The play that inspired adaptations like "The Shop Around the Corner" and "You've Got Mail" comes to La Cité Francophone
By Jesse Cole | November 8, 2023
Ruth Wong-Miller says sometimes, you just need to laugh.
“Right now, we’re coming out of a time that’s been very trying for people,” says the Foote in the Door Productions co-founder and producer. “I think when people go out, they’re looking for something that will bring them joy.”
Wong-Miller hopes the theatre company’s upcoming season, starting with its production of She Loves Me, will bring audiences just that.
The musical, which debuted on Broadway 60 years ago, is based on a 1930s Hungarian play called Parfumerie and inspired big-screen adaptations including 1940’s The Shop Around the Corner and the 1998 Tom Hanks rom-com You’ve Got Mail.
The play centres on a case of mistaken identity in 1930s Europe. Amalia and Georg are two perfume clerks who constantly bump heads, but at night they exchange extravagant love letters, unaware of who it is they’re corresponding with.
“It’s about people looking for love in different ways,” Wong-Miller says. “This is a really light, catchy romantic comedy. There’s a lot to laugh at and there’s a lot visually to see.”
But there’s more to Foote in the Door’s decision to bring this particular performance to the stage now — 2023 is the theatre company’s 10-year anniversary, having formed in 2013 while the core members were attending the Foote Theatre School (hence the name). In 2014, She Loves Me became the first main-stage play the troupe performed, so Wong-Miller says it makes sense to revisit the play a decade later.
The anniversary edition will feature returning cast members from the troupe’s original performance back in 2014, and being able to revisit the material with many of the original cast has made the experience theatrically stimulating, according to Wong-Miller.
“It’s been really exciting to explore,” she says. “You think ‘Oh, it’s the same,’ but I think as actors and as humans, we’ve all really changed through that time. It’s very interesting to do scene work again with people that you did those scenes with nearly 10 years ago and explore those characters in a different way.”
If you’re in the mood to laugh, love, or both, catch She Loves Me at La Cité Francophone November 17 to 26.