She Loves Me

She Loves Me is a musical with a book by Joe Masteroff, lyrics by Sheldon Harnick, and music by Jerry Bock.

She Loves Me
Original Broadway poster
MusicJerry Bock
LyricsSheldon Harnick
BookJoe Masteroff
by Miklós László
Productions1963 Broadway
1964 West End
1993 Broadway revival
1994 West End revival
2016 Broadway revival
2016 West End revival
Awards1993 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical
1994 Laurence Olivier Award for Best Musical Revival
2016 Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Revival of a Musical

The musical is the third adaptation of the 1937 play Parfumerie by Hungarian playwright Miklós László, following the 1940 James Stewart-Margaret Sullavan film The Shop Around the Corner and the 1949 Judy Garland-Van Johnson musical version In the Good Old Summertime. It surfaced again in 1998 as the Tom Hanks-Meg Ryan feature You've Got Mail. The plot revolves around Budapest shop employees Georg Nowack and Amalia Balash who, despite being consistently at odds with each other at work, are unaware that each is the other's secret pen pal met through lonely-hearts ads.

The musical premiered on Broadway in 1963, and subsequently had productions in the West End in 1964 and award-winning revivals on each side of the Atlantic in the 1990s, as well as regional productions. She Loves Me was revived again on Broadway in 2016, and the production became the first Broadway show ever to be live-streamed.


Act One

On a beautiful summer day in Budapest in 1934, the employees of Maraczek's Parfumerie arrive at work ("Good Morning, Good Day"). Working at the shop are Ladislav Sipos, a fretful middle-aged salesman with a family; teenage delivery boy Arpad Laszlo; thirty-something Ilona Ritter, who is having an affair with suave Steven Kodaly; and Georg Nowack, the shy assistant manager. Mr. Maraczek arrives to open the store, and it is soon full of "Sounds While Selling". Georg has been exchanging letters with an anonymous woman he knows only as "Dear Friend", and he shares today's romantic letter with Sipos. Maraczek advises Georg to get married and recalls being a bachelor ("Days Gone By").

Arpad begins stocking the shelves with a new musical cigarette case. Mr. Maraczek insists that they will manage to sell one within an hour. A nervous young woman, Amalia Balash, enters, hoping to obtain a job at the Parfumerie. When Georg tells her they are not hiring, she demands to speak with Maraczek. Amalia takes one of the cigarette cases and convinces a customer that it is really a musical candy box that plays each time it is opened to gently tell the owner "No More Candy". Maraczek is impressed and immediately hires Amalia.

As summer turns into autumn and then into the early days of winter, tension grows in the shop. Ilona and Kodaly are at odds, Mr. Maraczek is increasingly short-tempered with Georg, and Georg and Amalia bicker constantly. Georg finds solace in his anonymous romantic pen pal, not suspecting that his correspondent is none other than Amalia ("Three Letters"). Their fellow employees observe their bickering, and Sipos explains to Arpad that they argue because they unknowingly like each other very much. Arpad naively suggests they tell Georg and Amalia this, and Sipos retorts that they'd never believe it. Finally, in early December, the two "Dear Friends" arrange to meet in person.

Maraczek humiliatingly dresses down Georg for a minor problem. Georg tells Sipos that tonight he will finally meet his "dear friend" ("Tonight At Eight"). Meanwhile, Amalia explains to Ilona that even though she has not met her "dear friend" yet, she knows him very well from his letters ("I Don't Know His Name").

Mr. Maraczek and Georg argue, and when it becomes obvious that Maraczek is about to fire Georg, Sipos knocks over the stack of musical cigarette boxes to distract him. Maraczek reprimands Sipos and leaves. Sipos tells Georg that no replacement would treat him as well as Georg does ("Perspective"). Maraczek insists that everyone stay late to decorate for Christmas, but Amalia says she must leave early for her date. Georg asks to leave too, but Mr. Maraczek refuses to let him go. Georg angrily quits, and the other employees sadly say goodbye to Georg ("Goodbye Georg"). Amalia leaves clutching a copy of Anna Karenina with a rose in it so that her "dear friend" will be able to identify her. She wonders, "Will He Like Me?" Meanwhile, inside the shop, Kodaly begins seducing Ilona ("Ilona"). They make a date, but when Mr. Maraczek insists they must close the store early, Kodaly realizes that he has time for a 9:30 date that he previously scheduled. He postpones his date with Ilona, and she angrily declares that she will never fall for a man like him again ("I Resolve"). Georg is nervous and asks Sipos to give "dear friend" a note explaining that Georg could not come.

