It Shoulda Been You
Broadway's wild musical farce with blushing brides, nervous grooms, overbearing moms, unexpected guests and plenty of crazy twists and turns.
Show Essentials

Full Synopsis

"Prologue" Early morning, St. George Hotel on New York City's Upper East Side. Jenny Steinberg appears to be a bride, sitting alone in front of a mirror, wearing a wedding veil. She examines items on the vanity in front of her while insisting "I Never Wanted This!"

The members of the Steinberg/Howard wedding party and the St. George Hotel staff begin preparations for the wedding that's happening on "This Day." Rebecca starts to have a meltdown when she gets a smudge on her wedding dress. Jenny assures her that it's all going to be "Perfect."

Marty Kaufman, the bride's ex-boyfriend, shows up at the hotel, looking for Rebecca but running into her parents. Instead of being angry at him for showing up uninvited, they say, "It Shoulda Been You," and encourage him to win Rebecca back.

Marty begs Jenny to just let him talk to Rebecca. He even tries to guilt her into it by reminding her "Who" used to be her best friend when they were growing up together.

Marty overhears George's attempts to bond with Brian by confessing that he wished he had been friends with his own father "Back in the Day." Once they bond, George hands Brian a prenup. Marty runs off to tell Rebecca about the prenup, hoping that it will convince her to call off the wedding.

Judy has invited Georgette to have her hair done with "us girls" at the Hotel's Hair Salon, so that she can "lay the groundwork of their future relationship." When Jenny finds out what her mother has planned, she warns her that she better be nice. Judy assures them that she'll be nice... the best she can. Jenny insists that Judy be nice Georgette's way, or they will never forgive her. Judy agrees, but we soon find out just how much it costs her to be "Nice."

Marty runs into the salon and tells Rebecca about the prenup. Georgette swears to Judy that she didn't know anything about the prenup, but Judy doesn'tbelieve her. The battle lines are drawn, and Jenny can do nothing but watch as the wedding into which she put her heart and soul falls apart. Now, it's "Albert's Turn" to step in and fix it.

Brian stops by to check on his mother. While there, he lets her know that, if he ever achieves anything in this world, it will be because of her. He loves her. Georgette tells him that she loves him, too: "A mother couldn't ask for a more perfect son." But, when he leaves, she wonders "Where Did I Go Wrong?"

After Jenny overhears her mother making fun of her weight, she longs for someone to tell her that she is "Beautiful." After they tie the knot, Brian and Rebecca burst into their private room, the Chedar Yichud, relieved that the ceremony was "A Perfect Ending" to all of the mishegas. Members of the wedding party enter different areas of the hotel and share their own feelings about what's happened so far, as Greg and Annie sneak into Brian and Rebecca's room for a little private celebration of their own. When Jenny and Albert walk in on Brian kissing Greg and Rebecca kissing Annie – long, loving, sexy kisses, the kind that make straight people squirm – Jenny drops the tray holding the champagne glasses. Albert and Jenny agree not to say anything, and everyone heads into the reception, where Greg and Annie perform "Love You Till the Day," a song they'd written earlier for Brian and Rebecca. When Judy asks Jenny to make sure the photographer takes a picture of Rebecca dancing with their father, Jenny says no and leaves the reception. Judy follows, wondering why Jenny won't do that little thing for her sister. And that's it. Jenny can't take it anymore and unleashes "Jenny's Blues."

Judy asks Marty to check on Jenny because she's acting so strangely. Jenny grabs Marty and kisses him full on the lips – a long, loving, sexy kiss, the kind that makes gay people squirm. Jenny pulls back, realizes what she's done, screams and runs into the ladies room, ultimately hiding in a stall when Marty follows her. Jenny thinks Marty is still in love with Rebecca, so when Marty blurts out that Rebecca's gay, Jenny is confused. It's always been Marty and Rebecca/Rebecca and Marty. Marty reminds her that "before you went away to college, it was me and you." Jenny scoffs that he was never in love with her. Marty says that, no, he was never in love with Rebecca. Jenny wants to know what he means by that. He wants to know what she meant by kissing him earlier. She says that she meant, "Whatever," then runs back into the stall and locks the door. Marty tells her what he hopes "Whatever" means, and she comes out of the stall. Marty and Jenny start kissing for real, but are interrupted by Albert, who comes in to tell them that he thought they'd like to know that Rebecca is about to tell her parents that she's gay. After they all run out, Aunt Sheila pops her head up out of another stall, delighted to have found out that Rebecca is a lesbian. Walt pops up next to her, hoping that they can finish "Whatever," because he's got tables to bus.

