When the casting for She Loves Me was announced, I was ready to buy my ticket. Laura Benanti, Jane Krakowski, and Zachary Levi all in the same cast? Perfection. However, I was less excited about the actual show. The only song that I had ever heard was “Ice Cream” on the XM On Broadway radio station. Honestly, I usually changed the station when it came on the radio. She Loves Me is based on the Hungarian play Parfumerie, written by Miklos Lazlow. The movie You’ve Got Mail is also based on this Parfumerie. So, between the casting and You’ve Got Mail, I thought this show may be worth it.
Laura Benanti and Zachary Levi are phenomenal in their roles. Their charm along with their comedic touch allow them to capture these characters perfectly. Laura Benanti’s voice is incredible. To my surprise, I loved her rendition of “Ice Cream.” It was breathtaking and a standout moment of the show. I will never turn the radio station again if Benanti’s version of this song comes on the radio. When Benanti wraps her voice around “Dear Friend” at the end of Act One, the audience crumbles with her while simultaneously eating out of the palm of her hand.
Zachary Levi, a newer addition to the Great White Way, was incredibly likable in his Broadway debut in First Date. Again, his charisma grabs the audience from the moment he walks onstage. He has a nerdy charm that makes you want to root for him. He plays the part of Georg like he cannot believe his good fortune when he realizes that his penpal is Amalia. There is a sweet-natured humbleness to the way that he plays Georg that is infectious.
Gavin Creel has one of the best voices on Broadway today, and the audience was delighted by him even though his character was a bit less than likable.
Jane Krakowski was a dream! It is wonderful to see such a gifted actress showcased in a role that is so perfect for her. She was hysterical as Ilona, and the audience gasped as one when she dropped into a split onstage. Krakowski won The Astaire Award, The Outer Critics Circle Award, and the Drama Desk Award for Outstanding Featured Actress in a Musical.
The sets, costumes, and lighting were all gorgeous. When the curtains open and “Good Morning, Good Day” begins, the audience is mesmerized by the beauty of the Budapest streets and Maraczek’s Parfumerie. The set looked like a jewelry box. Everything sparkled and shined. It deservedly won the Tony Award for Best Scenic Design of a Musical.
The production of She Loves Me from June 30, 2016, was presented live via BroadwayHD — which is the first time that a Broadway play was broadcast live. This historic broadcast will be coming to theaters in the fall of 2016. She Loves Me is musical comedy heaven, and this revival is pure gold. It is a great opportunity to see a great Broadway show in your own theater for the price of a movie ticket. Make this a priority this fall!