Broadway is about to have a smash hit on their hands. Last night, I was invited to dinner and the show, Baby It’s You, the story of The Shirelles. Naysayers, Lord knows there’s plenty of those in the theater community, will compare this show to Jersey Boys. The fact is, Baby It’s You is the story of an iconic female band from New Jersey, so surely is something there to that comparison. The similarities end there. Baby It’s You is the story of the woman, Florence Greenberg, a yenta from Passaic, and bored with only having a new big avocado refrigerator to keep her company all day, as her kids were grown. She wants a job in New York City and tries her hand in the music business. This is a poignant story of music, family, surrogate families, interracial romance, a major taboo at that time, and redemption. The music is great, the costumes as well, and the lead stars are bound for Tony nominations. They use the songs in ways that not only entertain the audience, but the lyrics have dual meaning and help tell the story. It’s really adorable.
Another great part of the evening was that I was with the producer of the show, Richard Perry, who I had not seen since he was just getting ready to workshop this show in Los Angeles. And now, after plenty of tweaking, this show is everything you want from a Broadway musical. You literally will be off your feet cheering. The other fierce portion of the evening was that we were with his girlfriend Jane Fonda, who is divine, and Carrie Fisher, who put the force in “May the force be with you“. A women came up to us in the restaurant and said, “Excuse me, but I must say, you are my two most favorite women; You inspire me. I am an actor and a writer and seeing the two of you together makes me feel like…like…like a gay man.” I added, “Oh, you icons, see what you do to people?” After the show, while waiting for the car, a man ran up to Jane and said, “I’m sorry to bother you, but my Barbarella scrapbook means the world to me.” Jane graciously replied, “Mine does too.”