Courtesy photo
                                Eric Ankrim and Allison Standley star as George and Amalia in Village Theatre’s production of “She Loves Me.”

Courtesy photo Eric Ankrim and Allison Standley star as George and Amalia in Village Theatre’s production of “She Loves Me.”

“She Loves Me” set to debut at Village Theatre

The story that inspired “You’ve Got Mail” debuts Jan. 16.

It’s one of Karen Lund’s favorite stories of all time.

And, it’s a favorite among many. In fact, Hollywood has spun this story not once, but three times. The first adaptation was the 1940 Ernst Lubitsch romantic comedy “The Shop Around the Corner,” starring James Stewart and Margaret Sullavan. That was followed by the 1949 screen musical version “In the Good Old Summertime,” starring Judy Garland. Much later saw the 1998 Nora Ephron movie “You’ve Got Mail,” with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan.

Not many know the inspiration behind those Hollywood hits including the earlier, yet popular, adaptations.

“Parfumerie,” the original 1936 Hungarian play by Miklós László, introduced the now-famous story. The original play takes place in a Budapest gift shop around Christmas and follows the relationships between the store’s employees and customers. The central relationship — the one emphasized in the film adaptations — is between two feuding co-workers who don’t realize they are pen pals.

Through several versions and adaptations, the romantic comedy has become a classic.

While the story is well-known in film, it’s also a classic on the musical stage.

“She Loves Me,” another “Parfumerie” adaptation, debuted on Broadway in 1963. It’s been nominated for more than 50 awards including the Tony, Drama Desk and Olivier Awards.

Now, local audiences can experience the musical adaptation of the classic romantic comedy on the Village Theatre stage.

“She Loves Me” will make its Village Theatre debut Jan. 16 and will run through Feb. 23.

“She Loves Me,” like the film adaptations, centers around the relationship between two quick-witted shop clerks.

Perfumery shop clerks Amalia and Georg have never quite seen eye to eye, according to Village Theatre’s description. Despite constantly being at odds with each other at work, they are unaware that they have already fallen in love as pen pals through a lonely-hearts advertisement.

“It’s one of my favorite stories,” director Karen Lund said. “I grew up watching the Jimmy Stewart version.”

“She Loves Me” is Lund’s first Village Theatre Mainstage production. Lund has served as the associate artistic director for Taproot Theatre since 1993.

She had no idea she would be asked to direct “She Loves Me.”

“I had just finished doing ‘Miss Bennet: Christmas at Pemberley,’ when [Village Theatre artistic director] Jerry Dixon asked me to lunch,” she recalled.

What she thought was a casual lunch was actually an interview.

“At the end of the lunch, he said ‘You passed.’ ‘What?’ I said. ‘You were just interviewed.’ He said, ‘Would you be interested in directing “She Loves Me”?’ I was shocked and delighted,” Lund said.

The show has been in progress since last March. Lund has enjoyed being a part of the production and the Village Theatre community.

“I’ve been enjoying living in this story,” she said. “It’s been a good escape from the current political climate. Being in a community that makes you laugh, have fun and make life worthwhile.”

It’s a timeless story, she said.

“It’s set in the 1930s during the Depression and things couldn’t be more tense. The characters are simple, happy to work,” she said. “All that’s important to them are their friends, family and their relationships. If they can just achieve those things, they’re happy… It brings us back to the values we hold.”

What supports the timeless story is the music, she said.

“The music really adds to the story,” she said. “Every song is better than the last.”

“I’ve had the honor to work with an amazing cast and crew,” she said. “This story is timeless and you just can’t help but fall in love.”

“She Loves Me” is onstage in Issaquah Jan. 16-Feb. 23, before moving to Village Theatre’s Everett location Feb. 28-March 22. Tickets are on sale now and can be purchased at Village Theatre’s website, over the phone, or by visiting the Box Office. For more information go online to www.VillageTheatre.org.


In consideration of how we voice our opinions in the modern world, we’ve closed comments on our websites. We value the opinions of our readers and we encourage you to keep the conversation going.

Please feel free to share your story tips by emailing editor@valleyrecord.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.valleyrecord.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) We reserve the right to edit letters, but if you keep yours to 300 words or less, we won’t ask you to shorten it.

More in News

Valley Shuttle. Photo courtesy of Snoqualmie Valley Transportation’s Facebook page.
Five-year transit plan in the works for the valley

Snoqualmie Valley Transportation outlines multiple goals for area’s towns and cities.

A site plan for the Snoqualmie Valley Athletic Center. Provided by the city of North Bend
Snoqualmie Valley Athletic Center could be completed by February

Construction on the project is expected to begin on Sept. 14.

Seven decades later, the search for two missing Navy pilots continues

The pilots are thought to have disappeared near Black Lake, northeast of North Bend.

The truck of the Renton family as it was found Tuesday. While fleeing the Cold Springs Fire two adults were severely burned and one toddler died. Courtesy photo/Okanogan Sheriff’s Office
Toddler killed as Renton family flees Cold Springs Fire

The parents were severely burned and are being treated at Harborview Medical Center

A view of the Palmer Fire, located seven miles southwest of Oroville in north central Washington. Source: InciWeb
Antifa isn’t starting Washington wildfires

Online conspiracy theories are spreading as the West Coast burns.

A plane drops fire retardant on the Palmer Mountain Fire last week. The fire is listed as 84 percent contained, and fully lined. Laura Knowlton/Sound Publishing staff photo
Threat multiplier: How climate change, coronavirus and weather are scorching WA

Dry summer conspired with the pandemic and a wind storm.

Screenshot from the state Employment Security Department’s website at esd.wa.gov.
Workers may qualify for an extra $1,500 in unemployment back pay

A federal program will give some of the state’s unemployed a $300 weekly bump for the past five weeks.

Screenshot of the air quality monitor at 11 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 8. Courtesy Puget Sound Clean Air Agency.
King County faces unhealthy air quality due to wildfire smoke

Weather monitors recommend people limit time outdoors, especially children, seniors and those with heart or lung disease.

Most Read