by Sandi Durell
Iconic theater producer Daryl Roth, who has produced seven Pulitzer Prize winning plays and won numerous Tonys and other theater awards in her lengthy career, is responsible for presenting this delightful evening in which she brought many of the original cast members together on stage at the 92Y to tell the very humorous and topical tale of Brian Hargrove (book and lyrics) and Barbara Anselmi’s (music) 2015 zany Broadway musical It Shoulda Been You.
The brief synopsis: the St. George Hotel where Rebecca Steinberg (gorgeous voiced Sierra Boggess) is readying to marry the non-Jewish Brian Howard (Aaron C. Finley, originally played on Broadway by David Burtka) about which Jenny (Farah Alvin, originally played by Lisa Howard), Rebecca’s sister, is all nerves as their overbearing Jewish mother, Judy Steinberg (the delightful Tyne Daly), barks wedding commands and makes Jenny feel less than as a somewhat overweight person. Meantime, Jenny has called Rebecca’s ex, Marty (a wonderful Josh Grisetti) telling him of the wedding…a sign that he needs to show up and stop the proceedings.
The extraordinary voices of the cast (all on book) on March 5 kept the audience riveted as the songs and story unfolded. Seems that the title song has the family wishing that Marty were the groom, as Murray Steinberg (Rebecca’s dad, Chip Zien), Marty and Judy, along with comical Aunt Sheila – Anne L. Nathan, and Uncle Morty – Adam Heller) weigh in. The caterer, Albert, the always irresistible Edward Hibbert, keeps the mayhem flying as does the groom’s imbibing mother Georgette Howard (Gina Ferrall, originally played on Broadway by Harriet Harris) in an all too truthful “Where Did I Go Wrong.” Jabs fly between Mrs. Steinberg and Mrs. Howard in some very humorous scenes, the wedding takes place and as the reception begins the secret is no secret anymore . . . Rebecca and her best friend Annie (the fabulous Montego Glover) are lovers and Brian and his best man and friend Greg Madison (the amusing Nick Spangler) are also lovers. And . . . Rebecca is pregnant!
Finally, Jenny is tired of being pushed around in this new reveal as she soars on “Jenny’s Blues” and, as it’s supposed to be, all ends happily (with many of humanities glitches) as Jenny and Marty reunite as former childhood sweethearts. Ah, yes, love is all around in its various forms – – “That’s Family!”
Hosted and narrated by the show’s original Broadway director, David Hyde Pierce, the impeccable cast is rounded out with Mitch Greenburg playing Brian’s dad George Howard (originally played on Broadway by Martin X. Martin).
Music Director: Paul Masse; Michael Blanco on bass, Kory Grossman on drums, Chris Reza on reeds, Laura Bontrager on cello; orchestrations by Doug Besterman.