It Shoulda Been You BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Joan Marcus
  • NY TIMES

  • TIME OUT

  • HR

  • HUFFPOST

  • NBC

Opening Night:
April 14, 2015
Closing:
August 9, 2015

Theater: Brooks Atkinson / 256 West 47th Street, New York, NY, 10036

Synopsis: 

"It Shoulda Been You" puts a modern spin on the traditional wedding comedy, proving that when it comes to wedding day insanity, it’s all relative. 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.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF It Shoulda Been You

    ‘It Shoulda Been You,’ a Wedding on Broadway

    Ben Brantley

    April 14, 2015: As the father of the bride might put it, “Oy.” “It Shoulda Been You,” which opened on Tuesday night at the Brooks Atkinson Theater, confirms the sad truth that weddings — those supposed celebrations of everlasting love — bring out the worst in some people. That includes cynics, show-offs, heavy drinkers, envious have-nots and, it would seem, the creators of American musicals. The last big wedding-themed show I remember on Broadway was “A Catered Affair” (2008), a singing adaptation of Paddy Chayefsky’s 1956 movie that turned the sentimental tale of a blue-collar bride into a dishwater-gray dirge. “It Shoulda Been You” takes the opposite tack. It’s so aggressively bubbly it gives you the hiccups. Or do I mean acid reflux? In any case, it’s not easy to swallow. Featuring a book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove, with music by Barbara Anselmi, this crumbly meringue of a production would seem to be hoping to capitalize on the success of reality television shows about brides behaving badly, as well as cinematic laugh-fests like “Bridesmaids.” But this show, directed by the actor David Hyde Pierce and starring Tyne Daly and Harriet Harris as battling future mothers-in-law, also looks further back for inspiration.

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  • TIME OUT NEW YORK REVIEW OF It Shoulda Been You

    'It Shoulda Been You' Theater review

    Adam Feldman

    April 14, 2015: The best way to enjoy the madcap, madly old-hat "It Shoulda Been You" is to pretend it’s a lost TV relic from the 1970s. The shortcomings of Brian Hargrove and Barbara Anselmi’s mossy new show, about an interfaith wedding gone awry, are easier to forgive through a lens of affectionate camp: the dated stereotypes of pushy Jews and boozy WASPs, the creaky farcical contrivances, the hokey-schmaltzy jokes. (The opening pages of the script provided to critics are printed in Comic Sans.) But while the antics are predictable—aside from one huge, implausible twist—they’re not unenjoyable, thanks to a seasoned and flavorful all-star ensemble. Remember the Broadway episodes of "The Love Boat?" This is the "Love Boat" version of Broadway.

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  • HOLLYWOOD REPORTER REVIEW OF It Shoulda Been You

    A textbook example of how expert staging and performances can spin tired material into comic gold

    Frank Scheck

    April 14, 2015: That old popular-comedy chestnut "Abie's Irish Rose" is given a modern twist in the new musical "It Shoulda Been You," which plays like vintage dinner theater infused with a Borscht Belt sensibility. That it nonetheless manages to be truly amusing is a testament to the talent both on and offstage: such comic pros as Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris and Edward Hibbert manage to make the hoariest of jokes uproarious, while director David Hyde Pierce has staged the proceedings with a brisk expertise that makes the 100 intermissionless minutes fly by. It’s the sort of show that practically redefines the term "guilty pleasure." The plot concerns the impending nuptials of the Jewish Rebecca (Sierra Boggess) to the Catholic Brian (David Burtka), with family tensions inevitably rising to the fore. Rebecca's zaftig older sister Jenny (a charming Lisa Howard), while happy for her sis, wonders if she'll ever find similar happiness. Meanwhile, matriarchs Judy (Daly) and Georgette (Harris) are consistently at odds, with their hapless husbands (Chip Zien, Michael X. Martin) helplessly watching from the sidelines.

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  • HUFFINGTON POST REVIEW OF It Shoulda Been You

    Aisle View: Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda

    Steven Suskin

    April 14, 2015: Something old, something new Something borrowed, something blue-ish. If you can predict that "blue-ish"--in the new musical, "It Shoulda Been You" - rhymes with something like "it's true-ish when you're Jewish," then you're two (or five) steps ahead of the authors. If it's Jewish jokes you want, there's a truckload of them onstage at the Atkinson. If you don't want Jewish jokes, there's a truckload of them at the Atkinson. Viewing the 2011 tryout at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick (N.J.), I found the humor mirthlessly forced. ("It would have been a scream back in 1965," I wrote). 30 months later, I'm here to report that "It Shoulda Been You" is now considerably better than it was. This, thanks to a general upgrading of the cast (other than four central actors); slicker, fast-farce work from director David Hyde Pierce; and what seem to be many more jokes. Weaknesses still remain, led by the contrived story and a decidedly non-rousing score, but what was well-nigh intolerable in New Jersey is now... well, tolerable. The story harkens back to "Abie's Irish Rose," which was already hoary when Anne Nichols wrote it back in 1922. Jewish boy weds Irish Catholic girl, with the parents and everyone battling away. The critics loathed it, but it ran five years and became Broadway's longest running play; 93 years later, "Abie" somehow remains in the number three slot.

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  • NBC NEW YORK REVIEW OF It Shoulda Been You

    David Hyde Pierce Directs a Campy, but Cobwebby Wedding Comedy

    Robert Kahn

    April 14, 2015: Broadway’s so-far stuffy spring season needed to loosen up, and relief arrives with the campy ensemble comedy “It Shoulda Been You.” Now open at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre, the musical is notable as the Broadway directing debut of David Hyde Pierce, the “Frasier” star. “Shoulda” has a stock set-up: The Steinberg and Howard families have gathered at a fancy hotel for the interfaith union of their children, Rebecca and Brian (Sierra Boggess and David Burtka). So fresh-faced are these two they could model for the cake-topper. Such purity can only foreshadow trouble, and indeed, disaster strikes when Jenny, the bride’s sister (Lisa Howard), accidentally dials Rebecca’s ex-boyfriend, Marty (Josh Grisetti), clueing him in to the fact he wasn’t, you know … invited. Jenny is the emotional heart of the comedy, a hodgepodge of capers and confessions that would probably fall flat in the hands of less experienced performers. As it is, this cast is as close to a dream team for a wedding comedy as you can get.

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