Musical by Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick. Budapest. 1937. Amalia and Georg are two clerks who work in Maraczek’s Parfumerie. Although they are far from being the best of friends, unknowingly, they do have something in common. They both write to romantic pen pals... Featuring the classic song Ice Cream and A Trip to the Library.
Music by Jerry Bock, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick and book by Joe Masteroff, based on Miklos Laszlo's comedy Pafumerie.
Miklos Laszlo's comedy was also the basis for the 1998 movie You've Got Mail that starred Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan and the 1940 movie The Shop Around the Corner that starred James Stewart and Margaret Sullivan.
Original London West End Production 1964
Opened 29 April 1964, Closed 22 August 1964 at the Lyric Theatre
The cast original cast featured Anne Rogers as 'Amalia Balash', Gary Raymond as 'Georg Nowack', Gary Miller as 'Steven Kodaly', Rita Moreno as 'Ilona Ritter', Karel Stepanek as 'Zoltan Maraczek, Peter Sallis as 'Ladislav Sipos, and Gregory Phillips as 'Arpad Laszlo, with Peter Ardran as 'Junior Waiter', Mary Clubb as Stephanie', Victor Duret as 'Violinist', Derina House as 'Madge', Carl Jaffe as 'Head Waiter', Maurice Lane as 'Viktor', Lisa Lee as 'Nurse', R J Marlowe as 'Keller'/'Paul', and Alex Marrow as 'Ferenz'. Amanda Barrie took over the role of 'Ilona Ritter' from Monday 20 July 1964.
Directed by Harold Prince, with choregraphy by Carol Haney, sets by William Eckart and Jean Eckart, costumes by Patricia Zipprodt, and lighting by Richard Pilbrow.
1st London West End Revival 1994
Previewed 30 June 1994, Opened 12 July 1994, Closed 1 July 1995 at the Savoy Theatre
The cast featured Ruthie Henshall as 'Amalia Balash', John Gordon-Sinclair as 'Georg Nowack', Gerald Casey as 'Steven Kodaly', Tracie Bennett as 'Ilona Ritter', David de Keyser as 'Mr Maraczek', Barry James as 'Ladislav Sipos', and Simon Connolly as 'Arpad Laszlo', with Kate Arneil as '1st Customer', Megan Kelly as '2nd Customer', Louise Davidson as '3rd Customer', Anita Pashley as '4th Customer', Allison Fontaine as '5th Customer', David Alder as 'Headwaiter', Jon Peterson as 'Busboy', Clive Walton as 'Keller', Elinor Stephenson and Luke Baxter as 'Tango Couple', Ashley Knight, Kathy Norcross, Barry Patterson, and Drew Varley.
Directed by Scott Ellis, with choreography by Rob Marshall, sets by Tony Walton, costumes by David Charles and Jane Greenwood, lighting by Peter Kaczorowski, and sound by Terry Jardine.
Ruthie Henshall's London theatre credits include the role of 'Aphra' in John Caird's production of Stephen Schwartz's Children of Eden at the Prince Edward Theatre in 1990.
John Gordon-Sinclair's West End credits include Ben Elton's comedy Gasping at the Haymarket Theatre in 1990.
"Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock's musical is derived from a play written by the Hungarian dramatist Miklos Laszlo in 1940, and itself dates from 1963. Even on its first, not-too-successful Broadway showing, it seemed a bit quaint and old-fashioned... But the show has recently been revived with modest success in New York and will probably appeal to those on this side of the Atlantic who feel nostalgic for gentler words and music than they will find in Les Miserables or Sunset Boulevard... Significantly enough, nothing in the first half got louder applause on opening night than a half-relevant production number involving a clumsy waiter, dancing diners and a lot of gypsy music. Still, Henshall has already displayed a fine, pure voice and a talent for emotionally truthful acting, and gives us more of the same in the tighter second half. Her scenes with the eager, awkward Sinclair Gregory a decade after Gregory's Girl are full of deft, unforced charm. Moreover, several of the supporting players are skilful and sure... She Loves Me transports us to a lost world, and the journey is oddly refreshing." The Times
"The names of Bock and Harnick may not trip off the tongue like Rodgers and Hammerstein, but they can put together some fine tunes. It is 30 years since this simple tale, of a couple who fall in love by post without realising they are sparring partners in the same perfume shop, was revived - and it is well worth the wait. John Gordon Sinclair is suitably gauche as the gangling hero afraid to discover that his dream girl on paper might be a nightmare in the flesh. The lanky actor has grown in stature since he shot to instant fame in the movie Gregory's Girl. What he lacks in the voice department he makes up for with comic talent. Former Crazy For You star Ruthie Henshall is the girl with a way with words. And she shows she has a wonderful way with a song as well. Its a fun-filled, feel-good frolic. She loves him all right - and so will you." The Daily Mirror
"There's not much - apart from its mittel-European storyline - to suggest that this neat little shop-floor musical came from the same stable as Fiddler On The Roof. It is civilised rather than soulful, it has no pretensions to epic grandeur, it doesn't play on the heartstrings. Rather, in the noble tradition of romantic burlesque, it makes you contemplate what ridiculous, over-stretched things heartstrings are... It's set against the haggles and gaggles of an up-market parfumerie, where John Gordon-Sinclair's conscientious clerk - a lovely exercise in restrained goofiness - presides over a sales force that includes a cutesy Ruthie Henshall. Composer and lyricist Jerry Bock and Sheldon Harnick reach their top notes in the comic numbers. The neat transition from a suicide attempt to a romantic tryst, via confusion of a gunshot with a tray dropped by a clumsy waiter, is a perfect piece of musical and dramatic construction, leading into the nearest the evening has to a showstopper, beautifully performed by David Alder's plumply agitated head waiter. Throughout, it's the comic turns that stand out." The Guardian
She Loves Me in London at the Savoy Theatre previewed from 30 June 1994, opened on 12 July 1994 and closed on 1 July 1995
London Revival (Menier Chocolate Factory) 2016
Previewed 25 November 2016, Opened 7 December 2016, Closed 4 March 2017 at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London
The cast featured Scarlett Strallen as 'Amalia Balash', Mark Umbers as 'Georg Nowack', Dominic Tighe as 'Steven Kodaly', Katherine Kingsley as 'Ilona Ritter', Les Dennis as 'Mr Maraczek', Alastair Brookshaw as 'Ladislav Sipos', and Callum Howells as 'Arpad Laszlo', with Rachel Bingham, Peter Dukes, Luke Fetherston, Olivia Fines, Aimee Hodnett, Sarah-Marie Maxwell, and Vincent Pirillo.
Directed by Matthew White, with choreography by Rebecca Howell, designs by Paul Farnsworth, lighting by Paul Pyant, music by Catherine Jayes, and sound by Gregory Clarke.
Scarlett Strallen's West End credits include A Chorus Line at the London Palladium in 2013 and Singin' In The Rain at the Palace Theatre in 2012; Mark Umbers' London credits include Merrily We Roll Along at the Harold Pinter Theatre in 2013 and The Glass Menagerie at the Apollo Theatre in 2007; Les Dennis' West End theatre credits include Eurobeat - Almost Eurovision at the Novello Theatre in 2008; and Katherine Kingsley's London theatre credits include Dirty Rotten Scoundrels at the Savoy Theatre in 2014 and High Society at the Shaftesbury Theatre in 2006.
She Loves Me in London at the Menier Chocolate Factory previewed from 25 November 2016, opened on 7 December 2016 and closed on 4 March 2017