NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT, featuring music and lyrics by George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin and a book by Joe DiPietro, stars Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara. The production is directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall and it opens tonight, April 24, 2012 at Broadway's Imperial Theatre!
In addition to Matthew Broderick as Jimmy Winter and Kelli O'Hara as Billie Bendix, the production also stars Estelle Parsons as Millicent Winter, Judy Kaye as Estonia Dulworth, Michael McGrath as Cookie McGee, Jennifer Laura Thompson as Eileen Evergreen, Chris Sullivan as Duke Mahoney, Robyn Hurder as Jeannie Muldoon, Stanley Wayne Mathis as Chief Berry and Terry Beaver as Senator Max Evergreen.
Let's see what the critics had to say...
Ben Brantley, New York Times: Every now and then, a bubble of pure, 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 on Tuesday night at the Imperial Theater, 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. The couple moves in effortless, hypnotized harmony, covering a complete catalog of ballroom steps, while tumbling over furniture and waltzing up a staircase. Mr. Broderick and Ms. O’Hara may not have the expertise of Astaire and Rogers. (Who does?) But they summon the spirit and subtext of every transcendent mating dance from the Fred-and-Ginger movies.
Elysa Gardner, USA Today: True, Nice Work If You Can Get It (* * * out of four) doesn't use an inane story line to simply string together a beloved band or singer's catalog or a bunch of disparate rock chestnuts. Instead, it uses an inane story line to string together the timeless songs of George and Ira Gershwin. ... Broderick turns Jimmy into the kind of character he does best: a sweetly deadpan social doofus. He also sings breezy tunes such as 'S Wonderful and Do, Do, Do and dances with an appealingly light touch, especially when spinning his leading lady around in a witty second-act sequence. O'Hara proves once again that there's pretty much nothing she can't do on stage. No matter that the tough but tender Billie can seem quaint; the actress makes her adorable and funny, and as usual sings gorgeously — though you may wish they had relaxed the tempo a bit on Someone To Watch Over Me or But Not For Me, and let that sumptuous soprano linger more.
Mark Kennedy, Associated Press: While O'Hara and Matthew Broderick are the stars on stage, the real credit for this very enjoyable romp goes to book writer Joe DiPietro and director and choreographer Kathleen Marshall. They've managed to take about 20 songs from the George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin catalog, marry them to the skeleton of the 1926 musical "O, Kay!" and emerge with a plot that makes madcap sense with songs that feel right for the occasion. If this is a jukebox musical, this is how you do it right.
David Sheward, Backstage: You’d think that any show involving the talents of Matthew Broderick, Kelli O’Hara, Kathleen Marshall, and the brothers Gershwin would be a sure-fire Broadway stunner, wouldn’t you? Unfortunately, “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” despite a few bright spots, fails to hold together as a glittering entertainment, unlike previous efforts such as “My One and Only” and “Crazy for You.”
Adam Markovitz, Entertainment Weekly: The musical flits between delightful and exasperating on a second-by-second basis — boosted by terrific supporting players (especially Judy Kaye as a zealous teetotaler) and dragged down by Broderick, who waltzes alongside his costars with the good-natured boredom of a tipsy wedding guest. Luckily for him, the show has a built-in fail-safe: the Gershwin songbook, a portable fireworks kit of dazzlers ('Someone to Watch Over Me,' 'Do It Again') guaranteed to charm just about anyone, theater fan or not.