This past weekend, I watched the musical She Loves Me (1963), a romantic comedy with a classic enemies-to-lovers trope set in 1934 Budapest, Hungary. The male lead is Georg Nowack, the hardworking manager of Maraczek’s Parfumerie. He’s always at odds with the female lead, Amalia Balash, an employee who’s not the best at her job and believes Georg always has it out for her. There’s a unique array of workers at the parfumerie. There’s the playboy Steven Kodály, the innocent delivery boy Arpad Lazslo, the sexy lady Ilona Ritter, and the cheerful father Ladislav Sipos.
It’s a frustratingly slow-burn romance; most of the first act is unraveling the main character’s mysterious love interests, their “dear friends,” and getting to know the other employees. In the second half, though, the romantic development quickly speeds up and She Loves Me plays, my favorite musical number. I enjoyed watching the usually serious Georg dancing around the stage and singing his heart out, giddy with love.
The show was completely run by the Golden Theatre Company (GTC), a student organization that strives to spread the joy of musical theatre and create opportunities for all students to be part of the production and performance process. When reading the program notes, I was fascinated that quite a few members were freshman or not musical theatre students; one was even a Mathematics and Computer Science major! Furthermore, everything was done well. The stage props for the parfumerie were adorable and intricate, the outfits were gorgeous and elegant, fitting for the era, and the microphones and music were clear.
As suggested by their name, the GTC only performs musicals from the Golden Age of musical theatre (roughly mid-1940s to late 1950s) or musicals sung in the classical style. I look forward to their next semester’s performance because I’m sure they’ll choose a wonderful musical to perform with the highest quality.