Theatre Mirror Reviews - "It Had to Be You"

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"What Happened in Boston, Willie"


entire contents copyright 2004 by Tony Annicone

"It Had to Be You"

Reviewed by Tony Annicone

Granite Theatre's opening show of their 2004 season is Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna's comedy, "It Had To Be You". This two character show is about Theda Blau, a failed actress, a health food nut and would-be playwright who wants to find love and success in New York, and Vito Pignoli, a hugely successful TV commercial director. She convinces him to take her home after her disasterous audition for him and holds him hostage in her apartment on a snowy Christmas Eve. Theda somehow manages to convince him to be her partner both in dramatury and in marriage. The show is a roller coaster ride of merriment with some touching moments thrown in that will make this a most enjoyable evening at the theatre.

Directed by David Jepson who also stars in it with his real life wife, Beth, this is a tour de force performance by both of them. Beth starts off this show with enormous monologues and never wavers in her portrayal of this wacky, ditsy woman. Her character, Theda reminds you of Judy Holliday. Beth is a whirlwind on the stage throwing herself on the bed and around the room in a frenzy trying to convince Vito to help her write her play. Her poignant moment comes while Vito is on the phone with his son as her eyes fill with tears, the audience cries with her. After the show you will say what a crazy bitch Theda is but meaning it in the most complimentary way. David plays Vito who is calm at first but with the insanity of Theda becomes a frenzied, manic person trapped in her apartment. He handles this role wonderfully and he and Beth show great chemistry in these roles. David's searching for his clothes after they have sex and his critic of her Russian "comedy" are very funny. His phone conversation and final understanding of Theda's tragic life give some more touching moments for the audience to root for these two. Stage manager Arthur Pignataro keeps the show moving and the right props in the right places as Morgan Ban Draoi runs the many light and sound cues. So for a delightful evening of fun, be sure to catch "It Had to Be You" before time runs out.

"It Had to Be You" (12 March - 4 April)
GRANITE THEATRE
1 Granite Street, WESTERLY RI
1 (401) 596-2341 or www.granitetheatre.com

THE THEATER MIRROR, New England's LIVE Theater Guide

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