BWW Review: IT SHOULDA BEEN YOU at Smithtown Center For The Performing Arts
You're a guest at the riotous wedding of Rebecca Steinberg and Brian Howard in Smithtown Center For The Performing Arts' fantastic musical production "It Shoulda Been You." Family squabble, friendly foolery, and shocking surprises are all present in this delightful show that revolves around a young couple on their wedding day. This Long Island premiere has a book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove with music by Barbara Anselmi. Michael Cooper, Will Randall, Carla Rose Fisher, Ernie Lijo, and Jill Abramovitz also contributed to the lyrics.
"It Shoulda Been You" features a fabulous ensemble of multitalented actors lead by the great Katie Hoffman who gives a powerhouse performance as the sister of the bride. Her emotional portrayal of Jenny Steinberg is over the top. She is absolutely brilliant and has the audience rooting for her the entire way. Ms. Hoffman serves as the voice of reason as she juggles her pesty family, stays supportive yet nonjudgmental, and tries to make the best out of her sister's big day.
Katie Ferretti and Joey Mele are terrific as the bride and groom to be. The meddling and nagging parents we all love to hate are played hysterically by Emily Nadler and Joe Morris as the Steinbergs and Anne-Marie Finnie and Mark T. Cahill as the Howards. Ms. Nadler is just perfect and Ms. Finnie, who had the audience in stitches the last time I saw her in "White Christmas," gives yet another stellar performance. The wonderful gentleman support their wives leading to great chemistry throughout.
Alicia Bagley and Bobby Peterson play close friends to the bride and groom. They start out as supporting characters until things heat up after intermission when then they finally let loose. Ms. Bagley sings beautifully and whether he's the lead or a supporting character, Mr. Peterson is always amazing in every show he's in. Ex-boyfriend Marty Kaufman, played by an excellent Scott Johnston, also makes a guest appearance at the wedding and sticks around. A charming Mark Decaterina as the wedding planner keeps things moving along along with Jodi Saladino and Carl Tese who play multiple roles throughout the show. Ms. Saladino's Aunt Sheila is the real troublemaker here and she relishes in the mind-blowing events that transpire.
"It Shoulda Been You" played a brief run on Broadway in 2015 and certainly should have played a lot longer. This premiere was not only an enchanting night in the theater but also showcased Long Island's grandest performers doing what they love to do. This is one of those musicals you highly recommend to all of your friends but make sure you don't tell them too much. Let them discover for themselves a magnificent production of an old-fashioned musical that keeps the audience in big suspense with huge smiles.
Book and Lyrics by Brian Hargrove, Music by Barbara Anselmi, Additional Lyrics by Michael Cooper, Will Randall, Carla Rose Fisher, Ernie Lijo and Jill Abramovitz, Based on a concept by Barbara Anselmi
Starring: Katie Ferretti as Rebecca Steinberg, Katie Hoffman as Jenny Steinberg, Emily Nadler as Judy Steinberg, Joe Morris as Murray Steinberg, Joey Mele as Brian Howard, Anne-Marie Finnie as Georgette Howard, Mark T. Cahill as George Howard, Alicia Bagley as Annie Shepard, Bobby Peterson as Greg Madison, Scott Johnston as Marty Kaufman, Mark Decaterina as Albert, Jodi Saladino as Aunt Sheila/Mimsy and Carl Tese as Uncle Morty/Walt.
For more information about It Shoulda Been You and Smithtown Center For The Performing Arts please visit: www.smithtownpac.org or call: (631)-724-3700