IN PRAISE OF THE OLD-FASHIONED MUSICAL by ELLIN CURLEY

I normally wouldn’t write a blog about a Broadway show since most blog readers would not have the opportunity to ever see the show themselves. However, I just saw “She Loves Me”, a delightful and thoroughly enjoyable musical that most of you will be able to see because the show is being filmed, live. It will be streamed starting on June 30. So you too can revel in this charming piece, with the added benefits of close-ups, which I didn’t get in my viewing from the nose bleed seats high in the Mezzanine.

“She Loves Me” was nominated for a Tony Award for best revival of a musical. It also got glowing reviews, all well deserved. It was often referred to as “old-fashioned” and “a jewel of a musical”. Those phrases aptly describe it’s character and ambiance.

It is definitely an old style romance set in a Parfumerie in 1934 Budapest. The story is based on the book that also provided the plots for two movies, “The Shop Around The Corner” and “You’ve Got Mail”. The latter is the more modern, computer age version. In all three, the main characters work together and don’t get along. However, unbeknownst to them, they are falling in love as anonymous “pen pals” through a lonely hearts club (an online dating service in “You’ve Got Mail”).

Ice Cream Scene

In the show, there are seven main characters who work in the Parfumerie. Each has his own plot line and solo number. The delivery boy who dreams of being a sales clerk; the brown-nosing employee who will do anything to keep his job; the young woman who is “used” by the womanizing co-worker she is having an affair with. You get to know and like all these people as well as the verbally sparring leads.

split dance

The dialogue is well written and quite funny. The sets are sophisticated and beautiful, as are the costumes. The lead actors are perfect. The music is melodic and the lyrics artfully develop character and move the plot along. The staging and choreography are brilliant, intricate and fast-paced. The full cast, including eleven subsidiary characters, work together like a well oiled machine.

The show creates a sense of intimacy that you don’t get often any more in the musical theater. I prefer like this kind of “small,” character driven show. It’s the thing theater can do better than movies or TV. Seeing this kind of show gives you an experience you wan’t readily get from other entertainment medium.

final kiss

You can see a video montage from the show at http://www.roundabouttheatre.org/Shows-Events/She-Loves-Me.aspx. Scroll down to Videos / Montage

But I urge you to sit back and enjoy 2 ¼ hours of pure entertainment and simple joy. You’ll be smiling and tapping your foot through most of it.

Here’s how you can watch it:

“She Loves Me” will be streamed by a new company called Broadway HD. Their goal is to stream as many theater performances as possible so theater will reach a wider audience. The show will be filmed using nine or ten cameras, so I expect the watching experience will be somewhere between live theater, and movies or TV. It will cost $9.99 to watch it on the Broadway HD website. It will also be available via Roku and Apple TV ( I don’t know about costs on those).

ENJOY!



Categories: Ellin Curley, Entertainment, Music, Technology, Television

Tags: , , , ,

18 replies

  1. YES YES YES! This is a fantastic show! Musical theater is amazing and provides an escape like no other! There is so much to learn from live theater and I appreciate you reviewing it and encouraging others to go see it!

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  2. Nothing like live theater! 🙂

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  3. Those musicals usually are a great way to feel upbeat.
    Leslie

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  4. what a great, connected montage. definitely something worth aiming for. thanks.

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    • So glad I could direct you to the website so you can see for yourself what a charming and beautiful production this is. Hope you enjoy watching the filmed live show.

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  5. this sounds thoroughly entertaining and thanks for the tip about how to watch it.

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  6. I was recently reminded of how much I enjoy musicals when I saw a TV program about a lot of the old ones. Most of the productions I’ve seen have been amateur ones but I do love the songs and the characters. Hopefully the show or a recording of it will turn up here before long.

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  7. Both of those films were favorites of mine..Hope I get to see the film of the play. Thanks for pointing it out to us.

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    • The storyline is so endearing that it has been successfully transformed into a period movie, a moderm version and a musical version. You get so caught up with the characters and their lives. I think that is the secret to any successful play, book or movie – getting the audience involved with and caring about the people and what happens to them. This show does that in spades.

      Liked by 1 person

      • And.. there was a Judy Garland version and an earlier play as well. In “You’ve Got Mail” he had me when he said he’d like to send her a bouquet of freshly sharpened pencils! That was such a romantic movie.

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  8. Some of my happiest moments have been a theatres, watching a musical. In the movies, on the stage, on television … as long s I can sing along, I’m happy 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • I read a study that said that singing along with the radio (or whatever) helps keep your brain young and in good shape. So keep it up!

      Liked by 1 person

      • Ellin, thanks so much for this one. I saw the original Broadway production of “She Loves Me” and loved it.
        “The Shop Around The Corner” is one of our favorites and we watch it frequently.
        I LOVE the old musicals!! “Meet Me In St. Louis” is one of our go to films and, yes, we sing along with Judy and the cast.
        Most recently, we watched “Bells Are Ringing”, enjoying the less familiar songs along with the gems like “The Party’s Over” and “Just In Time”.
        Co-incidentally, we watched an old Dick Cavett show last night (’71) that featured Fred Astaire as the solo guest. What a treat!!
        We’ll be looking forward to the new production of “She Loves Me”.
        Thanks again, Ellin!!

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        • I never saw the original She Loves Me on Broadway but I’ve heard the music and love the story. So I was thrilled to be able to see it this time around. I’m even more thrilled to be able to see it again on TV with Tom and some friends who would like it but would not pay to go to Broadway to see it. You’ve Got Mail is my favorite movie version of this story. I swoon over Nor Ephron movies so it was made for me!

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