Weddings are terrifying.

Sure, they’re glamorous and the bride always looks beautiful, but having extended families colliding with copious amounts of stress, alcohol and emotions is always going to be a recipe for disaster.

Luckily, in the case of It Shoulda Been You the disasters are hilarious.

The first show in the Chatswood Musical Society’s 2017 season, It Shoulda Been You is a new contemporary musical from Brian Hargrove and Barbara Anselmi. This production marks the Australian Premiere.

The play follows the wedding day preparations of the neurotic Steinbergs and the privileged Howards. Mother of the bride, Judy (Mannix), is working the sister-of-the-bride, Jenny (Angel) mercilessly to ensure that her more favoured daughter has the perfect wedding day. Meanwhile, George and Georgette Howard (Ayres and Saddington respectively) are plotting ways to stop their son from going ahead with the nuptials. Throw in an ex who comes to the wedding with a secret he’s been guarding for years and a twist that no one sees coming and you’ve got a recipe for a great theatrical outing.

The female cast members are great and carry the production. Angel, all doe eyes and heartfelt longing makes for a perfect Jenny while both Mannix and Ayres are hilariously brilliant in their roles as the warring mothers. Another standout is Atha Kastanias as the campy, all knowing and completely unfazed wedding planner Albert. Having ‘done it all’ in the wedding industry, the character comes to the rescue with a nonchalant wisdom that is amusingly at odds with the insanity of the extended families.

On opening night, there were sound issues throughout and pitch problems in the supporting cast as well as some clumsy choreography, but the punch lines are delivered with such great comedic timing that the show continues to be thoroughly enjoyable despite these minor flaws.

It’s really heartening to witness non-professional musical societies stepping outside of the comfort bubble that is musical theatre that audiences are already familiar. It can be risky, but Chatswood Musical Society has proven that it’s a risk that can really pay off.

★★★1/2 ☆☆

It Shoulda Been You is playing at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney until the 8th of April. More information and tickets can be found at https://www.chatswoodmusicalsociety.org/

Cast: Chloe Angel, Michaela Leisk, Jon Emmett, Dave Berry, Kate Mannix, Chapin Ayres, Dylan Hayley, Greg Thornton, Ken Goth, Michael Saddington, Atha Kastanias, Julia Brovedani, Graeme Halliday.

Creative Team: James Worner (Director), Natalya Aynsley (Musical Director), Natalie Neary (Choreographer).

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This Month in Sydney

Wednesday 29 November to Wednesday 20 December 2017

American Express Openair Cinema – Inner West Sydney

Inner Sydney

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American Express Openair Cinema is a quintessential outdoor event, with music by day and movies by night returning to Sydney’s Inner West, where the big screen is lit up at Sydney University’s Cadigal Green.
Once the sun sets, a mix of the latest and greatest releases light up the cinema under the stars for a truly memorable experience. In a joint bid to champion food waste prevention, American Express Openair Cinemas is teaming up with OzHarvest to present Soul Sundays, a Sunday session of delicious food sampling, trivia, music and games for all the family. AUD3 donation from each ticket purchased will provide six meals to those in need.
Better yet, anyone short of company is welcome to bring along their ‘Doggy Date’ to any screening!
World Master Pizza Making Champion, Youssef Touati from Salt Meats Cheese, will be flexing his credentials with pizza acrobatics before teaching guests how to toss dough like a pro, and the dedicated cocktail bar will serving a refreshing twist on summer classics, Frosé, Aperol Spritz, 4Pines craft beer and Giesen Wine as well as cinema favourites ice cream and popcorn.