Mr. Maraczek's private investigator enters the shop and tells him that Kodaly is having an affair with his wife. Maraczek had assumed it was Georg. The investigator leaves, and Maraczek's wife calls to say she'll be out late. Maraczek points a gun at his head and pulls the trigger as Arpad enters the shop. Meanwhile, in the Cafe Imperiale, the head waiter is trying to maintain a "Romantic Atmosphere" as Amalia waits with her book and rose. Georg and Sipos enter and are shocked to realize that Amalia is Georg's date; however, Amalia does not know Georg is her "dear friend". Georg sits at Amalia's table and mocks her, singing a "Tango Tragique" about a woman who was murdered on a blind date (the show has been re-structured to where the song is not sung by Georg, but it is a dance number for the ensemble, 8-20-19). They argue, and Georg leaves. As the cafe closes, Amalia, still waiting, begs her "Dear Friend" not to abandon her.

Act Two

The next day, Mr. Maraczek has survived his suicide attempt, and Arpad comes to visit him in the hospital. Maraczek is impressed with Arpad's hard work in his absence, and Arpad begs to be promoted to sales clerk ("Try Me"). Georg also stops by, and Maraczek apologizes and asks him to return to his job. Maraczek tells Georg to fire Kodaly and mentions that Amalia has called in sick.

Georg is worried about Amalia and visits her at her apartment. She fears he has come to spy on her and tell the others she is not really sick, so she attempts to get out of bed and get ready for work ("Where's My Shoe"). Georg, seeing she is truly sick, forces her back to bed and presents her with a gift: vanilla ice cream. He apologizes for his rudeness the previous night, but Amalia tells him that he was right about her date; if "dear friend" really loved her, he would have come. Georg, meaning well, makes up a story that he saw an older, bald, fat gentleman looking into the cafe. Georg says the man told him that he had to work and could not meet his date, and Georg surmises that he must be her "dear friend". Amalia is surprised to find she enjoys her conversation with Georg. After he leaves, she begins a letter to "dear friend" but can only think of Georg's kindness and his gift of ("Vanilla Ice Cream").

Georg joyously decides that "She Loves Me". At Maraczek's, Ilona explains to Sipos that she has gotten over Kodaly; last night, she went on "A Trip To The Library" where she met Paul, a kindly optometrist. Kodaly bids everyone goodbye, stating it was "Grand Knowing You". With "Twelve Days to Christmas" left, the employees are busy helping last-minute shoppers, and Georg and Amalia enjoy each other's company. On Christmas Eve, Amalia tells Georg she has invited "dear friend" to spend the evening with her and her mother. She invites Georg as well, and he hesitatingly accepts. Mr. Maraczek returns to the shop for a happy reunion, and Ilona announces her plans to accept Paul's proposal that night, even though he does not know he is going to propose yet. Sipos leaves to join his family's Christmas party, and Maraczek takes Arpad for a night on the town.

Georg helps Amalia with her packages as she leaves the shop, and they accidentally drop one of the musical cigarette boxes. Amalia intends to give it to "dear friend", but Georg says he really would like it; it will remind him of the day he first met her. He admits that he always thought Amalia was the sort of girl he could fall in love with. Amalia confesses to having similar feelings, and Georg takes one of Amalia's letters to "dear friend" out of his pocket and begins reading it aloud. Amalia finally understands that Georg really is "dear friend" and they embrace.



  • "Heads I Win" replaced "I Resolve" in 1964 London Production.
  • "Three Letters" revised as "Letters" in 1964 London Production for George, Amalia and Ensemble.
  • "Twelve Days To Christmas" revised for 1993 Broadway Revival, used in subsequent productions.
  • "Tango Tragique" spoken over underscoring in 1993 and 2016 Broadway Revivals.

Cut and unused songs

  • "Tell Me I Look Nice" (cut prior to opening) - Amalia
  • "Merry Christmas Bells" (replaced by "Ilona", used as counter-melody with some lyrics) - Sipos, Arpad, Kodaly and Miss Ritter
  • "My North American Drugstore" (replaced by "Grand Knowing You") - Kodaly
  • "Christmas Eve" (cut prior to opening) - Mr. Maraczek and Employees


Producer Lawrence Kasha brought the three writers together.

