The musical She Loves Me originally opened on Broadway in 1963. The plot revolves around Budapest shop employees Georg Nowack (Sean Arata) and Amalia Balash (Stephanie Longbrake) who, despite being consistently at odds with each other at work, are unaware that each is the other’s secret pen pal who they correspond with through a lonely-hearts pen pal club.
Seem familiar? There is good reason. It is based on the 1940 movie The Shop Around the Corner featuring Jimmy Stewart and Margaret Sullavan, which was itself based on the 1937 play Parfumerie by Miklós László.
The movie The Shop Around the Corner also spawned a 1949 movie musical called In the Good Old Summertime featuring Judy Garland and Van Johnson.
It also was the source material for the 1998 movie starring Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan, You’ve Got Mail.
At its heart, She Loves Me is a love story about real people who have real loves, real fears, and human faults.
Amalia and Georg are both hoping to find love. They have to overcome their fear and vulnerabilities to make the actual connection. Ilona (Halee Bandt) finds Mr. Right by leaving her comfort zone and embracing uncertainty by trying something new. As for Kodaly (Brock Graham), well, he loves himself and women. Sipos (Gary Lanier) and Arpad (Aaron Hawley) are in love with their jobs and Mr. Maraczek (Chip Davis) is in love with his shop that employs them all.
I hope that our production of She Loves Me will bring you joy this holiday season. In his book, Open a New Window, Ethan Mordden said this about the Broadway musical in the 1960s: “It is a superb story superbly told, an acknowledged glory of the day ... She Loves Me is a classic, because it will always surprise a willing public.”
Make your reservations to day by calling (260) 424-5622 or visiting arenadinnertheatre.org.
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