(Ben Brantley’s article appeared in The New York Times, 3/17.)

Sometimes vanilla ice cream can taste like sweet deliverance. Such is the discovery made by one Amalia Balash in the 1963 musical “She Loves Me” — which has been rapturously revived in a new production by the Roundabout Theater Company — when she receives a gift of this frozen confection from an unlikely suitor.

As Amalia trills her delight in a song that flies toward heaven on ascending high notes, audiences for Scott Ellis’s production, which opened on Thursday night at Studio 54, are likely to know exactly how she feels. That’s partly because “Vanilla Ice Cream” (for that is the number’s title, of course) is performed by Laura Benanti, an actress whose joyful soprano is a conduit for instant empathy.


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