The AndyGram

Tuesday, Jul 29th

You are here: Home Theatre Reviews & Features 2011-12 Reviews Broadway Review: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT
Wednesday, 23 May 2012 20:51

Broadway Review: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT

Written by 
Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick Photo: Joan Marcus
Nice Work If You Can Get It, the latest "new" musical with music derived from the trunk of the brothers Gershwin, George and Ira,  is a standout among this season's musical entries; nothing beats it for sheer unadulterated escapism.   It also happens to sport two of the funniest performances of the season, they are from Michael McGrath and Judy Kaye, both nominated for Tony Awards for their performances (my prediction is that both will win.)   He’s a booze running gangster with a tinge of Three Stooges.  She’s a staunch prohibitionist (à la Carrie Nation), that is until she inadvertently becomes inebriated and swings from the chandelier, I mean literally.  It will have you rolling in the aisle.

Under the steady and artful hand of director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall, this musical keeps you laughing and tapping your toe. The witty book is by Joe DiPietro (with a little inspiration from Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse) who is also a Tony nominee this year. The show in general could have 10-15 minutes cut fromt it; at two hours and forty minutes, it's a tad long.

Nice Work If You Can Get It stars Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara as a rich tycoon and an unlikely bootlegger who find love together.  Broderick gives a performance as Jimmy that uses his stock-in-trade, boyish charm with a hint of sad-sack mama's boy.  He's light on his feet but I wouldn't call his performance snappy.   His movement is inhibited by his damp-blanket character.  I’m also comparing, and probably unfairly so, his performance to Tommy Tune's performance from another Gershwin composite musical of almost thirty years ago, My One and Only (on which "yours truly" worked as the stage door manager for a week in 1983.)  Tune had a sparkle that Broderick’s character doesn’t have, particularly when he danced.    

Ms. O'Hara's "Billie" is charming  and her vocals are gorgeous.  Whether its the torch song "Someone to Watch Over Me" or the lilting "Hangin' Around With You," Ms. O'Hara rendered them beautifully.  She plays well off Broderick and their dancing together is flawless. She has been nominated for a Tony Award for her performance.  I simply adore her.

The evening I saw the performance, Estelle Parsons who plays Jimmy’s domineering mother was not in the show.  Her understudy, Jennifer Smith, admirably went on in her stead.

Derek McClane's set is simple and elegant.  The costume design by Martin Packledinaz is simply stunning and deserves the Tony Award nomination it got.  Peter Kaczorowski (one of my favorite lighting designers) smartly enhances McClane's and Packledinaz's work.  

If those aren't enough reasons to go see this good time musical, did I happen to mention that it has an orchestra with nearly 20 members (ah how I long for the days of the 35-piece orchestra).  Arranged by, and under the musical supervision of David Chase, these Gershwin songs have new life in them.  

If you live outside of New York and are feeling bad about not being able to get to New York to see it, rest easy.  The show will be headed out on a national tour in the fall of 2013.  There is also a cast album coming.

Last modified on Thursday, 24 May 2012 12:29

Media

Now Playing On Broadway

More... Pippin    

Pippin

Royal heir Pippin is spurred on by a mysterious group of performers to embark on a death-defying journey to find his “corner of the sky.”  The original production of PIPPIN,…

More...
More... Jersey Boys    

Jersey Boys

Jersey Boys tells the rags-to-riches story of one of the greatest successes in pop music history. Go behind the music of Frankie Valli & the Four Seasons, and meet four…

More...
More... Rocky    

Rocky

Somewhere in downtown Philadelphia, a down-and-out fighter named Rocky Balboa struggles to stay on his feet. But when the chance of a lifetime comes along, he takes his best shot…

More...
More... Bullets Over Broadway    

Bullets Over Broadway

Bullets Over Broadway tells the story of an aspiring young playwright (Zach Braff) newly arrived on Broadway in 1920’s New York who is forced to cast a mobster's (Vincent Pastore)…

More...
More... All the Way    

All the Way

1963. An assassin’s bullet catapults Lyndon Baines Johnson into the presidency. A Shakespearean figure of towering ambition and appetite, the charismatic, conflicted Texan hurls himself into Civil Rights legislation, throwing…

More...
More... After Midnight    

After Midnight

The evocative new musical After Midnight will take the sexy, smoky glamour of the original Jazz Age and catapult it into a whole new era of heart-pounding, mind-blowing entertainment for…

More...
More... Act One    

Act One

Lincoln Center Theatre presents James Lapine directing his own adaptation of Moss Hart's classic autobiography which eloquently chronicles the playwright/director's impoverished childhood and his determined struggle to escape poverty and…

