Issaquah and Everett, Wash. – Village Theatre is excited to announce the opening of the new musical comedy, It Shoulda Been You, the second new musical production in its 2011-2012 Mainstage Season, written by Brian Hargrove and Barbara Anselmi. The musical previews on Wednesday, March 14; opening night (media night) is Thursday, March 15.
It Shoulda Been You brought the house down with laughter from Village Originals audience members at the 10th Annual Festival of New Musicals reading in 2010. This past fall, the show had an extremely well received run, directed by Hargrove’s husband, David Hyde Pierce (best known for his Emmy Award-winning role as Niles on the TV show, "Frasier") in New Jersey at the George Street Playhouse. TalkinBroadway.com reported “George Street Playhouse does have an audience pleasing hit on its hands” and The Star Ledger wrote, “Shoulda should be a smash on Broadway.” Prior to these more recent appearances, the show made its New York City debut with the National Alliance for Musical Theatre’s 21st Annual Festival of New Musicals in 2009.
“This is a story that has been told before, in the sense that there have been a lot of stories about weddings that have come before it,” librettist and lyricist Hargrove commented. “What we are trying to do is look at a situation that people have pre-conceived ideas of—they are looking at characters that are almost stereotypical, like the Jewish and Catholic mothers. 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.”
Hargrove has written extensively for television, including work for “Dave’s World,” “Caroline in the City,” “Holding the Baby,” and “Maggie.” He co-created the show “Titus,” which ran for over three years on Fox, where he also executive produced “Wanda at Large.” He created the sitcom “Nora” for TBS, and wrote the book “My Life as a Dog” a mock-ography of Moose, the dog that played Eddie on "Frasier" - which he later turned into a television movie for NBC. He also co-wrote a new narration for Camille Saint-Saëns’ “Carnivale of the Animals” performed at the Hollywood Bowl.
His co-author, composer Barbara Anselmi is also the composer of The Orphan Train (book and lyrics by Susan Nanus published by Samuel French) and a member of the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theater Workshop (advanced) where she worked on It Shoulda Been You. Barbara developed the concept for It Shoulda Been You and along her writing journey, teamed up with Hargrove to fully develop the story. She was a proud participant in the York Theater's NEO 2 concert, The Songwriter's Showcase for NAMT, Monday Night New Voices and Musical Mondays. In addition, her music has been performed in New York and throughout the country. Her song "All Join Together" was picked as the title song for a CD that raised over $40,000 for the New York Times 9/11 Fund. She has a number of New York-based director credits to her name including Piece the musical (workshop at The Duke) and The Audience (Transport Group, Drama Desk Nominee Best New Musical).
Director Jon Kretzu comes to Village Theatre from Portland, Oregon’s Artists Repertory Theatre, where he fills the role of Associate Artistic Director. At Artist Rep he has directed over 40 productions including Richard Kramer's The Cherry Orchard, Tracy Letts’ Three Sisters, Marc Acito and C.S Whitcomb’s Holidazed, and many more. “It Shoulda Been You is the first premiere musical that I've worked on, though I have directed many new works and been through the development process,” Kretzu commented. “Working on this show is a thrill! It’s not often you get to work with the playwright—who happens to be an old, dear friend of mine—and it’s like working with God's younger brother. We can make slight adjustments and tweaks during the rehearsal process based on what we are getting from our terrific actors. It’s been a really fun and stimulating process so far—how exciting opening night will be!”
The Issaquah and Everett run of It Shoulda Been You mark the West Coast Premiere of this new musical and are fully produced by Village Theatre.
Full Cast List: Kat Ramsburg (Little Women; Festival, It Shoulda Been You); Leslie Law (Take Me America, 42nd Street); Mara Solar (42nd Street); John Dewar (Iron Curtain); Josh Carter (The Gypsy King); Timothy Wilson; Jayne Muirhead (The Importance of Being Earnest); John Patrick Lowrie (The Gypsy King); Dennis Bateman (Anne of Green Gables); Aaron C. Finley (Jesus Christ Superstar); Diana Huey (Take Me America); John David Scott (Anne of Green Gables); Angie Louise (Damn Yankees).
Production Team: It Shoulda Been You is directed by Jon Kretzu (Festival reading of It Shoulda Been You); music directed by Tim Symons (Jesus Christ Superstar); scenic design by Carey Wong (AIDA); lighting design by Don Crossley; costume design by Melanie Burgess (Sleuth, 42nd Street); sound design by Brent Warwick (Annie Get Your Gun).