Wedding day: The bride is Jewish, the groom is Catholic. Her monster mom is barking orders like a top sergeant. His mom is a lush holding tight to her mama’s boy. Sleights sting. Tantrums trigger. In sashays the bride’s jealous ex-boyfriend. Yikes!
Sounds like the stuff of Village Theatre musical comedy, don’t you think?
It is, it isn’t, and I am still making up my mind.
Village is written all over the first act. It is big, brisk, bright and bold; not entirely unpredictable, dotted with amusing highlights, polished, pleasant and complete.
The kicker comes in the final moment of the last scene of the first act, just before the curtain comes down. It is so out of nowhere, unprepared for and shocking to the nervous system you question yourself: Did I see what I think I saw?
From intermission on, believe me, love and marriage don’t go together like a horse and carriage. You are in ground-breaking territory.
Brian Hargrove’s “Book and Lyrics” are his own, smart and catchy with a touch yet to be perfected, and how could it be otherwise? We are talking about scooting a sensibility not yet there into mainstream musical comedy.
Also, Barbara Anselmi’s “Music” matches an upbeat pop feel to the forward-oriented concept involved. The effect is encouragement. Thanks to Anselmi, why not entertain the possibility doesn’t seem quite so farfetched.
In performance, Jon Kretzu’s directing is in flawless sync with the goings-on. The cast is one whole heck of a lot of fun. The Village treatment lives up to its sky-rocketing reputation.
Notice, please, there is nothing off-color about “It Shoulda Been You.” It is a new musical comedy with something to say. Village has high hopes for it, and so do I.
Reactions? Comments? Email Dale Burrows at firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com.
‘It Shoulda Been You’
WHEN: Through May 20
WHERE: Everett Performing Arts Center, 2710 Wetmore Ave., Everett
TICKETS: $38-$56 general, $32-$51 seniors, $22-$40 youth; available at 425-257-8600 or www.villagetheatre.org