When I was younger, our family would spend the Christmas holidays visiting family in Singapore. My uncle was a fan of musicals and often had the recordings playing during our stay. I’d grown familiar with the scores of Cabaret and Jesus Christ Superstar, but had never actually seen a production. Then during the Grammy Awards in 1988 they featured a performance from Phantom of the Opera, and I became obsessed. When I finally made it to New York City, watching Phantom of the Opera was at the top of my to-do list, and it was the perfect culmination of my Broadway dreams.
Since then I’ve added somewhat to my Playbill collection. But Justin and I haven’t figured out how to become independently wealthy (tips welcome!), so we hem and haw, then judiciously try to pick shows that have something unique to offer. We’ve gravitated towards less conventional musicals — Fun Home’s deep material drew us in, while American Psycho’s promise got us there (you can find our post on that one here). When we heard about raves for She Loves Me, we were a little skeptical. It seemed too… basic. But boy, did it prove us wrong.
She Loves Me is an adaptation of Miklos Laszlo’s 1937 play Parfumerie, and this is the second revival since the 1963 original. While it has the charm of an old Cary Grant movie, it still manages to feels surprisingly fresh. It’s a live rom-com, with an emphasis on the com part, as the actors deliver a wonderful comedic performance that had our audience LOL-ing through the show. It’s not all-too-surprising if you look at the cast. It’s a television fan’s dream — Laura Benanti (Supergirl, Nashville, Nurse Jackie) and Zachary Levi (Chuck) play the leads, with support from Jane Krakowski (Kimmy Schmidt, 30 Rock, Ally McBeal) and Tom McGowan (Frasier, Everybody Loves Raymond). You’ll also recognize supporting actor Byron Jennings from movies like Lincoln and Julie & Julia. Gavin Creel has deep Broadway roots and is unforgettable as the charming villain.
Besides the wonderful performances, the musical also delivers eye candy throughout. David Rockwell’s vibrantly hued set was fully deserving of its Tony. And I fell head-over-heels for Jeff Mahshie’s wonderful costume design — the dramatic long coats with matching hats and gloves, luscious dresses, and amazing T-strap heels gave me serious closet envy. The dreamy ensembles managed to capture the spirit of a different time, but were still items I’d snap up in a store today. Oh, and the men looked pretty dapper too.
She Loves Me is such an enchanting musical, and one I’d recommend heartily. Even the theater is a celebrity in its own right: She Loves Me is currently playing at the iconic Studio 54, which was home to the Johnny Carson Show as well as the notorious disco nightclub with regulars like Andy Warhol, Elton John, Grace Jones and Steven Tyler. You can find tickets and schedules at Roundabout Theater’s website.
 We received a great tip from Mary Lane at New York Cliche and wanted to update the post: “Did you know Roundabout has an amazing program for people under 35? Hiptix they call it and if you become a member (free to join if under 35!) you can get really cheap tickets to their show… Usually tix are $25.” Thanks, Mary Lane!
 Also, we’re happy to share that She Loves Me will be livestreamed via BroadwayHD on June 30 (a Broadway first!), so you can enjoy this lovely musical from the comfort of home!
254 W 54th St
Pair it with:
Treats at Petrossian Boutique and Café
She Loves Me is set in 1937 Budapest, so let’s keep with the vintage Europe theme and head over to the Petrossian Boutique and Café just a short distance from the theater. Petrossian was established in Paris in 1920 by a pair of Russian brothers and is well-known throughout the world for its caviar. But in addition to all the gourmet food treats, they have a wonderful bakery that sells breads, pastries and tarts which are perfect for dining in or for taking home. I cultivated a late appreciation for croissants, and have recently scoured the city for the best — Petrossian’s happens to be at the top of my list (I’m not alone, Martha Stewart is a fan). The service, in my experience, has also always been impeccable. So pop by for a croissant, throw in a canelé or palmier, grab a cup of coffee, then sit back and enjoy.
911 Seventh Avenue
Monday-Friday – 7:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Saturday – 8:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.
Sunday – 9:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m.