While the show sports big names, many theatergoers will leave George Street raving about the lesser-known Lisa Howard. As the sister who never gets to play the lead in any wedding, Howard shows good humor, resilience and excellent self-esteem. On opening night, no one else who sang a solo got the titanic applause that she did with her second-act aria.
Leading the Pack
Leading the pack and carrying the show is the little-known Lisa Howard — a Drama Desk Award-winner for “The 25th Annual Putnam Valley Spelling Bee” — as sister of the bride. When she sings a song, it gets sung.
There are also several dynamic numbers for Jenny (a glorious Lisa Howard)… she opens the show with a sharp lament on the madness of weddings. Howard also gets to cut loose in the second act with a showstopper of a blues number.
A Showstopper of a Performer
The part of Jenny is played by a showstopper of a performer, Lisa Howard. She brought many members of the audience, albeit a friendly first night audience, to their feet with her knock-out number Jenny’s Blues. Lisa, Tyne (Daly) and Harriet (Harris) are the stars of the production, but, the supporting cast is terrific.
Stops the Show
Lisa Howard is terrific as Jenny, the musicalâ€™s central character. She plays the brideâ€™s overweight, unmarried older sister who deals rather commendably with her motherâ€™s insensitivity, and her real feelings about (sorry canâ€™t say). Howard, who won a Drama Desk award for her performance in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, has a powerful voice and lets out her frustrations and stops the show at the top of Act II with the searing â€œJennyâ€™s Blues.â€