"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?” If those well-known lyrics strike up a tune in your head, then you’re no doubt familiar with She Loves Me, this season’s big, Broadway-style musical on stage at the Players from July 31st- August 11th.
One of the most charming and popular musicals ever written, She Loves Me is a heart-stopping comedy about finding love in a very old-fashioned way. Georg and Amalia, sparring co-workers in a luxurious 1930s Budapest perfume shop, simply can’t see eye to eye. But using the “lonely hearts advertisements” in the newspaper, each of them has found and fallen for the perfect secret admirer. MGM twice used the same source material, the Hungarian play Parfumerie by Miklós László, to make classic movies: The Shop Around the Corner starring James Stewart and In the Good Old Summertime starring Judy Garland. Later, it served as inspiration for the Tom Hanks/Meg Ryan film, You’ve Got Mail.
The musical’s various Broadway productions have garnered 13 Tony Nominations and 3 Tony Awards, as well as the Olivier, Drama Desk, and Critics Circle Awards for Best Revival of a Musical. With a score by Sheldon Harnick and Jerry Bock (the team behind Fiddler on the Roof) and a book by Joe Masteroff (the writer of Cabaret), the show is filled with now Broadway-standard songs like “She Loves Me” “Tonight at Eight” and the soaring and humorous “Vanilla Ice Cream”.
At the Players, Artistic Director Gus Kaikkonen is at the helm the production with a cast of 22 accompanied by live musicians. The show will be choreographed by nationally-known choreographer and Broadway dancer Bill Burns, who returns to the Players having choreographed The Producers in 2017; Tom Martin of Dublin rejoins the Players as music director, having won the NH Theatre Award for his work on last year’s The Drowsy Chaperone.
The cast of Players includes Tom Frey (The Producers at the Players, 2 Pianos 4 Hands internationally) and Rebecca Brinkley (The Skin of Our Teeth at the Players, Hindle Wakes at the Mint Theatre) as Georg and Amalia, love-struck clerks. They’re joined by Bridget Beirne (The Drowsy Chaperone at the Players, That Time of the Year at the York Theatre) as sassy co-worker Ilona, Joe Bigelow (The Drowsy Chaperone at the Players, world tour of West Side Story) as the slick Kodaly, Kraig Swartz (Tru at the Players, Fully Committed at the Philadelphia Theatre Co. and more) as the long-suffering Sipos, and Greg Wood (Pygmalion at the Players, Skylight at the McCarter Theatre) as shop owner Mr. Maraczek.
She Loves Me is a singing, dancing extravaganza certain to make anyone fall in love. The production is co-sponsored by Belletetes and RiverMead, and supported by the Broadway at the Players Fund. Showtimes are Wednesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays at 7:30pm, Saturdays at 8pm, and Sundays at 4pm. In addition, there is a 2pm matinee on Tuesday, August 6th. Tickets and more information can be found at www.peterboroughplayers.org, or by calling the Box Office at (603) 924-7585.