NY1 Theater Review: "Nice Work If You Can Get It"
The Gershwin brothers are back on Broadway with the new catalog musical "Nice Work If You Can Get It". NY1's Roma Torre filed the following review.
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Musical theatre fans fondly recall "My One and Only" and "Crazy For You" decades ago - two shows which happily cracked open the great Gershwin Brothers songbook. Now comes yet another called "Nice Work If You Can Get It". And while it has its flaws, listening to those glorious songs live once again is, musically speaking, about as 'S Wonderful' as it gets on Broadway.
Elegantly designed, it's a crazy quilt of a show written by Joe DiPietro with inspiration from the Gershwin's 1926 tuner "Oh Kay!" The over-stuffed plot involves a wealthy playboy in prohibition-era New York and a bootlegger who fall for each other.
Zany chaos ensues among the wacky supporting players. And if there are too many of them - eight in all - they are an entertaining bunch, particularly Michael McGrath as a wise-cracking con man and Judy Kaye as a prudish matron. They, along with Estelle Parsons in a terrific second act cameo, are priceless.
As the romantic lead Matthew Broderick can't seem to shake his nebbishy Leo Bloom character from "The Producers". And while he can be charming and a passable singer and dancer, sparks don't fly in his coupling with the sublime Kelli O'Hara.
And that's a problem. I also wish O'Hara, a natural comedienne and beautiful singer, had more to do.
Gotta love those crackerjack orchestrations. Kathleen Marshall who directed and choreographed the Tony winning "Anything Goes" last season is fast becoming the go-to gal for re-invigorating old musical gems. Original and exhilarating, her staging is once again an utter delight.
At two hours, 40 minutes, 'Nice Work' could be shorter, sharper and more romantic. But nothing beats that music - fascinating rhythms and all.