‘It Shoulda Been You’ turns stereotypes upside-down

  • Wed Apr 25th, 2012 3:50pm
  • Life

By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer

This is one of those shows where you are sitting in your theater seat thinking, “This is pleasant enough. The music is nice and there are some funny lines, but it’s not all that deep.”

“Well, that’s OK,” you keep thinking to yourself, “The acting is great, the voices are outstanding and it’s entertaining.”

Then all of a sudden. Wham. Everything changes and it seems the whole audience has gasped in unison.

What just happened? You are not sure but you know one thing: Act II is going to be wild.

Such is the new Village Theatre musical comedy “It Shoulda Been You” opening tonight at Everett Performing Arts Center.

This new mainstage production has it all: spot-on singing, hilarious dialogue, Village Theatre favorites and a story line written by Brian Hargrove, with music by Barbara Anselmi.

You will know Hargrove’s talent once his resume reveals many television hits including “Caroline in the City,” “Dave’s World” and the sitcom “Nora.” He also wrote the book that later became a television movie “My Life as a Dog,” about Moose, the dog who played Eddie on “Frasier.”

Anselmi, as co-author and composer, also composed “The Orphan Train.”

The show is directed by Jon Kretzu.

Hargrove said the story of this musical is not original because, of course, there have been many stories about weddings.

But what “It Shoulda Been You” is trying to do is turn on its head the idea of pre-conceived notions.

“They are looking at characters that are almost stereotypical, like the Jewish and Catholic mothers,” Hargrove said in a prepared statement.

“What we want the audience to do is think that they are watching stereotypical characters, and then have those characters react in ways that the audiences are not at all expecting, so we’re then breaking the expectations and breaking stereotypes.”

The mothers are classically hilarious in this show with the powerhouse Leslie Law playing Jewish mother Judy Steinberg and the wonderfully dry-as-a-martini Jayne Muirhead as the Catholic mom, Georgette Howard.

Both are firebrands in their own way as they are forced to make nice on their children’s wedding day.

But, as things go in comedy, the day begins to unravel as ex-boyfriend Marty — played with solid charm by Josh Carter — appears, starting the fall of one domino after another.

The sister of the bride is left to put the pieces back together, though she has her hands full with her own “stuff.”

Kat Ramsburg was stunning as the sister of the bride, bringing tears with her moving solos and belly laughs with her one-liners.

“It Shoulda Been You” opens at 8 tonight at Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett. Shows are 8 p.m. Wednesdays through Saturdays, 2 p.m. Saturdays and Sundays and 7 p.m. Sundays through May 20.

Tickets are $20 to $56. Call 425-257-8600 or go to villagetheatre.org.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.