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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

On Broadway- It Shoulda Been You

June has just ended, the traditional month for weddings, and a traditional wedding is the subject of the very funny Broadway show, It Shoulda Been You, starring two giants of the stage, Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris as dueling soon-to-be mothers-in-law, and wonderfully directed by David Hyde Pierce in his directorial debut.
Chip Zien, Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Michael X. Martin
(copyright Joan Marcus

Daly hilariously plays Judy Steinberg, the pushy, detailed oriented Jewish mother of the beautiful bride Rebecca, played by Sierra Boggess. Harris is the WASP-y mother of the groom (David Burtka) who doesn't want her son to marry.  The scenes between these two vets sparkle and bristle as they passively-aggressively advocate for their side to prevail.

Lisa Hudson is Jenny, the not-as-pretty, slightly overweight sister who has been charged by Judy to organize and keep everything on track. Jenny does her best to keep everyone happy, while at the same time wondering what life has in store for her. And her mother says terrible things to her, it is a tribute to Daly's acting that you don't totally hate her for the awful things she says to Lisa.

Marty Kaufman, played by Josh Grisetti, shows up on the scene, the longtime former boyfriend of the bride who comes to talk Rebecca out of marrying Brian. The title of the show comes from the song, It Shoulda Been You, that the Steinberg family sings to the Marty, who would be the perfect Jewish husband for Rebecca.

It Shoulda Been You is a new American farce, complete with slamming doors, people running through the sets, hiding behind couches and discovering secrets, and I smiled throughout the entire show. There is a big surprise (or two or three) 3/4 of the way through the show that many people think they have guessed, but they still may find themselves as surprised as I did.

The score is terrific, and Lisa Hudson's 11 o'clock number, Jenny's Blues, brings the house down as she did when she performed it on the Tony Awards last month. She is just terrific, and I look forward to more big things from her.

Grisetti is great too as Marty, and Chip Zien is the perfect Jewish father-of-the-bride. We need to see more of him on Broadway, he and Tyne Daly make a great couple. The entire cast looks like they are having a fabulous time, and that joy radiates out into the audience.

I also have to mention Montego Glover and Nick Spangler, the maid of honor and best man who sing a crazy duet at the wedding, a highlight of the show.

It Shoulda Been You is two hours of fun and song that will make you smile and leave you in a joyful mood long after you leave the theater. I'm sad that it will close on August 9th, and if you are in NYC before then, go see it. There are discounted tickets available.

It Shoulda Been You has a website is here.

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