Theater Review - Nice Work If You Can Get It (NY)

A new old-fashioned “ritzy” musical comedy featuring the luscious songs of George and Ira Gershwin with a Book by Joe DiPietro inspired by material by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse has danced its way into the Imperial Theatre on Broadway. When I say danced- Kathleen Marshall’s direction and choreography are so fantabulous, that they are difficult to describe. The pink bubble bath scene in the first act is worth the price of admission. Kathleen Marshall has won numerous awards, including all for her production of “Anything Goes”, still glittering on Broadway. This promises to win her a clutch more.

 

Matthew Broderick and Kelly O’Hara star in this light-hearted piece, which takes place in 1927 on Long Island. Broderick still retains a kind of naiveté on stage that is disarming. Surrounded by a bevy of beautiful girls, here, he is Jimmy Winter, a wealthy playboy—Is there any other kind? Along with his very pure singing voice, he works hard at dancing, but with some hesitation. Jimmy is getting ready to marry his fourth wife; a grown-up and mature act so his mother won’t disinherit him. Blond O’Hara, adored by all who saw her in ‘South Pacific”, is painfully thin, but sings and moves with total charm and confidence. She is Billie Bendix, a pretty young bootlegger, part of a gang of three, who bumps into Jimmy during a raid on a nightclub. They all collide again at Jimmy’s mother magnificent estate on Long Island. Designed by Derek McLane, with Peter Kaczarowski’s plummy lighting, it is the most beautiful set on Broadway today.

 

Here is where the featured players come on strong. One of the other bootleggers is the comedic reliable Michael McGrath; he gives the best performance as Cookie, who must act as if he is a butler. His scenes with marvelous Judy Kaye as Duchess Estonia Dulworth, who is a temperance fighter, are priceless. God love this woman who swings from a chandelier, while hitting a high G. Chris Sullivan as Duke and Robyn Hurder as Jeannie Muldoon are delicious when singing “Blah, Blah,Blah.” I remember the stunning Hurder well from the Off Broadway show, “Play It Cool.”

 

Terry Beaver, Estelle Parsons, and Jennifer Laura Thompson complete this talented cast.

“Nice Work If You Can Get It.”

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