Long before “computer dating services”, people had an opportunity to meet others through what was called a “newspaper classified ad-PERSONALS” ( a newspaper was the daily or weekly news articles printed on real paper) and using the Unites States Mail ( or any other country’s system) sent a “pen-Pal” or “lovelorn letter” to a stranger.
The new show (an old classic by my standards), “She Loves Me”, now gracing the stage at Marriott Theatre, is based on the book “Parfumerie” written by Miklos Laszlo back in 1937.
It is a very special shop and the manager, Georg Nowack (the incredible and adorable Alex Goodrich) we learn has been in touch with his pen-pal “dear friend” and is waiting to have that first meeting with her. They have been communicating with each other, but not having ever met or even spoken, the future becomes very comical.
On this particular day, a new hire at the shop , Amalia Balash ( the delightful Elizabeth Telford, with a voice that will astound you) comes on board, despite Georg not wanting her. The other shop employees are: Ilona Ritter (Jessica Naimy is a hoot) who is having a fling with “playboy clerk”, Steven Kodaly (deftly handled by David Schlumpf) and Ladislav Sipos (the always reliable James Earl Jones II, who I have learned can play any type of role and do so with energy, style and grace) along with delivery boy-want to be clerk Arpad (played tonight by Grant Kilian who alternates with Johnny Rabe) .
Each of these characters has a small story of their own, but it is the blending of personalities that makes them more of an “extended family”.
They pull on years of social psychological theory and they are testable. Though never developed beyond a class project, this computer matching program did result in one marriage.
By 1966, featured a cover article on a new “campus craze” called computer dating.