It Has to Be You OFF-BROADWAY REVIEWS

Photo: Kim T. Sharp
  • NY TIMES

  • BROADWAY WORLD

  • THEATRE IS EASY

  • CURTAIN UP

  • THEATER PIZZAZZ

Opening Night:
October 12, 2014
Closing:
October 26, 2014

Theater: Abingdon Theatre Arts Complex / 312 West 36th Street, New York, NY, 10018

Synopsis: 

In It Has to Be You, a wealthy widow becomes involved with a much-younger man, leaving her grown children to question if she's falling in love or falling prey to a gigolo. The comedy reveals the disastrous results that can occur when three adult siblings try to juggle the responsibilities of caring for themselves and an aging, eccentric parent.

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  • NEW YORK TIMES REVIEW OF It Has to Be You

    Maybe Mother Isn’t Losing It After All
    ‘It Has to Be You,’ a Catherine Butterfield Comedy

    Neil Genzlinger

    October 15, 2014: Catherine Butterfield’s It Has to Be You, as staged by the Abingdon Theater Company, is neither the pithiest nor the best acted play around, but at least it makes an effort to defy your expectations. It’s an airy domestic comedy that seems at first as if it is going to work an aging-parent plot that has become all too familiar. Mindy (Ms. Butterfield), Frank (Adam Ferrara) and Jed (Jeffrey C. Hawkins) are siblings whose mother, Dorothy (Peggy J. Scott), lives alone. As the play opens, Mindy and Frank are on their way to see her after receiving reports from a neighbor that she had been acting strangely. They’re preparing to have the time-for-a-nursing-home conversation with Dorothy, but when they arrive their expectations — and yours — are turned on their head.

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  • BROADWAY WORLD REVIEW OF It Has to Be You

    Abingdon Theatre Company's IT HAS TO BE YOU Offers Good Laughs

    David Clarke

    October 14, 2014: As the temperatures fall and leaves change color, most people start preparing for the fall family holidays that are just around the corner. Knowing you'll soon be surrounded by your own family, kooky or not, the World Premiere production of Catherine Butterfield's It Has to Be You is offering New York audiences the opportunity to trade in their families and spend some time with the one she has created. Catherine Butterfield's writing offers some nice laughs and her characters are interesting enough to pull audiences through a majority of the play. The first 10 or so minutes of the play are clunky, but once the second scene is complete the flow and pacing keep the audience engaged. However, her plot feels like it owes a lot to Christopher Durang's Vanya and Sonia and Masha and Spike. On the verge of displacement like Vanya and Sonia, Catherine Butterfield's Mindy and Frank are concerned that they're about to lose access to their inheritance. This fear comes in the form of Burt, their mother's new piano-tuning, artist boyfriend who happens to be about their age. Enter the successful and younger sibling Jed (i.e. Masha). Always his mother's favorite child, he is just content to see her happy. However, Mindy and Frank convince Jed to take action, which leads to consequences for all involved.

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  • THEATRE IS EASY REVIEW OF It Has to Be You

    An amusing new comedy that explores our quests for love and happiness -- and what happens when our families get involved

    Tim Croner

    October 12, 2014: When it comes to your family, you may love them or you may hate them -- but, like it or not, you’re stuck with them. Perhaps this is why stories of dysfunctional families have been at the center of entertainment for centuries, and why it’s easy to find something to smile about in Catherine Butterfield’s new comedy It Has to Be You. It Has to Be You focuses on siblings Mindy (Butterfield), Frank (Adam Ferrara), and Jed (Jeffrey C. Hawkins) as they learn that their elderly mother, Dorothy (Peggy J. Scott), has discovered a fresh zest for life -- thanks to a newfound relationship with the much-younger Burt (Peter Davenport). Convinced that this gentleman caller is simply after their mother’s vast fortune, the trio sets out to terminate the relationship -- and hilarity and hijinks ensue. For the most part, Butterfield’s play reads like an extended episode of a classic TV sitcom -- and I mean that in the most complimentary of ways. Its characters are all endearingly flawed, its humor is broad and boisterous, and its conclusion is neat and satisfying. And while there are moments the script would have been better served had it more severely deviated from these televisual tropes (its penchant for innuendo, for example, grows tiresome), it still manages to engage and entertain.

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  • CURTAIN UP REVIEW OF It Has to Be You

    A CurtainUp Review It Has to Be You

    Elizabeth Ahlfors

    October 14, 2014: If by now you don't know the dangers of poking your nose into other people's business, It Has to Be You will clue you in. The warning probably applies especially to relatives. That is how Catherine Butterfield's new comedy, It Has to Be You at the Abingdon Theatre sees it. Directed by Stuart Ross, this upbeat work skims along with witty lightness over a thoughtful undertone. It speaks to the "sandwich generation," the in-between group with elderly parents on one side and children to support on the other. Peggy J. Scott plays a 75-year-old upper-middle class widow living in a spacious home in Massachusetts. Butterfield, besides writing the play, plays her daughter Mindy. It seems that all three of her well-meaning adult children have heard talk about their mother's recent dubious behavior, namely dancing nude on the balcony. Frank (Adam Ferrara) set off to explore the situation and their younger brother, Jed (Jeffrey C. Hawkins), a busy Hollywood film scenic designer, promises to join them. Mindy and Frank find their mother even more eccentric than usual. She is getting ready to take a daily 3pm photograph of herself, to be part of a collection for her future show called, "Me at Three."

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  • THEATER PIZZAZZ REVIEW OF It Has to Be You

    It Has To Be You: May-December Romantic Comedy

    Sandi Durell

    October 13, 2014: It Has To Be You is a delightful romantic comedy with a twist, but aren’t they all! Dorothy’s children, Mindy and Frank, are already planning to put her in a facility especially when they’ve been told by neighbors that Dot has been seen dancing naked on her balcony. She’s 75 years old. It’s not quite that simple. They’re already counting the money when she’s gone – Frank (Adam Ferrara), an everyday kinda guy, is under pressure to save his marriage and pay for his kids’ private schools while jealous, uptight-busybody Mindy, reeling after a breakup from a long time relationship with a married man, can’t seem to get her life together. What they soon come to realize is that Mom is not having a senior moment but is younger than springtime, having an affair with a 40 something year old man who came to tune the Bosendorfer and never left. And she doesn’t care about age – just essence!

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