Mom Theater Blogger: It Shoulda Been You: Show Review by Robin Gorman Newman

It Shoulda Been You Brooks Atkinson TheatreFor all the Jewish mommas out there, this one’s for you! For all the son-loving mommas out there, this one’s for you!  For all the ‘big-boned” single gals seeking a mensch, this one’s for you! 

And, most of all….for all the theatregoers who love a big laugh, this one’s for you!

This show is worth the price of the ticket, if for no other reason, than to see Tony and Emmy-Award winner Tyne Daly and Tony Award-winner Harriet Harris hoof (just a tad) and yuck it up (big time) in this sitcom-y, yet highly entertaining new Broadway musical comedy.  

Deftly directly by David Hyde Pierce in his Broadway directorial debut, Pierce knows a thing or two about delivering a punchline, as do Harris and Daly, who deliver some of the most delicious zingers.  But the talent doesn’t stop there. 

With an original book & lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music by Barbara Anselmi, It Shoulda Been You takes us on a door-slamming circus ride of a wedding as two night ‘n day families attempt to unite.  Doubts are shared, barbs are exchanged, promises are broken, pretenses are uncovered, and emotions are bared.  It’s got both humor and heart, and an impressive cast beyond the two commanding comic divas. 

The cast includes Sierra Boggess, David Burtka, Lisa Howard, Edward Hibbert, Tony Award-nominee Montego Glover, Josh Grisetti, Adam Heller, Michael X. Martin, Anne L. Nathan, Nick Spangler and Chip Zien, along with Farah Alvin, Gina Ferrall, Aaron C. Finley, Mitch Greenberg, and Jillian Louis.

Boggess, as Rebecca the bride, has a beautiful voice and sincerity.  Howard wears her heart on her sheer Maid of Honor sleeve.  Michael X. Martin is a hoot as frustrated wedding planner George. Grisetti is appealing as Marty, Rebecca’s ex-flame who has busted in uninvited on the nuptials.  Glover (terrific but somewhat wasted here) and Spangler share their impressive chops and presence in an over the top (clever lyrics) of the song “Love You Til the Day”… die.  Boggess shines in “A Little Bit Less Than,” but it’s Howard, particularly when she sings “Beautiful,” who packs the “weighty,” emotional punch as sister Jenny, who is under the constant critic thumb of her mother, Daly, who proclaims that if only she’d had a few less meals, she might be the one walking down the aisle. 

With a witty original book & lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music by Barbara Anselmi, the full 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.

There’s a lot of schtick here, and while the ending is somewhat predictable, there are a couple of interesting twists which I will resist sharing.

The overall message is an upbeat one…..true love can prevail, even if found in an unexpected place and time. 

So, for all the frustrated singles working hard to stay true to their heart in the face of uncertainty, scrutiny and insecurity, this one’s for you!

Visit The show runs, literally, 1 hours, 45 minutes….no intermission.


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