She Loves Me

Theater, Musicals
Recommended
5 out of 5 stars

Time Out says

5 out of 5 stars

You’re sure to love Marriott’s smartly cast and strongly staged revival of this most romantic comedy.

This 1963 musical’s bones are familiar; it’s drawn from the same source material as the 1940 James Stewart–Margaret Sullavan film The Shop Around the Corner and, decades later, the Tom Hanks–Meg Ryan vehicle You’ve Got Mail. Here, as in that source (Hungarian playwright Miklós László’s Parfumerie), the setting is a Budapest perfume shop, and clerks Georg (Alex Goodrich) and Amalia (Elizabeth Telford) are the enemies by day and—unbeknownst to each other, at least until intermission—romantic pen pals by night.

Overflowing with charm in Joe Masteroff’s precision-tuned book and Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock’s bewitching score—a master class in the power of motif—She Loves Me is a near perfect chamber musical, and it’s near-perfectly suited (better than many shows, honestly) to Marriott’s in-the-round space. Goodrich is an actor I’ve long admired, but he often specializes in a signature (and very effective) goofy mien and physicality; here, his performance is refreshingly restrained, honest and wholly winning, a solid match for the spirited openness of Telford’s Amalia. They’re the ideal not-quite-a-couple to root for, and they’re well supported by castmates like James Earl Jones II and Jessica Naimy. There are no false notes here, musically or otherwise; this musical and Marriott’s production are just that easy to love.

Marriott Theatre. Book by Joe Masteroff. Music by Jerry Bock. Lyrics by Sheldon Harnick. Directed by Aaron Thielen. With Alex Goodrich, Elizabeth Telford. Running time: 2hrs 40mins; one intermission.

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