that everyone stay late to decorate for Christmas, but Amalia says she must leave early for her date. Georg asks to leave too, but Mr. Maraczek refuses to let him go. Georg angrily quits, and the other employees sadly say goodbye to Georg (“Goodbye Georg”). Amalia leaves clutching a copy of Anna Karenina with a rose in it so that her “dear friend” will be able to identify her. She wonders if “dear friend” will like her (“Will He Like Me?”) Meanwhile, inside the shop, Kodaly begins seducing Ilona (“Ilona”). They make a date, but when Mr. Maraczek insists they must close the store early, Kodaly realizes that he has time for a 9:30 date that he previously scheduled. He postpones his date with Ilona, and she angrily declares that she will never fall for a man like him again (“I Resolve”). Georg is nervous and asks Sipos to give “dear friend” a note explaining that Georg could not come. Mr. Maraczek’s private investigator enters the shop and tells him that Kodaly is having an affair with his wife. Maraczek had assumed it was Georg. The investigator leaves, and Maraczek’s wife calls to say she’ll be out late. Maraczek points a gun at his own head and pulls the trigger as Arpad enters the shop. Meanwhile, in the Cafe Imperiale, the head waiter is trying to maintain a romantic atmosphere as Amalia waits with her book and rose (“Romantic Atmosphere”). Georg and Sipos enter and are shocked to realize that Amalia is Georg’s date; however, Amalia does not know Georg is her “dear friend”. Georg sits at Amalia’s table and mocks her, singing a “Tango Tragique” about a woman who was murdered on a blind date (the show has been re-structured to where the song is not sung by Georg, but it is a dance number for the ensemble, 8-20-19). They argue, and Georg leaves. As the cafe closes, Amalia, still waiting, begs “dear friend” not to abandon her (“Dear Friend”). Act Two The next day, Mr. Maraczek has survived his suicide attempt, and Arpad comes to visit him in the hospital. Maraczek is impressed with Arpad’s hard work in his absence, and Arpad begs to be promoted to sales-clerk (“Try Me”). Georg also stops by, and Maraczek apologizes and asks him to return to his job. Maraczek tells Georg to fire Kodaly and mentions that Amalia has called in sick. Georg is worried about Amalia and visits her at her apartment. She fears he has come to spy on her and tell the others she is not really sick, so she attempts to get out of bed and get ready for work (“Where’s My Shoe”). Georg, seeing she is truly sick, forces her back to bed and presents her with a gift: vanilla ice cream. He apologizes for his rudeness the previous night, but Amalia tells him that he was right about her date; if “dear friend” really loved her, he would have come. Georg, meaning well, makes up a story that he saw an older, bald, fat gentleman looking into the cafe. Georg says the man told him that he had to work and could not meet his date, and Georg surmises that he must be her “dear friend”. Amalia is surprised to find she enjoys her conversation with Georg. After he leaves, she begins a letter to “dear friend” but can only think of Georg’s kindness and his gift of (“Vanilla Ice Cream”). Georg joyously decides that Amalia loves him (“She Loves Me”). At Maraczek’s, Ilona explains to Sipos that she has gotten over Kodaly; last night, she went to the library where she met Paul, a kindly optometrist (“A Trip to the Library”). Kodaly bids everyone goodbye (“Grand Knowing You”). With Christmas fast approaching, the employees are busy helping last-minute shoppers, and Georg and Amalia enjoy each other’s company (“Twelve Days to Christmas”). On Christmas Eve, Amalia tells Georg she has invited “dear friend” to spend the evening with her and her mother. She invites Georg as well, and he hesitatingly accepts. Mr. Maraczek returns to the shop for a happy reunion, and Ilona announces her plans to accept Paul’s proposal that night, even though he does not know he is going to propose yet. Sipos leaves to join his family’s Christmas party, and Maraczek takes Arpad for a night on the town. Georg helps Amalia with her packages as she leaves the shop, and they accidentally drop one of the musical cigarette boxes. Amalia intends to give it to “dear friend”, but Georg says he really would like it; it will remind him of the day he first met her. He admits that he always thought Amalia was the sort of girl he could fall in love with. Amalia confesses to having similar feelings, and Georg takes one of Amalia’s letters to “dear friend” out of his pocket and begins reading it aloud. Amalia finally understands that Georg really is “dear friend”, and they kiss. CAST: 7 men; 2 women; 5 customers and assorted characters which may be doubled.