Wednesday, April 25, 2012

"Nice Work If You Can Get It" Opens on Broadway

The Broadway production of Nice Work If You Can Get It has opened on Broadway and the reviews are in. The show has received generally favorable, but not extatic, reviews. The show stars Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick, has a Gershwin Brothers' score, recycled from past shows, and a new book by Joe DiPietro. According to Variety Magazine's Steven Suskin, the show is about "a dissipated playboy (Broderick) who falls for a distaff bootlegger (O'Hara), who illicitly commandeers his Long Island mansion to store her illegal hooch. Comic misunderstandings ensue and eventually resolve into four or five sets of happy lovers, plus lots of dancing."

Suskin was generally happy with the show, except for its leading man, Mr. Broderick (of Ferris Bueller's Day Off fame).  His review said, "The newly manufactured 1920s-set musical crams vintage Gershwin songs into a bubble crowdpleaser, enchantignly rendered by thesps Kelli O'Hara, Michael McGrath, and Judy Kaye. Mix in staging and choreography by Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes) and a cheerfully screwball if somewhat creaky new book by Joe DiPietro, and you've got what might be termed a good new old-fashioned musical. If only its likable, hard-working leading man --a miscast Matthew Broderick -- didn't seem to be painfully concentrating on his next step, all night long."

Ben Brantley of the New York Times had something similar to say.  "Every now and then, a bubble of pute, tickling charm rises from the artificial froth of Nice Work If You Can Get It, the pastiche of a 1920s musical featuring songs by George and Ira Gershwin. Most of this show, which opened Tuesday night at the Imperial Theatre, registers as a shiny, dutiful trickle of jokes and dance numbers performed by talented people who don't entirely connect with the whimsy of a bygone genre. But then, all at once, there's  a moment of delicate ridiculousness, of utterly credible improbability, that signals what Kathleen Marshall, the production's director and choreographer, must have been aiming for."

Given how late in the season this show opened, it has a decent shot at some Tony nominations, particularly given the fact that it received 9 nominations from the Outer Critics Circle the other day, but I will have to figure out in what categories I think that will be.

1 comment:

  1. I've seen the show twice already, once in previews and regardless of what some of the "elite" critics say (who over think everything) this show is a big time crowd pleaser. It's a fun show with great music, great singing and terrific dancing. Broderick is perfect as the nebish playboy and Kelli O'Hara is a jewel. From top to bottom the cast is strong and talented with an ensemble which will knock your socks off. In these troubled times what's better than just great entertainment. Go see it and have a good time!