Co-written by Taylor and Bologna, this is the story of Theda Blau (Taylor), a struggling second-rate (B) movie actress and wannabe playwright desperately seeking love and success in New York. Vito Pignoli (Bologna) is a super successful television commercial producer. Theda meets Vito by auditioning for him and then convinces him to become her partner in dramaturgy and marriage...by holding him hostage in her apartment on a snowy Christmas Eve.
As is the case with all of Taylor and Bologna’s collaborations, It Had To Be You! is loosely based on autobiographical experiences. Packed with quirky, surrealistic turns, this work refers to the initial encounter between the two performers: Taylor first caught sight of Bologna in 1965 and thought, "It had to be you!" The romance one of the most enduring in the industry started right there. Within a year the couple was married on the Merv Griffin Show, and they have been together ever since.
Taylor is probably best known for her role playing Fran Drescher’s saucy mother in The Nanny TV series. Her portrayal of "Sylvia Fine" earned her an Emmy nomination for "Best Supporting Actress in a Comedy Series."
Bologna has appeared in box office hits like "My Favorite Year," "The Woman in Red" and "Blame It On Rio." They are show business pros that have not only thrived through their stormy relationship, but also have turned it into theatrical gold. They are masters of the non sequitur and deadpan delivery a la vintage Nichols & May and Desi & Lucy -- with a charismatic comic connection that endures.
First staged on Broadway in 1981, "It Had To Be You!" garnered rave reviews from New York critics. Liz Smith exclaimed, "Audiences fell out of their seats laughing!" Dennis Cunningham of WCBS TV called it "A comic miracle of non-stop laughter!" Clive Barnes of the New York Post said, "I love it! Sweet, funny and sassy!"
The reprise, updated this past winter by Taylor and Bologna, is as endearing as the original, but depicts older characters with experience i.e. more lifetime absurdity and poignancy from which to draw.
It Had To Be You! is a definite ticket for rapid-fire fun with the broadly comic, sweetly devilish Taylor and Bologna.