It Had To Be You! | Performing Arts Review | Chicago Reader

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It Had To Be You!



IT HAD TO BE YOU!, North Shore Center for the Performing Arts. This dopey romantic comedy pits a batty B-movie actress against a semisuccessful producer of TV commercials. She wants him to marry her and make her a successful playwright, so she keeps him in her apartment; he wants to leave for a date with his supermodel girlfriend.

Renee Taylor and Joseph Bologna, who play the leads, are real-life spouses who wrote the script themselves, so it's surprising that onstage they have so little chemistry and so little tenderness for each other. Though Taylor ekes out laughter with her wryly depressing monologues and Bologna's baffled reactions to Taylor's escalating craziness are amusing, for the most part the actors seem trapped in sludge as they sling stale insults back and forth.

Maybe they've been doing this shtick too long: the couple starred in both the 1981 Broadway version of the play and in the 1989 movie. Supposedly the jokes have been updated, but they don't give the script much of a lift. And the sudden bathos in the second act seems to belong to a different--but no better--show.

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