fallen in love with each other through writing to each other only. We follow them on this journey of their inevitable in-person meeting and watch them slowly fall in love with each other beyond their letter writing.

You are featured in the musical – tell us about your character. What is challenging about this role?

Benjamin: In the show, I play Ladislav Sipos, another clerk working in Maraczek’s Parfumerie. Sipos is older than many of his sales clerk counterparts, and so he acts as a figure of guidance for many of his coworkers, mainly Georg. He has a kind heart but dreads confrontation, specifically with Mr. Maraczek, his boss. Playing a role of someone who is so much older than the other characters is really challenging, especially in a college setting. It’s taken a lot of time for me to get used to acting older than my friends who are nearly the same age, or even the same age, as me, but it’s been a challenge I’ve really enjoyed.

How has the rehearsal process been going?

Benjamin: The rehearsal process for this show has been one of the most joyful processes I’ve ever been a part of. Every person in the rehearsal room brings something completely unique to the table, and that amalgamation of creativity allows such magical things to be created. Being led by Pam [Berlin, Director], Rommy [Sandhu, Choreographer], and David [Loud, Music Director] is something I could only dream of, and they have been beyond supportive of making bold choices throughout this process and working on ways to blend our own ideas with theirs to make something beautiful.

“Every single person in the rehearsal room brings something completely unique to the table and that amalgamation of creativity allows such magical things to be created.”

What is your favorite thing about being in the MSM Musical Theatre program?

Benjamin: My favorite thing about studying musical theatre at MSM is the people. I have never been in an environment where around every corner is someone who is helping me grow in ways I never thought possible. The musical theatre community at MSM has allowed me to expand beyond my comfort zone and make bold choices, and I know that I will always have a group full of people to fall back on whenever I need them.

Why should people come and see She Loves Me?

Benjamin: People should come see She Loves Me because it is one of the most wholesome musicals ever created. For two and a half hours, you follow this ordinary group of sales clerks in a parfumerie shop in Hungary, and you become immersed with their lives and relationships until you feel as if you are working in the shop yourself. And who doesn’t love a classic “enemies to lovers” love story?

Benjamin Hahn (pictured center) performing in Don't Stop Me, Spring 2022

What are you excited about this year?

Benjamin: One thing I’m excited about this year is the performance opportunity I’ll have next semester! I am so honored to be cast in Urinetown, which will be performed at Riverside Theatre in February. Being a part of two drastically different shows in one academic year is something I am so looking forward to, and I’m  learning different things from each show that I can apply to any future situation I find myself in.

If you could add any song from She Loves Me to the soundtrack of your life, what would it be and why?

Benjamin: One of the most beautiful songs in the show, in my opinion, is called “Will He Like Me?” sung by the amazingly talented Abby Hammond who plays Amalia Balash. This song never fails to bring a tear to my eye because of how beautiful it is. I would add this song to the soundtrack of my life because I would get to listen to it all the time and simply would never be sad again. Oh, and I would only listen to if it was sung by Abby, of course!

Benjamin Hahn (pictured left) performing in She Loves Me, Fall 2022

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