SALEM, New York, October 14, 2022 – Next on the Fort Salem Theater stage is the 2005 hit off-Broadway musical I LOVE YOU BECAUSE – a RomCom inspired by the “opposites attract” stylings of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, with a bit of “Friends” and “Sex and the City” thrown in for good measure! I LOVE YOU BECAUSE runs November 4 – 13 and will feature three newcomers to the FST stage! Tickets are on sale now at

“We’re thrilled to introduce this charming musical to Upstate audiences,” said Executive and Artistic Director Kyle West, who worked behind the scenes on the musical’s original NYC run before choreographing a multi-venue West coast production. “We hope our guests enjoy seeing a new spin on this classic Pride and Prejudice-inspired story (which we just staged in May), but this upbeat and hilarious approach to the material is sure to win over audiences who are experiencing this timeless tale for the first time as well.” 

Returning to the Salem stage are Matthew Clemetson and Courtnie Harrington, who recently starred in Bright Star as Jimmy Ray Dobbs and Alice Murphy, respectively. Clemetson is an NYC-based actor with regional credits in Newsies, Songs For A New World, and Off-Broadway’s Birthday Boy, where he originated the role of Johnny Rodger. Harrington, a Greenwich local, has recently appeared in Fort Salem’s The Diary of Anne Frank, There’s No Business Like Snow Business, and Pride and Prejudice. The pair will again star opposite each other as Austin Bennet and Marcy Fitzwilliams in I LOVE YOU BECAUSE.

Co-starring in the musical are Sarabell Wrigley of Cambridge as Diana Bingley, and Ben Palmateer of Saratoga Springs as Jeff Bennet, both making their FST debuts. Rounding out the cast and playing dozens of comedic characters are Samantha Casner of Saratoga Springs as NYC Woman and local favorite Ethan Drinkwine (Pride and Prejudice, Bright Star), of Salem, as NYC Man. 

I Love You Because is directed and choreographed by Noah Casner, who recently appeared on the Fort Salem stage in Bright Star (Billy Cane), Grease (Doody), Next to Normal (Gabe) and There’s No Business Like Snow Business. Noah holds a BFA in Drama from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts, where he studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute and the Experimental Theatre Wing. Additional stage credits include Spring Awakening (Moritz) at Weathervane Theatre, where he also performed in White Christmas, Sister Act, and Bright Star, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (William Barfeé) at Spa City Theatre, and Parade (Frankie/Young Soldier) at the Strasberg Institute. He has participated in the development of numerous premieres, new works, and short films, and also serves as a director and arts educator at Saratoga Children’s Theatre.

Guest artist John Norine Jr. returns from Dallas, Texas to serve as music director and technical director. John has frequently worked at Fort Salem Theater since the 2021 reopening production of The Marvelous Wonderettes, and has served as Music Director, Technical Director, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, and many other roles on frequent FST productions. John is an award-winning Music Director and Technical Designer who originally hails from Utica, NY. He attended the Crane School of Music, graduating with a Bachelor of Music degree in Musical Studies before moving to the University of North Texas, where he earned both a Master’s degree and a Doctorate of Musical Arts in Music Performance (Orchestral Conducting).

Resident Scenic Designer Charles J.I. Krawczyk completes the creative team, along with Anthony Migliori as Stage Manager and Properties Designer, Emily Jenkins as Costume Designer, and Kyle West as Producer. The on-stage band includes Jared West (Piano), Gabe Galleghar (Bass), and Zach Wilson (Drums), among others to be announced.

I LOVE YOU BECAUSE performs Friday, November 4 (7:30), Saturday, November 5 (7:30), Sunday, November 6 (2:00), Friday, November 11 (7:30), Saturday, November 12 (7:30) and Sunday, November 13 (2:00).

All tickets can be purchased online 24/7 at, or by calling the Fort Salem Theater box office at 518-854-9200.

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