Baby It’s You (showing at the Broadhurst Theater until September 4th) is a based on the true story of Florence Greenberg, creator of Sceptre Records and founder of The Shirelles – a 1960s American girl group (first to have a number one single on the Billboards Hot 100).
The story opens with Florence, a mother and housewife in New Jersey who wants to get into the music business. With help from a family friend – and much protesting from her husband – she starts Tiara Records with a four girl group her daughter, Mary Jane, found at school called the Shirelles.
The story continues, following Florence’s climb in the music industry, from her selling Tiara Record and the Shirelles’s contract to Decca Records to her founding Scepter Record and taking the Shirelles to the top with the help of her partner, singer/songwriter/producer Luther Dixon. With hit songs like Tonight’s the Night, Dedicated to the One I Love and Soldier Boy, the Shirelles hit the Billboard charts and at the height of their fame, hit number one on the charts.
There were quite a few hard relationship stories in the play; Florence’s relationship with her children – pretty strained since she was hardly at home. Her relationship with the Shirelles – who her husband said she treats better than her own daughter – and her relationship with her partner Luther, a relationship that did not remain a professional one.
The music, in the beginning it was choppy, but as the the play moved along there were some really stirring numbers. I really loved the voices of the ladies that played the Shirelles, they sounded amazing together; different than the original group – I think a different sound altogether – but still very girl group-esque.
I absolutely LOVED the costumes! Florence had a lot of dress changes and I loved pretty much all her dresses. I also loved the A-line skirts that the Shirelles wore in the beginning of the play! So fun, I wonder where I can get skirts like those! A very 50s/60s wardrobe, it was easy to see some of the influences on present day fashion.
In the beginning they projected a jukebox on the screen so that image was stuck in my head when I saw the set and the on-stage band sitting on lit tiers reminded me of a jukebox. There were four screens that served as digital backdrops; everything had a 50s/60s feel to it; definitely a fun set. With the band on-stage the show felt more like a concert, which was great because during the bows they played a couple of popular tunes, much to the audience’s joy – especially that older gentleman in the front row shimmying with the cast.
Baby It’s You isn’t a show I’d typically chose to go to, so I was pleasantly surprised at how much I loved it. It’s too bad that September 4th is its last day! Thanks to my pal Evie for the cheap ticket!