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Marriott's 'She Loves Me' is Charming, Funny and Pure Entertainment

The clerks at Maraczek’s Parfumerie, dressed in their best, await their customers behind beautiful glass counters filled with intriguing products. I’d love to shop there! In a charming custom, whenever a customer leaves the store, every clerk in the store bows and sings their thanks. Can you imagine?

Georg Nowack (Alex Goodrich), a clerk at Maraczek’s Parfumerie, exchanges letters with a ‘dear friend’ he met through a lonely hearts ad. As Maraczek’s opens for the day, he shares his latest letter with his friend, Ladislov Sipos (James Earl Jones II).

There’s a lot of intrigue going on behind the scenes at Maraczek’s. Ilona Ritter (Jessica Naimy) has had a relationship with ne’er-do-well ladies’ man, Steven Kodaly (David Schlumpf), but suddenly he’s lost interest in her. Arpad Laszlo (alternating performances by Grant Kilian & Johnny Rabe), the delivery boy, wants to be a clerk.

Having just been told that the shop couldn’t afford any new employees, Georg turns away a young woman seeking a job. Meanwhile Mr. Maraczek (Terry Hamilton) brings out a new product, a leather cigarette box. Deciding to impress Mr. Maraczek with her selling skills, Amalia Balash (Elizabeth Telford) convinces a customer to buy a ‘musical candy’ box with an amazing sales pitch, “No More Candy.” Mr. Maraczek hires her on the spot.

Convinced his wife is having an affair, Mr. Maraczek suspects Georg. On the very day that Georg is to meet “Dear Friend”, Mr. Maraczek fires him. Later that night, Mr. M. tries to kill himself, but Arpad saved him. While in the hospital, he learns that he’s been suspicious of the wrong man.

Carrying a rose in a copy of “Anna Karenina”, Amalia waits for ‘Dear Friend’, who will have a rose in his lapel. In an over-the-top performance, Headwaiter (Steven Strafford), tries to maintain “A Romantic Atmosphere” in the Café Imperial – if his guests would just behave!

After apologizing to Georg, Mr. M. puts him in charge at Maraczek’s. His first duty – to fire Mr. Kodaly. His second duty – make huge profits during the upcoming Christmas season. One of my favorite numbers from this show, clerks and ensemble shine in “Twelve Days to Christmas,” a musical celebration of the frenzy of holiday shopping.