Taking place in a charmingly delightful Parfumeria in Budapest during the 1930s, this gem of a musical is based on the film, The Shop Around the Corner, starring Jimmy Stewart and Maureen Sullivan.The delightful premise playwright Miklos Laszlo puts to words in this work never fails to appeal to the romantic in all of us: while the lonely shop clerk Georg Carries on a very public feud with Miss Amalia Balash, a newly hired shop girl who grates heavily on his nerves, he is unwittingly falling in love with her by corresponding through a lonely hearts club.As a counterpoint to this engaging couple, the shop girl, Miss Ritter, is trying to extricate herself from an unhappy love affair with the man about town and cad of all cads, assistant shop manager, Mr. Kolady.
Talk about a contrast in love affairs.It is no wonder that the New York Times called She Loves Me “the happiest musical with a score that is a sheer delight for the theatergoers.” Theatre in a "box" setting, I find is usually best for one-person shows or melodramas.And in this case, I will not disagree. Putting on a musical in a box theatre was one of the worst moves Foothill has ever made.Musicals are about singing and dancing and movement.The theatre provided did not allow for much of that at all.
I felt sorry for the actors as they tried to move about, at times awkwardly as to not run in to one another.I also felt so bad for them when they sang.I felt like they had to (obviously) adjust for being in such a small space, with a band to boot.In order to really get one's voice across to an audience, projection is usually in order.
But in this case, the space was so small it was almost as if the actors were having to sing softer than they were used to or felt comfortable with.But if the worst part about a play is the place in which it is produced, it can't be all that bad, right…? Right!The acting in this production of She Loves..