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Review: It Shoulda Been You

April 14th, 2015 Comments off
"It Shoulda Been You" (photo: Andrew Eccles via The Broadway Blog.)

“It Shoulda Been You” (photo: Andrew Eccles via The Broadway Blog.)

Marriage is a funny thing. Some last. Many don’t. And others aren’t ever meant to be. It Shoulda Been You, the new Broadway musical with book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music and concept by Barbara Anselmi, takes a lighthearted look at the evolving institution of marriage from just about every angle. But like most wedding gowns, some perspectives are more becoming than others.

Lisa Howard (l) and Tyne Daly (r) in "It Shoulda Been You" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Lisa Howard (l) and Tyne Daly (r) in “It Shoulda Been You” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Anchored by protagonist Jenny Steinberg (Lisa Howard), It Shoulda Been You follows the day’s proceedings as Jenny’s younger sister Rebecca (Sierra Boggess) prepares for her wedding to handsome fiancée Brian (David Burtka). Jenny’s parents, Judy (Tyne Daly) and Murray (Chip Zien), are none to thrilled with the prospects of a “goy” son-in-law. But Brian’s parents Georgette (Harriet Harris) and George (Michael X. Martin) aren’t exactly jumping for joy either.

Little do any of the parents realize that secret loves lie lurking around every corner, including the timely arrival of Jenny’s ex-boyfriend Marty (Josh Grisetti). By the end of Act I, an unexpected plot bomb drops that would have members of the Supreme Court in a tizzy, and the unlikely reduces to inane as the antics continue.

The production benefits by some of Broadway’s best, including a humorously deadpan performance by Tyne Daly, who spins gold from hay with her Long Island accent and cliché-but-true Jewish mother tendencies. (Trust me, I know from experience.) Equally as droll as the groom’s mother, Harris swigs gin and relishes in her Oedipal relationship with her son. Unfortunately, Burtka is like a dish of melted vanilla ice cream—there’s something sweet there, but no substance. Montego Glover and Nick Spangler are saddled with cardboard cut out characterizations of the maid of honor and best man, respectively.

Lisa Howard in "It Shoulda Been You" (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

Lisa Howard in “It Shoulda Been You” (photo: Joan Marcus via The Broadway Blog.)

As the two unconventional ingénues, Howard and Boggess must drive the implausible story forward and make a valiant effort. Howard’s voice soars and it’s refreshing to see a full-figured woman take center stage in a role that addresses society’s obsession with weight and body image. Boggess has to play straight (pun intended) to most of the comedic action, and her 11 o’clock number, “What They Never Tell You,” feels like it belongs in another show.

It Shoulda Been You has the good fortune of direction by funny man David Hyde Pierce, who pulls out all of his sitcom expertise to make the most of the thin material. Unfortunately, at its core It Shoulda Been You is ridiculously unbelievable, and the major shift in action sets the show on a course from which it can never recover. Just like in a real marriage, one commits for better and for worse. Be prepared for both and you might get a good chuckle, but I’m not sure these wedding bells will ring for long.

It Shoulda Been You
Brooks Atkinson Theatre
256 West 47th Street
Open-ended run.

Matthew Wexler is The Broadway Blog’s editor. Follow him on TwitterFacebook and Instagram at roodeloo

What a Deal! $14 Tickets to Broadway’s “It Shoulda Been You”

February 10th, 2015 Comments off

120248.ISBY.MiscArt_5x7.inddLove is in the air… and for Broadway fans it comes a lot cheaper than a ring from Tiffinay & Co. Producers of It Shoulda Been You have announced a special one-day-only offer for one-of-a-kind ticket prices. Visit the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th St) starting at 10 a.m. on Valentine’s Day, February 14, for the opportunity to purchase $14 tickets for the first 14 preview performances of the new musical. This special offer will end at 2:00 pm and is limited to the 114 tickets per performance.

Directed by David Hyde Pierce and featuring an original book & lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music by Barbara Anselmi, It Shoulda Been You begins previews on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre (256 West 47th St) on March 17, 2015, with an opening night date set for Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

Between the hours of 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. patrons will have the ability to purchase 1 or 2 tickets at the special $14 Valentine’s Day rate while also enjoying ‘wedding-themed’ activities, including a photo booth and complimentary lattes designed by coffee artist Michael Breach.

In the hilarious and heartwarming new musical It Shoulda Been You, it’s a culture clash for the ages when two families from wildly different backgrounds come together to celebrate a wedding. As if the union wasn’t complicated enough, the bride’s ex-boyfriend arrives, bringing the wedding to a screeching halt and throwing both families into hysterical chaos. Plots are hatched, promises broken, secrets exposed—and the bride’s resourceful sister is left to turn an unmitigated disaster into happily ever after. It Shoulda Been You puts a refreshingly modern spin on the traditional wedding comedy, proving that when it comes to wedding day insanity, it’s all relative.

The cast of It Shoulda Been You includes Tony Award-winner Tyne Daly, Tony Award-winner Harriet Harris, Sierra Boggess, Lisa Howard, David Burtka, Tony Award nominee Montego Glover, Chip Zien, Josh Grisetti, Adam Heller, Michael X. Martin, Anne L. Nathan, Nick Spangler, and Edward Hibbert, along with Farah Alvin, Gina Farrell, Aaron Finley, and Mitch Greenberg.

The creative team for It Shoulda Been You includes Josh Rhodes (Choreography) Anna Louizos (Set Design), William Ivey Long (Costume Design), Ken Billington (Lighting Design), and Nevin Steinberg (Sound Design), with additional lyrics by Jill Abramovitz, Carla Rose Fisher, Michael Cooper, Ernie Lijoi and Will Randall.