Rebecca tries to explain why she didn't tell people that she was gay before, and why, if she doesn't tell them now, she'll be "A Little Bit Less Than." For Brian's sake, Rebecca decided to wait on telling her parents, but Aunt Sheila lets the cat out of the bag. Once their plot is revealed, it appears that the wedding is over until Marty proposes to Jenny, whom he has loved since he was six years old. Jenny loves him, too, but says no, this is not the way it's supposed to happen. Judy says here's "What They Never Tell You" – when it comes to love, there's no such thing as "supposed to." Jenny says yes to Marty, and the four lovers, so moved by Judy's speech, decide that they want to get married, too.

As they run off to discuss the details with Albert, the four parents wonder what the hell just happened. Oh, wait, no, they don't, "That's Family." Everyone gathers to watch as Jenny enters, looking radiant in her new wedding dress. Judy tells Jenny that she looks "Beautiful," and Marty wholeheartedly agrees.As they head down the aisle, Jenny pauses to say "I always wanted this." ("Finale").



Cast Size: Medium (11 to 20 performers)
Cast Type: Ensemble Cast
Dance Requirements: None

Character Breakdown

Wedding planner.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 55
Annie Sheps
African-American, co-maid of honor.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 30
Brian Howard
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 30
George Howard
Father of the groom.
Gender: male
Age: 50 to 65
Georgette Howard
Mother of the groom.
Gender: female
Age: 50 to 65
Greg Madison
Best man.
Gender: male
Age: 25 to 30
Jenny Steinberg
Co-maid of honor and bride's older sister.
Gender: female
Age: 30 to 35
Judy Steinberg
Mother of the bride.
Gender: female
Age: 55 to 65
Marty Kaufman
Bride's ex-boyfriend.
Gender: male
Age: 30 to 35
Mimsy/aunt Sheila
Waiter & bride's aunt.
Gender: female
Age: 45 to 55
Murray Steinberg
Father of the bride.
Gender: male
Age: 55 to 65
Rebecca Steinberg
The bride.
Gender: female
Age: 25 to 30
Walt/uncle Morty
Waiter & bride's uncle.
Gender: male
Age: 45 to 55
Full Song List
It Shoulda Been You: Prologue
It Shoulda Been You: I Never Wanted This
It Shoulda Been You: This Day (Opening)
It Shoulda Been You: Perfect
It Shoulda Been You: It Shoulda Been You
It Shoulda Been You: Who
It Shoulda Been You: Back in the Day
It Shoulda Been You: Nice
It Shoulda Been You: Albert's Turn
It Shoulda Been You: Where Did I Go Wrong?
It Shoulda Been You: Beautiful
It Shoulda Been You: A Perfect Ending
It Shoulda Been You: Love You Till the Day
It Shoulda Been You: Jenny's Blues
It Shoulda Been You: Whatever
It Shoulda Been You: A Little Bit Less Than
It Shoulda Been You: What They Never Tell You
It Shoulda Been You: That's Family
It Shoulda Been You: Finale

Show History


It Shoulda Been You, with book and lyrics by Brian Hargrove and music by Barbara Anselmi, invites you to all of the the mayhem and insanity surrounding the nuptials that bring together two very different families.

Composer, Barbara Anselmi, found some inspiration for It Shoulda Been You while attending an actual wedding of a friend at the Crystal Palace in Livingston, NJ. The show was then developed from a song that Anselmi presented at the BMI Lehman Engel Musical Theatre Workshop in New York City.


