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Sunday, February 10, 2008

She Loves Me

Valentine's Day is coming up, and it occurs to me that many of my blog readers are unaware of a delightful musical called "She Loves Me."

The plot was based on a Hungarian novel called "The Parfumerie" and it has been reconstituted as everything from a straight play to movies. In 1963 the team of Harnick and Bock fashioned a jewel box of a musical. The two main characters, unbeknownst to each other, had found each other through a lonely hearts column and have been corresponding some time before the woman comes to be employed by the same shop as the man. Predictable enough, in real life they don't like each other!

It is a musical comedy which reveals itself with warmth, charm, comedy and romance. The score is superb, but much less well known because it's "big production competition" that Tony Year was "Hello Dolly." If you want a different sort of treat for this week, check and see if it's playing locally. This is one of those shows if someone was putting it on in his garage I'd go see it. It is suitable for all ages. Check your local theatre listings, you may be in luck.

Here is a sampling:

Three Letters ♫

Tonight at Eight ♫

I Don't Know His Name ♫

Will He Like Me ♫

There's a full synopsis here.


Stephen said...

It's a favourite of mine as well. Ruthie Henshall was wonderful in the last London revival (of the Roundabout production) - though I also saw that production on Broadway, and Broadway's Georg and Ilona (the amazing Sally Mayes) were better than their London counterparts. And the show itself is gorgeous, and packs a far bigger emotional wallop than you'd guess from a synopsis. Like you, I'd crawl over broken glass to see a production.

gemoftheocean said...

I'd come to it late - in my 30s after reading ratm. The first CD I listened to it was of the B'way revivial CR, which I still prefer over the original (I know, heresey from B. Cook fans) I also have the London. The plot reads more complicated than it is.

When I first went I hadn't even heard the score yet, someone had talked about it, and I picked up my theatre listings and by chance they had a nice touring production at the Escondido Civic Arts center some years back. All that and the 2nd couple and the very comic bits in tango tragique [sp! can't spell today![ and 12 days of Christmas (which in vain did I try to find some good footage to post on this blog around Christmas time)

I didn't specially want to see You've Got Mail. Any good? Or disappointing? I did like the movie with Jimmy Stuart, who was charming. too bad he couldn't sing worth a nickel! But then he'd have been "perfect" and that would be a vice!

Seriously, high school kids doing a reading of this and I'm there. The band is 2 kazoos? I'm still there.

There's not many shows I'd say that of (NOISES OFF is another) that I'd say it about (I'd be fussier *who* was doing it, in other words. But this one's almost unwreckable.


gemoftheocean said...

I wonder how many of the younger sopranos now learn Vanilla Ice Cream without knowing the plot?!

Stephen said...

Karen, do you really need to ask whether a movie starring Tom W*nks and Meg Ryan was any good?

"You've Got Mail" is by far the weakest rendition of this particular plot that I've seen. Hanks and Ryan are bland, Greg Kinnear and Parker Posey are OK, and - unlike the musical - it feels really, really contrived.

When the "She Loves Me" revival was playing at the Savoy in London, I went several times. I almost never do that.

On one of the "Lost in Boston" CDs, there's a cut song for Amalia called "Tell Me I Look Nice", that was supposed to be sung as she was getting ready for her date near the end of Act One. It's worth looking out for it if you haven't heard it.

gemoftheocean said...

:-D That was my guess about the movie. I didn't want to be disappointed. [Someone should have told me before I went to see the remix of THe Bad News Bears (never mess with a classic)

I'm glad my gut instinct was correct.

I had ENTIRELY forgotten about the cut song -- and I DO have that CD -- let me put it on now.....


Now tell me THAT song wouldn't get a comment above and beyond the ever present "Ice Cream."

"Yes, not only do I know this story well, but I can hit that note and not invite the inevitable comparisons with every soprano from Nome to Nairobi!"

Thanks for the reminded, I'd forgotten how good that one was!


gemoftheocean said...

And Stephen, I forgot how Jason Graaelike fynsworth can sound. The "Bee" is was another piece I'd forgotten from WC?

I'd be curious where that went. I expect it was cut early because its just a tad introspective for Charley!


Stephen said...

For the first London production of "She Loves Me" - which starred Rita Moreno as Ilona - there were a couple of new numbers, including a replacement for "I Resolve" called "Heads I Win". Presumably all involved realised after the event that "I Resolve" is by far the better song of the two, because "Heads I Win" has disappeared without trace (it's on the first London cast recording, though).

Sally Mayes was an absolute delight in that role in the Broadway revival - but then, I pretty much always find Sally Mayes delightful (she was the best thing, by far, about "Urban Cowboy" on Broadway, which sounds like faint praise but isn't, given the degree to which she managed to rise above the level of the misbegotten show she was stuck in).

swissmiss said...

I had never heard of this before. But, then I don't get much deeper than the big production, well-known stuff. My husband and I used to go to the 5th Avenue Theater a lot in Seattle, but around here I haven't even been to the Ordway ever. Will have to keep an eye out for it.

I just read something about Meg Ryan. Supposedly when she split with Dennis Quaid she told him that apart from her, his career would be over. Seems the opposite is true lately. Dennis Quaid is doing well in several movies and Meg Ryan's films have pretty much tanked.

gemoftheocean said...

Id hate to be a Hollywood actress, they pretty much shoot them after age 30 unless Meryl Streep. The UK is the place to be if a gal is over 30 or 35 tops. Pinheads in hollyweird can't write a vehicle for older women to save their souls.

Do keep an eye peeled for this - it's good any time of the year, it often gets played around Christmas time too.

Stevie - Ruthie's good singing the phone book. I'm there. BTW, of all the Roxies I saw, I really enjoyed Charlotte d'Amboise on tour the best I think. She had that whole "Amos" speech down to perfection.

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