The musical premiered on Broadway on April 23, 1963, at the Eugene O'Neill Theatre, where it ran for 302 performances. The musical was directed by Harold Prince and choreographed by Carol Haney, with the cast that featured Daniel Massey as Georg Nowack, Barbara Cook as Amalia Balash, Barbara Baxley as Ilona Ritter, Jack Cassidy as Stephen Kodaly, Nathaniel Frey as Ladislav Sipos, Ralph Williams as Arpad Laszlo, and Ludwig Donath as Mr. Maraczek. The romantic, old fashioned show was short on big song and dance numbers, and the Eugene O'Neill Theatre was too small to generate a big profit. An original cast recording was released by MGM Records and subsequently re-released on CD on the Polydor label in 1987.

The West End production opened on April 29, 1964, at the Lyric Theatre, where it ran for 189 performances. The cast included Gary Raymond, Rita Moreno, Anne Rogers and Gary Miller.[1] A London cast recording was released by Angel Records.[2]

MGM bought the screen rights for the musical in 1967 with plans to make it into a film starring Julie Andrews and to be directed by Harold Prince. After a year of delays, MGM moved forward with the film with a revised production in 1969. Julie Andrews was still set to play Amalia; however Blake Edwards was now set to direct. Dick Van Dyke was strongly considered for the role of Georg which would have reunited Andrews and Van Dyke for the first time since Mary Poppins in 1964. Maurice Chevalier was among those considered for the role of Maraczek. Production was well underway when Kirk Kerkorian bought MGM and installed James T. Aubrey Jr. to run the studio to make sweeping changes. With a major company restructuring and focus shifting to more youth oriented films and the musical was among the many projects abruptly dropped.

A limited run of concert performances was held in March 1977 at The Town Hall in New York City,[3] and featured Madeline Kahn as Amalia, Barry Bostwick as Georg, Rita Moreno as Ritter, George Rose (actor) as Mr. Maraczek, and Laurence Guittard as Kodaly.[4][5]

A slightly abridged BBC-TV production was made in 1978 starring Gemma Craven as Amalia, Robin Ellis as Georg, and David Kernan as Kodaly.

The Roundabout Theatre Company produced a Broadway revival, directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Rob Marshall (assisted by his sister Kathleen). It opened on June 10, 1993, at the Criterion Center Stage Right[6] and transferred on September 28, 1993 to the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, closing on June 19, 1994, after a total of 354 performances and 42 previews. The cast included Boyd Gaines as Georg, Judy Kuhn (replaced by Diane Fratantoni when the show transferred) as Amalia, Sally Mayes as Ilona, Howard McGillin as Kodaly, Lee Wilkof as Ladislav, Brad Kane as Arpad, and Louis Zorich as Mr. Maraczek. A revival cast recording was released by Varèse Sarabande. The production was conducted by David Loud.

The West End revival, also directed by Ellis and choreographed by Marshall, opened on July 12, 1994, at the Savoy Theatre, where it ran for one year. The cast included John Gordon Sinclair as Georg, Ruthie Henshall as Amalia, and Tracie Bennett as Ilona. A revival cast recording was released on the First Night label.[7]

The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, in Ashland, Oregon, staged a production as part of its 2010 season, running from February through October in the Angus Bowmer Theater.[8]

The Roundabout Theatre Company presented a revival in 2016, again directed by Scott Ellis and choreographed by Warren Carlyle, on Broadway which opened at Studio 54 on March 17 following previews from February 19 in a limited engagement to June 5. The production starred Laura Benanti as Amalia, Zachary Levi as Georg, Jane Krakowski as Ilona, Gavin Creel as Kodaly, Byron Jennings as Maraczek, and Michael McGrath as Sipos.[9][10][11] On December 2, 2015, it was announced that Byron Jennings will play the role of Maraczek, replacing René Auberjonois.[12] The revival's run was extended to July 10, 2016, and Tom McGowan replaced Michael McGrath in the role of Sipos beginning May 10, 2016.[13]

Following the huge success of the 2016 Broadway revival, the musical was revived in London's West End at the Menier Chocolate Factory, opening on November 25, 2016 in previews, officially on December 7, for a limited run through March 5, 2017. Directed by Matthew White, the cast starred Scarlett Strallen as Amalia Balish.[14]

