Okay, let’s make it three theatre postings out of the last four! I actually saw this one a month ago, but then got pretty sick (not from the show; coincidentally) and never had the time to post the review. But it’s not too late to see it now.


Geno Henderson, the best part of the show! Photo by Michael Lamont.

Geno Henderson, the best part of the show! Photo by Michael Lamont.

The first thing you need to know is that the opening night audience seemed to love it. (But, no joking around, they all seemed be somewhat older than I, so this music meant more to them, even though I used to listen to oldies stations almost exclusively and love these songs.) So, it really doesn’t matter that I was less than thrilled with the show. I’m actually surprised that it just didn’t cut it for me.

Baby It’s You! is the supposed true story of a New Jersey housewife in the ’50s who discovers, and forms a record label around, a group of girls at her teen-age daughter’s high school. They eventually became the group The Shirelles.  (The title of the play is the title of one of their biggest hits.) And it was a pretty interesting story.

But, I went home and researched the whole topic, (as I always do,) and according to very many sources, several key parts of the show we saw seemed to be somewhat fabricated. I hate that! I hate when movies, plays, television shows, are “based on a true story. But parts have been changed blah blah blah.” Either tell the whole real story or just make something up entirely! I think I’ll write a play about my life, only I’ll be married to Hugh Jackman!!! How about that?! (Hmmmmm.)

And, outside of Geno Henderson as several characters, including radio DJ Jocko and smooth singer Chuck Jackson, the performances weren’t great, especially Meeghan Holaway as Florence Greenberg, whose story this is. Her attempt at a Jersey accent was so distracting! And all her lines were delivered at the same level.

But on the positive side, the set looks so happy right as you walk into the Pasadena Playhouse auditorium that it puts you in a good mood from the beginning. And it’s all great music, even if most of the renditions are somewhat truncated. Audience members were singing along, including the tall man next to me, which I found to be a tad annoying, but they were all loving it, so I bucked-up and enjoyed then all enjoying their time there.

I’m sure this show will go on to Broadway and audiences will flock to it. And I’m glad I got to see it–it wasn’t a waste of time. But for me, it just needed to be so much better, in almost all categories (writing, directing, acting, even some of the singing.) I’m just about positive that my views are in the minority, though, so I’d suggest you see it in L.A. while it’s still here.

Baby It’s You! running through Dec. 20, 2009

Pasadena Playhouse   39 South El Molino Ave.   Pasadena   626-356-7529 


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