At Broadway She Loves Me Concert, a Romantic Atmosphere and a Breakout Performance

By Kenneth Jones
06 Dec 2011

Rory O'Malley
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Paul Gemignani, a fixture in many Roundabout musicals, conducted an orchestra of 17, which included a harp (for lush punctuation) and accordion (for that European flavor). As in the Roundabout revival almost 20 years ago, "Tango Tragique" was an underscored monologue rather than a song. (If you want the song, get the original cast album from 1963 — the licensed version of the score no longer includes it.)

Most of the libretto of the show seemed intact for the book-in-hand concert. The musical staging (most evident in the comic Headwaiter/Bus Boy number, "A Romantic Atmosphere," in the Café Imperial) was by JoAnn M. Hunter — and gamely danced in a ménage à trois led by Jeffrey Schechter and including Jessica Vosk and sleek Rachel de Benedet.

The 1930s-set workplace musical where colleagues genuinely like each other, temperamental bosses can apologize for bullying, ambition gets rewarded — and romance blooms — would seem to be ripe for revival. After all, the script references economic need: Outside the window of Maraczek's Parfumerie, a cold winter world is struggling through a Depression.



But inside the shop, for now, it's warm.

Jane Krakowski
photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN

Other highlights of She Loves Me in concert:

Gavin Creel's unctuous, swaggering philanderer-clerk Steven Kodaly's threat-kissed "Grand Knowing You."

Jane Krakowski's affectionate and brassy turn as been-around-the-block shopgirl Ilona, belting out "I Resolve" and showing great chemistry with fellow clerk Michael McGrath (as the conformist yes-man Sipos, an endearing performance).

Victor Garber as the sadness-tinged Mr. Maraczek, complete with middle-European accent, remembering his waltzing "Days Gone By" in a time when Latin rhythms are seeping into the culture of romance.

Eager Book of Mormon Tony nominee Rory O'Malley selling innocence and hope as delivery boy Arpad, perfectly delivering "Try Me," an audition song of many a juvenile actor.

Peter Bartlett's squinting, exasperated, loose-limbed Headwaiter, spinning his drily comic lines to crowd-pleasing effect.

Roundabout Pajama Game veteran Kelli O'Hara's yearning rendition of "Dear Friend," her funny and feverish "Where's My Shoe?" and plaintive "Will He Like Me?" (also showing chemistry with not just Radnor, but with Krakowski in the duet "I Don't Know His Name").

*

The concert cast also included Jane Brockman, Rebecca Eichenberger, Gina Ferrall, Rob Lorey and Jim Walton.

Read more about the She Loves Me concert here

Kenneth Jones is managing editor of Playbill.com. Follow him on Twitter @PlaybillKenneth.

View the Entire Photo Gallery
Victor Garber, Josh Radnor, Kelli O'Hara and cast
Photo by Joseph Marzullo/WENN