More...
More... Wicked    

Wicked

Wicked tells the incredible untold story of anunlikely friendship between two girls who first meet as Sorcery Students at Shiz University: the blonde and very popular Glinda and a misunderstood…

More...
More... Book of Mormon, The    

Book of Mormon, The

The Book of Mormon tells the story of two young Mormon missionaries sent off to spread the word in a dangerous part of Uganda. Their tale is told alongside the…

More...
More... Once    

Once

On the streets of Dublin, an Irish musician (Guy) and a Czech immigrant (Girl) are drawn together by their shared love of music. Over the course of one fateful week,…

More...
More... Rock of Ages (at Helen Hayes)    

Rock of Ages (at Helen Hayes)

In 1987 on the Sunset Strip, a small-town girl met a big-city rocker, and in L.A.’s most famous rock club, they fell in love to the greatest songs of the…

More...
More... Cabaret    

Cabaret

Based on Christopher Isherwood's The Berlin Stories, the musical is the story of Cliff, an American writer who comes to Berlin at the dawn of the Hitler era. He falls…

More...
More... Matilda The Musical    

Matilda The Musical

MATILDA is the story of an extraordinary little girl who decides that despite a bad beginning filled with rotten parents, a terrifying school and a vicious head mistress, her story is…

More...
More... A Night with Janice Joplin    

A Night with Janice Joplin

  Like a comet that burns far too brightly to last, Janis Joplin (Mary Bridget Davies) exploded onto the music scene in 1967 for three incredible years, reigning as the…

More...
More... Lion King    

Lion King

Julie Taymor's acclaimed staging of the Disney animated film has been hailed as a Broadway landmark. The story focuses on a young lion cub's personal journey toward his destiny as…

More...
More... Realistic Joneses, The    

Realistic Joneses, The

What do you really know about your neighbors? Toni Collette, Michael C. Hall, Tracy Letts and Marisa Tomei invite you to find out. Hailed by the New York Times as…

More...
More... Beautiful - The Carole King Musical    

Beautiful - The Carole King Musical

Beautiful tells the inspiring true story of Carole King’s remarkable rise to stardom from being part of a chart-topping songwriting team with her husband Gerry Goffin, to her relationship with…

More...
More... Newsies    

Newsies

Set in New York City at the turn of the century, Newsies is the rousing tale of Jack Kelly, a charismatic newsboy and leader of a ragged band of teenaged…

More...
More... A Raisin in the Sun    

A Raisin in the Sun

Set on Chicago’s South Side, A Raisin in the Sun revolves around the divergent dreams and conflicts within three generations of the Younger family: son Walter Lee (Denzel Washington), his…

More...
More... Kinky Boots    

Kinky Boots

Charlie Price has suddenly inherited his father’s shoe factory, which is on the verge of bankruptcy. Trying to live up to his father’s legacy and save his family business, Charlie…

More...
More... Chicago    

Chicago

Set amidst the razzle-dazzle decadence of the 1920s, CHICAGO is the story of Roxie Hart, a housewife and nightclub dancer who murders her lover after he threatens to walk out…

More...
More... A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder    

A Gentleman's Guide to Love and Murder

When Monty Navarro, a disinherited relative of the rich and powerful D’Ysquith clan, learns he’s ninth in line to inherit the earldom, he sets out to secure his future by,…

More...
More... Violet    

Violet

Two-time Tony Award® winner Sutton Foster returns to Roundabout in the highly anticipated Broadway debut of the musical Violet, following the acclaimed concert performance at City Center Encores! Off-Center. Winner…

More...
More... Mamma Mia!    

Mamma Mia!

The infectious music of ABBA provides the framework for a romp through the preparations of an unusual wedding.

More...
More... Cinderella, Rodgers and Hammerstein's    

Cinderella, Rodgers and Hammerstein's

Rodgers & Hammerstein classic television production premieres on Broadway this spring.  It adds songs from the duo's catalog and adds a new twist to an old tale! Songs include “In…

More...
More... If / Then    

If / Then

On the verge of turning 40, Elizabeth moves back to New York City, the ultimate city of possibility, intent on a fresh start - new home, new friends, and hopes…

More...
More... Phantom of the Opera, The    

Phantom of the Opera, The

Andrew Lloyd Webber's smash musicalization of the Gaston Leroux novel won the 1988 Tony Award for Best Musical and is now the longest-running show in Broadway history.

More...
More... Motown: The Musical    

Motown: The Musical

Motown: The Musical is the real story of the one-of-a-kind sound that hit the airwaves in 1959 and changed our culture forever. This exhilarating show charts Motown Founder Berry Gordy's…

More...
Frontpage Slideshow | Copyright © 2006-2012 JoomlaWorks Ltd.