Stage Review

Nice Work If You Can Get It (2012)

NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick
Image credit: Joan Marcus
NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT Kelli O'Hara and Matthew Broderick

Details Opening Date: Apr 24, 2012; Lead Performances: Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara; Writers: Joe DiPietro, George Gershwin, Ira Gershwin; Director: Kathleen Marshall; Genre: Musical

If you're not a musical-theater fan, Nice Work If You Can Get It will probably confirm your worst fears about Broadway. The mugging. The wigs. The wheezing one-liners. Directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall (Anything Goes) with a light-as-air book by Joe DiPietro (Memphis), the show uses a screwball love story between a Prohibition-era playboy (Matthew Broderick) and a bootlegger (South Pacific's Kelli O'Hara) as an excuse for a medley of classic George and Ira Gershwin tunes. It's as joyfully airheaded and kitschy as a drag show, which should make it a must-see for anyone with a more-is-more stance on sequins.

For the rest of us, though, 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. B

(Tickets: or 800-432-7250)

Originally posted Apr 24, 2012 Published in issue #1205 May 04, 2012 Order article reprints

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