THE GLORIOUS 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 recently 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 nosebleed 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 anymore 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 won’t readily get from any 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!

12 thoughts on “THE GLORIOUS OLD-FASHIONED MUSICAL by ELLIN CURLEY”

    1. It’s great that TV stations are now putting on Broadway musicals as live performances. People can not only watch shows that they might not otherwise get to see, but they get the thrill of a live performance as well.

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Ellin, I saw the original Broadway version of “She Loves Me” — ____ years ago and LOVED it. I think I remember Marlyn Mason as the Margret Sullivan character.
        “The Shop Around the Corner” is one of our favorites. It’s set for another viewing this week. It’s always charming and never sticky or gooey. The Jimmy Stewart-Margaret Sullivan relationship is real because they were close friends off stage — with Henry Fonda and his wife. They did road shows and summer stock work at the Falmouth Playhouse in Falmouth, Ma. in the mid and late 30’s as they were establishing themselves in Hollywood.
        I did a piece years ago with some Falmouth people who worked with Sullivan, Stewart and Fonda who were remembered as ‘friendly, accessible and hungry for success”. Apparently, they hung out with the locals.
        “You’ve Got Mail” — the most recent update of “The Shop” and “She Loves Me” was a nice movie, I thought. Tom Hanks (our modern day Jimmy Stewart) and Meg Ryan were quite enjoyable.
        It’s a wonderful story — more so — in these troubled times.

        Like

    1. I think there will be more Broadway shows and musicals that will be streamed and accessible to wider audiences. It would be wonderful for a larger audience to see some of the great theatrical experiences that most people can’t get to or can’t afford. Though there are touring companies of most musicals.

      Liked by 1 person

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