Jerry Bock, Sheldon Harnick & Joe Masteroff’s wonderful 1963 musical retelling of Parfumerie, Hungarian playwright Miklós László’s lovely 1937 tale of pen pal love, She Loves Me is considered by many to be the most charming musical ever written—a warm romantic comedy with an endearing innocence and a touch of old world elegance. László’s gentle contemplation on love has an unusually rich adaptation history: in 1940 it provided the basis for Ernst Lubitsch unforgettable The Shop Around The Corner, which itself became the basis of the 1949 MGM gem In The Good Old Summertime; and in 1998 it was once again drawn upon for Nora Ephron’s You’ve Got Mail! Featuring music by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick (Fiddler on the Roof) and book by Joe Masteroff (Cabaret), She Loves Me was nominated for five Tony Awards in 1964. The 1993 Broadway revival won the Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival, the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical and the 1994 Critics Circle Award for Best Musical.
Our story is set in the 1930s Budapest in the perfumery of Zoltan Maraczek where we meet shop clerks Amalia Balash and Georg Nowack who constantly bicker and by all accounts dislike each other tremendously (although their colleagues suspect otherwise!). After both independently respond to a “lonely hearts advertisement” in the newspaper, they each find solace and respite from their fraught relationship in the love letters that they exchange with their respective secret pen pal, but with no idea that they are in fact writing to and falling in love with each other!
Our production, directed by Richard Jessup with music direction by Robert Ashens, stars Shirley Andress and Cloud Pemble as Amalia and Georg, Ron Daum is Zoltan Maraczek, and Kevin Newland Scott, Dylan Stasack, Vanessa Greenway and Tate Foshay as the other employees in the shop, Ladislav Sipos, Steven Kodaly, Ilona Ritter and Arpad Lazlo.