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J.R.

Bloomer

History of Musical Theater

Dr. Tim Baxter-Ferguson

She Loves Me

Book:

Musical Title: She Loves Me

Music: Joe Masteroff

Lyrics: Sheldon Harnick

Book: Jerry Bock

Performance History:

She Loves me opened on Broadway on April 23, 1963. It was directed by Harold Prince. Its

initial run ran for 302 performances. The West End production opened April 29, 1964. There was

a Broadway revival in 1993 and a West End Revival in 1194. In 2016, there was another

Broadway revival, directed by Scott Ellis who also directed the 1993 revival. The show is based

off Mikls Lszl's play Parfumerie.

Critical Reception:

Though the show was pretty well-received, it closed after only 302 performances. Critics praised,

however, the simple, romanticism of the show, which was out of ordinary for the time. Frank Rich of The

New York Times, in a review of the 1993 revival, said this: An intimate work with nothing on its

sophisticated mind other than romance, "She Loves Me" is no less an anomaly on Broadway today than it

was 30 years ago.

Memorable Quotes:
She loves me

And to my amazement

I love it knowing that she loves me

She loves me,

True, she doesn't show it

How could she,

When she doesn't know it.

Yesterday she loathed me, ah!

Now today she likes me, ah!

And tomorrow, tomorrow...

AAAAAAAAAAAh!

This song is memorable because it is the title song, She Loves Me. It really is a turning point for

the show as well. Amalia and Georg are finally falling for each other, and Georg has finally realized the

one he wanted was right in front of him the whole time. He finally gets over his pride and takes a second

look.

Ice cream. He brought me ice cream!

Vanilla Ice cream! Imagine that!

Ice cream, and for the first time, we were together without a spat!

Friendly, he was so friendly, that isn't like him; I'm simply stunned.

Will wonders never cease? Will wonders never cease?

It's been a most peculiar day!

Will wonders never cease? Will wonders never cease?....

While Georg is realizing that he loves Amalia in the song She Loves Me, this song is Amalias

turning point. The phrase will wonders never cease is echoed in both songs, which really stuck out to

me and made it memorable.


Summary:

A group of sales clerks work at the shop Maraczeks in the year 1934 in Budapest. Georg has

been writing letters to someone he has never met, who he only knows as Dear Friend. Amalia Balash

comes into the shop looking for a job. Unbeknownst to Georg, Amalia is his Dear Friend, but the two

get off to a rocky start and instantly dislike each other.

Meanwhile, Ilona Ritter, another clerk in the shop, is having an affair with the suave Steven

Kodaly. The two have a fight, but he woos her back to him, only to then disappoint her once again

instantly, because hes kind of a sleazebag. Ilona resolves not to get fall for a man like him again.

Georg and Amalia are at odds constantly, but to make matters worse, Mr. Maraczek, the owner of

the shop, has been treating Georg horribly, because he suspects Georg of having an affair with his wife,

unbeknownst to Georg. Maraczek insists that everyone stay late to decorate for Christmas, but Amalia

asks off because she has a date (with Georg, but she doesnt know this). Georg asks to leave to, and

Maraczek fires him.

Maraczek finds out that it is not Georg who is having an affair with his wife. It is Kodaly. When

he discovers this, he puts a gun to his head, but Arpad stops him just as he pulls the trigger, wounding

him.

Georg finds out that Amalia is his Dear Friend, and is just horrible to her. She just thinks hes

come to ruin her date, so she is still not aware that he is her Dear Friend. The night goes horribly for

her.

The next day, Georg gets his job back, and goes to apologize to Amali, and brings her ice cream.

The two begin to fall for each other in the months that followed, and by the time christmas arrives, Georg

confesses to her that he is her Dear Friend. The two kiss and embrace.
Themes:

1. Get past your pride: Georg and Amalia hated each other initially. They got off to a very

rocky start and just decide they hate each other, never looking past the surface. It is only

when Georg and Amalia rethink their initial thoughts about the other that they are able to fall

in love as they were always meant to.

2. everyone finds love in some way: Love finds all the characters, even in ways they dont

expect. Amalia and Georg fall in love. Ilona falls in love with an optometrist, when

previously she was in love with Kodaly (who was bad for her). Maraczeks wife cheats on

him, but he is still able to be happy, living the bachelor life, going out on the town with

friends. Not necessarily romantic love, but love finds them all.

Why:

This musical was very out of the ordinary for the time it was released. Many shows were buig

dance intensive shows wuith huge casts and lots of spectacle. This show has spectacle, sure, but its also

kind of intimate, romantic, and simple. Every once in a while a big number shines through. !2 Days to

Christmas is the best example. The whole ensemble is involved, but a lot of the show is very character

driven by the main cast.Compared to Oklahoma, or another Bock and Harnick show, Fiddler on the Roof,

this show is an anomaly.

Because it was kind of different, it didnt last very long on Broadway, but it has stood the test of

time, and was just revived last year and aired on PBS. Its fairly simple, romantic plot, and character

driven story are what make it important. And it still does have plenty of spectacle, but it's less showy than

others.

Reader Response:
I absolutely love this musical. The score si gorgeous, and the characters are all fun and unique.

Throughout the musical, you really get to know each of the characters. All of them get a moment to shine,

and, compared to Fiddler on the Roof, I walked away remembering a lot more characters names than I did

Fiddler.

The score is not quite as reminiscent of a particular time and place than Fiddler, but it still has its

own voice. If you hear a song from She Loves Me, you know it's from She Loves Me. Fiddler had a very

specific voice, and She Loves Mes voice is different, but distinct. Its grand and romantic.

The book is pretty great. As I said, characters are all memorable. Compared to Hair, which had 12

million not memorable characters and a weak book, She Loves Me is absolutely amazing. It succeeds in

everything it tries to do

In conclusion, I love She Loves Me for its memorable characters, great score, and simple,

romantic plot. It succeeds in being a fun, simple musical with a lot of heart. It doesnt feel pretentiouys in

any way, like the Fantasticks does in parts. It doesnt try to offend, really. It's a show one doesnt have to

think a lot about. One can just enjoy a nice, romantic story with a lot of humor and heart.