Sunday, February 17, 2013

"Nice Work If You Can Get It" on Broadway

"Nice Work If You Can Get It" Broadway Poster
I saw last night's performance of "Nice Work If You Can Get It" at the Imperial Theatre. Like the memorable "My One and Only" from a few decades back, the show is not an old Gershwin musical but rather a new concoction with classic Gershwin songs that are, for the most part, still very well known. The book is by Joe DiPietro inspired by material by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse. Okay, I'm in!

Matthew Broderick is very funny as Jimmy Winter, an independently-wealthy, likeable lout who was kicked out of three schools, has never worked a day in his life, and has been through three unsuccessful marriages. Broderick is a serviceable song-and-dance man who can hold his own on the stage and has been in more than his fair share of hit musicals. No doubt he's the show's main box office attraction. His decision to devote so much of his career to the theater has been a very happy one for the Broadway scene. Here you can see how hard the poor guy has to work every night:
"Nice Work If You Can Get It" on Broadway

"Nice Work If You Can Get It" Broadway Poster

Kelli O'Hara, who among other roles played Nellie Forbush in the 2008 revival of "South Pacific," was not present at last night's performance. Instead the role of Billie Bendix was played by Stephanie Martignetti, whom I must say was terrific. I've been disappointed by understudies on occasion, but certainly not last night. Still, watching the videos of highlights from the production, Kelli O'Hara's voice is hard to beat.

The other principals in the cast all turned in very good comic performances. They include Judy Kaye, Blythe Danner, Jennifer Laura Thompson, Brad Oscar, Robyn Hurder, Chris Sullivan, Stanley Wayne Mathis, and Terry Beaver. I last saw Blythe Danner in Harold Pinter's "Betrayal" over thirty years ago. Hmm. I'm starting to sound just a little like an old-timer.

Last night every member of my family had a very good time at the performance. It's been a while since I last got to say that!


Here's the supposed Playbill cover, but it's not strictly correct. Ours were printed in black and white.

"Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Broadway Clips

"Nice Work If You Can Get It"
Broadway Medley
2012 Tony Awards

March 30, 2013 Update:  The role of Billie Bendix is now being played by Jessie Mueller.

Jessie Mueller
"Ev'ry Night at Seven" ["Royal Wedding," 1951, MGM]
As Performed in the 2011 "Revisal"
of "On a Clear Day You Can See Forever"
Lyrics by Alan Jay Lerner
Music by Burton Lane

April 30, 2013 Update:  The final performance will be June 15.


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