A critically acclaimed Australian premier production opened at Sydney's Hayes Theatre Company, which began previews on 22 August 2018.[15][16][17] The show featured Rowan Witt as Georg opposite Caitlin Berry as Amalia, with Australian musical theatre star, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, as Maraczek. The production was directed by Erin James.[18][19]

2016 live broadcast

The June 30, 2016 performance of the Roundabout revival of She Loves Me was presented via BroadwayHD live stream, marking the first time a Broadway show had ever been broadcast live.[20] The historic broadcast was screened in cinemas on December 1, 2016.[21]

Characters and original cast

The characters and original cast:

Character Original Broadway cast (1963) Original London cast (1964) 1977 concert 1993 Broadway revival 1994 London revival 2011 concert 2016 Broadway revival 2016 London revival 2018 Sydney
Amalia Balash Barbara Cook Anne Rogers Madeline Kahn Judy Kuhn Ruthie Henshall Kelli O'Hara Laura Benanti Scarlett Strallen Caitlin Berry
Georg Nowack Daniel Massey Gary Raymond Barry Bostwick Boyd Gaines John Gordon Sinclair Josh Radnor Zachary Levi Mark Umbers Rowan Witt
Ilona Ritter Barbara Baxley Rita Moreno Sally Mayes Tracie Bennett Jane Krakowski Katherine Kingsley Zoe Gertz
Steven Kodaly Jack Cassidy Gary Miller Laurence Guittard Howard McGillin Gerald Casey Gavin Creel Dominic Tighe Kurt Phelan
Zoltan Maraczek Ludwig Donath Karle Stepanek George Rose Louis Zorich David de Keyser Victor Garber Byron Jennings Les Dennis Tony Llewellyn-Jones
Ladislav Sipos Nathaniel Frey Peter Sallis Tom Batten Lee Wilkof Barry James Tom McGowan Michael McGrath Alastair Brookshaw Jay James-Moody
Arpad Laszlo Ralph Williams Gregory Phillips George Connolly Brad Kane Simon Connolly Rory O'Malley Nicholas Barasch Callum Howells Joel Granger
Headwaiter Wood Romoff Carl Jaffé Jonathan Freeman David Alder Peter Bartlett Cory English Jay James-Moody

Awards and nominations

Original Broadway production

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1964 Tony Award Best Musical Nominated
Best Author Joe Masteroff Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Jack Cassidy Won
Best Direction of a Musical Harold Prince Nominated
Best Producer of a Musical Nominated

1993 Broadway revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1994 Tony Award Best Revival of a Musical Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Boyd Gaines Won
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Judy Kuhn Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actor in a Musical Jonathan Freeman Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Sally Mayes Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Scott Ellis Nominated
Best Choreography Rob Marshall Nominated
Best Scenic Design Tony Walton Nominated
Best Costume Design David Charles and Jane Greenwood Nominated
Drama Desk Award Outstanding Revival Won
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Boyd Gaines Won
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Sally Mayes Nominated
Outstanding Director of a Musical Scott Ellis Nominated
Outstanding Choreography Rob Marshall Nominated

1994 London revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
1995 Laurence Olivier Award Best Musical Revival Won
Best Actor in a Musical John Gordon Sinclair Won
Best Actress in a Musical Ruthie Henshall Won
Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical Tracie Bennett Won
Best Director of a Musical Scott Ellis Won
Best Theatre Choreographer Rob Marshall Nominated
Best Costume Design David Charles and Jane Greenwood Nominated
Critics Circle Award Best Musical Won