It Shoulda Been You was first staged in 2011 at the George Street Playhouse in New Brunswick, NJ. It opened on October 4 and ran through November 4. Directed by David Hyde Pierce, the original production starred Tyne Daly, Lisa Howard and Harriet Harris.

In 2012, the show was produced at the Village Theatre in Issaquah and Everett, WA. It ran from March 15 through May 20.

It Shoulda Been You officially opened on Broadway at the Brooks Atkinson Theatre on April 14, 2015. Among the celebrated cast were Tyne Daly, Harriet Harris, Sierra Boggess, Lisa Howard, Montego Glover and Chip Zien. It closed on August 9, 2015, after 21 previews and 135 performances.

Cultural Influence

  • Lisa Howard performed her character's show-stopping number, "Jenny's Blues," at the 69th Tony Awards Ceremony.
  • A cast recording for It Shoulda Been You was released by Ghostlight Records.
  • The cast of It Shoulda Been You performed on "The Today Show" in April 2015.

Critical Reaction

"...this Broadway season's freshest and funniest to date defies skepticism, both in its wacky humor and its big, buoyant heart."
– USA Today

"...the main reason to admire "Shoulda" is the frequency, quirkiness and heartiness of the laughs."
– Chicago Tribune



Based on a concept by Barbara Anselmi


You must give the authors/creators billing credits, as specified in the Production Contract, in a conspicuous manner on the first page of credits in all programs and on houseboards, displays and in all other advertising announcements of any kind.
Percentages listed indicate required type size in relation to title size.

Author Billing Block:

“You agree to bill the Play and the Authors whenever and wherever the title of the Play appears, including without limitation, in all programs (on the title pages), houseboards, and displays and in all advertising and all paid publicity, in the following manner:
Book and Lyrics 
Music and Concept
The following billing shall appear on the title page in all programs for the Play:
Origianlly Directed on Broadway by David Hyde Pierce
Orchestrations by Doug Besterman
Originally Produced on Broadway by 
Daryl Roth      Scott Landis
 Jane Bergère    Jayne Baron Sherman
Patty Baker   Broadway Across America   Clear Channel Spectacolor
 Gloken LLC    James L. Nederlander   John O’Boyle
Judith Ann Abrams/Jacki Barlia Florin
 Old Campus Productions/Ready to Play
Sara Beth Zivitz/Passero Productions
World Premiere production produced by 
George Street Playhouse September 2011 - David Saint, Artistic Director
 and was further developed and produced by Village Theatre, Issaquah, Washington
Robb Hunt, Executive Producer -  Steve Tomkins, Artistic Director
Presented at the National Alliance for Musical Theatre Festival of New Musicals in 2009.
The following credits must be included in program credits:
Additional lyrics by: Jill Abramovitz: “What They Never Tell You”; Michael Cooper: “I Never Wanted This”; Carla Rose Fisher: “Perfect”; Ernie Lijoi: “Beautiful”; Ernie Lijoi: “Love You Till the Day”; Will Randall: “It Shoulda Been You.”
Author Bio’s: You also agree to include the author Bio’s whenever  the bio’s of the creative team are included.   The author Bio’s can be found at
Shortened billing:
In advertisements of 1/4 page size or less, and online and mobile ads where in each case only the title of the play, performance dates and venue are provided and in outdoor advertising, transit and taxi ads and marquees where no other person is billed, the following “shortened billing” is permissible:

Video Warning

If you purchase a separate license to allow non-commercial video recording of this production, you must print the following in your program. ANY VIDEO RECORDING MADE OF THIS PERFORMANCE IS AUTHORIZED FOR PERSONAL, AT-HOME, NON-COMMERCIAL USE ONLY. THE SALE OR DISTRIBUTION OF SUCH RECORDING IS STRICTLY PROHIBITED UNDER FEDERAL COPYRIGHT LAW. If you do not purchase the separate license for video recording, you must print the following in your program. The videotaping or other video or audio recording of this production is strictly prohibited

Included Materials

ItemQuantity Included

Production Resources