With comedy tailor-made for Matthew Broderick and the delightful Kelli O’Hara, Nice Work if You Can Get It is a tribute to Gershwin and the musicals of his era, with a thin, silly story, wonderful songs and all the mugging a girl could ever want. If you feel musicals tend to be over-the-top and trite, you’ll want to stay far away from this one, but if you find yourself pining for some silly, escapist fun, reviewers agree, this kitschy show might be just what you’re after.
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.”
“Kelli O’Hara has admitted that she was a little reluctant at first to sing some of the classic, heavily picked-over Gershwin songs before starting on “Nice Work If You Can Get It.” Thankfully that changed when she got to hold a gun.”
“The last time Matthew Broderick headlined a major musical was opposite Nathan Lane in the instant blockbuster The Producers, the 2001 show that ushered in a new age of irreverence on Broadway and scooped up a record 12 Tony Awards. Mel Brooks’ runaway hit was sublime silliness, a giddy valentine to old-time musical theater with nothing on its mind but delirious entertainment. The same could be said of Nice Work If You Can Get It, which brings Broderick back in a disarming ball of fluff that seems tailor-made to fit his droll brand of comedy.”
AM NEW YORK
“Matthew Broderick, who hasn’t enjoyed much success on Broadway since “The Producers” a decade ago, manages to redeem himself in “Nice Work If You Can Get It,” a “new” Gershwin musical also starring Kelli O’Hara and other stage veterans who bring down the house in supporting comedic roles.”
“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.”