2016 Broadway revival

Year Award Category Nominee Result
2016 Tony Awards[22] Best Revival of a Musical Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actor in a Musical Zachary Levi Nominated
Best Performance by a Leading Actress in a Musical Laura Benanti Nominated
Best Performance by a Featured Actress in a Musical Jane Krakowski Nominated
Best Direction of a Musical Scott Ellis Nominated
Best Scenic Design of a Musical David Rockwell Won
Best Costume Design of a Musical Jeff Mahshie Nominated
Best Orchestrations Larry Hochman Nominated
Drama Desk Awards[23] Outstanding Revival of a Musical Won
Outstanding Actor in a Musical Zachary Levi Nominated
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Laura Benanti Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nicholas Barasch Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Jane Krakowski Won
Outstanding Orchestrations Larry Hochman Won
Outstanding Scenic Design of a Musical David Rockwell Won
Outstanding Costume Design of a Musical Jeff Mahshie Nominated
Outstanding Wig and Hair David Brian Brown Nominated
Outer Critics Circle Awards[24] Outstanding Revival of a Musical (Broadway or Off-Broadway) Won
Outstanding Actress in a Musical Laura Benanti Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actor in a Musical Nicholas Barasch Nominated
Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical Jane Krakowski Won
Outstanding Director of a Musical Scott Ellis Nominated
Outstanding Set Design (Play or Musical) David Rockwell Won
Outstanding Costume Design (Play or Musical) Jeff Mahshie Won
Outstanding Lighting Design (Play or Musical) Donald Holder Nominated
Drama League Awards[25] Outstanding Revival of a Broadway or Off-Broadway Musical Nominated
Distinguished Performance Zachary Levi Nominated
Laura Benanti Nominated
Astaire Award Outstanding Female Dancer in a Broadway Show Jane Krakowski Won
Outstanding Ensemble in a Broadway Show Cameron Adams, Justin Bowen, Alison Cimmet, Benjamin Eakeley, Michael Fatica, Gina Ferrall, Jennifer Goote, Andrew Kober, Laura Shoop, Jim Walton Nominated
Outstanding Choreographer in a Broadway Show Warren Carlyle Nominated


  1. She Loves Me
  2. She Loves Me
  3. Listing
  4. "The Theater: In Love with Love", Time Magazine, April 11, 1977
  5. Eder, Richard. "Song Pushes Song In She Loves Me". The New York Times, March 30, 1977, p. 65
  6. Rich, Frank."Reviving an Intimate Musical With Romantic Intentions", The New York Times, June 11, 1993
  8. Teachout, Terry. Review Wall Street Journal, 2010
  9. Gans, Andrew. "Zachary Levi Replaces Josh Radnor in Upcoming Broadway Revival of She Loves Me", Playbill, September 1, 2015
  10. Viagas, Robert. "Broadway Revival of She Loves Me Sets New Preview and Opening Dates", Playbill, October 23, 2015
  11. Clement, Olivia. "She Loves Me Opens Tonight", Playbill, March 17, 2016
  12. Clement, Olivia. "Byron Jennings Replaces René Auberjonois in Upcoming Broadway Revival of She Loves Me", Playbill, December 2, 2015
  13. Clement, Olivia. "Tom McGowan Joins Cast of She Loves Me", Playbill, April 28, 2016
  14. Shenton, Mark. " 'She Loves Me' To Be Revived at London’s Menier Chocolate Factory" Playbill, September 5, 2016
  15. "BWW REVIEW: SHE LOVES ME Is An Utterly Adorable Confection Of Captivating Classic Musical Charm". Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  16. "SHE LOVES ME: TAKE AN OMNIBUS IMMEDIATELY TO THE BOX OFFICE". Sydney Arts Guide. 2018-09-02. Retrieved 2018-09-10.
  17. Whittaker, Jason (2 September 2018). "She Loves Me [Review]: Classic Music Theatre Done Right". Daily Review.
  18. Theatre, Aussie (10 June 2018). "You'll Love The Cast of She Loves Me". Aussie Theatre. Retrieved 11 September 2018.
  19. GARRATT, TIM. "SHE LOVES ME is floating on air". Theatre People.
  20. Clement, Olivia. "She Loves Me Is Live-Streamed Tonight'", Playbill, June 30, 2016
  21. Fierberg, Ruthie & Hetrick, Adam. "Exclusive: Broadway's She Loves Me Revival Will Arrive in Cinemas", Playbill, July 1, 2016
  22. "'Hamilton' Leads the Tony Award Nominations". May 3, 2016. Retrieved May 3, 2016.
  23. Viagas, Robert (April 28, 2016). "She Loves Me Leads Drama Desk Nominations". Playbill. Retrieved April 28, 2016.
  24. Viagas, Robert (May 9, 2016). "Bright Star and The Humans Win Top 2016 NY Outer Critics Circle Awards". Playbill. Retrieved May 9, 2016.
  25. Gans, Andrew (April 20, 2016). "2016 Drama League Awards Nominations Announced". Playbill. Retrieved April 20, 2016.
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