Nice Work If You Can Get It Will Be Hard Work To Keep Around

“Its nice work if you can get it and you can get it if you try” – That lyric comes from the famous Gershwin song Nice Work If You Can Get It which also happens to be the name of a new Gershwin show making it’s way to Broadway this spring. And while we are just beginning to learn the very first details of this new Gershwin Broadway musical, its already starting to look like this Nice Work If You Can Get It is going to be hard work to keep up with.

Nice Work If You Can Get It is a new musical that will feature the hit songs of George and Ira Gershwin as well as a book by Joe DiPietro. Producers of this new Broadway musical have described the production in the following description: “Billie Bendix, a tough-as-nails bootlegger who meets wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter on the weekend of his nuptials. Mayhem ensues”.

Broderick & O'Hara

A great factor working in favor of this new Broadway musical is both the cast and creative team that have been placed behind it. At the helm for the entire production is three time Tony Award winner Kathleen Marshall who is set to direct and choreograph this hot new production. She comes to Nice Work after her latest Broadway work, the Tony Award winning revival of Anything Goes. Our two lead stars are Broadway veterans Matthew Broderick, who will star as Jimmy Winter and Kelli O’Hara, who will star as Billie Bendix. Also, in supporting roles you have Tony Award winner Judy Kaye, Tony Award nominee Michael McGrath and Tony Award nominee Jennifer Laura Thompson just to name a few.

Clearly a lot of talent has been invested into this production for it’s premiere on Broadway as the new and latest Gershwin musical. However, earlier this week Nice Work If You Can Get It released their production artwork and personally left me disappointed as it looks like Nice Work If You Can Get It is heading for that old fashion Broadway sort of feeling. Check it out below:

Nice Work If You Can Get It Logo

Nice Work If You Can Get It Artwork

The issue with Nice Work If You Can Get It is the fact that it is yet again another Gershwin musical. And don’t get me wrong, I love the Gershwins. Their music and lyrics are some of the greatest melodies unmatched by anyone else in the theatrical world. However, this show needs to find its own identity in a world of already existing productions with these same showtunes. The old fashion approach to this musical is not only the wrong direction for it but what I personally believe will be the downfall of this production in the end.

If anything, the producers of Nice Work If You Can Get It need to make old NEW again. And while that is no easy task, it can be done in today’s theatre world. A good old fashion Broadway musical that is premiering stands no chance against the modern world of musicals like The Book of Mormon, Sister Act and Priscilla: Queen of the Desert to name a few. You can see great examples of this in the many revivals that are being produced in a new fashion such as How to Succeed in Business or Promises, Promises to mention a few. However, you have to take this old fashion songs people love and dress them up in a new fashion for a new century. The music of the Gershwin’s is eternal and can be dressed up in a new fashion for all to love. I’m not saying you need LED’s, a flying system or something else over the top like that. But what I am saying is the design of this new musical needs to capture the essence of old in the style of new. This will show the difference between this musical and all other previous Gershwin musicals. The idea of a Gershwin musical is 2012 is incredible not only because of how long their music has lasted but because of the opportunity that has now been created. Modern technical aspects, the new talent of this century and a new era on Broadway are all working in the fashion of wanting this musical to succeed. Nice Work If You Can Get It cannot pass up any of these opportunities if they want to survive in New York.

The biggest fight though Nice Work If You Can Get It fights though is against previously existing Gershwin musicals, most specifically Crazy For You. Crazy For You is hands down the most famous of Gershwin musicals and to many would be considered a perfect piece of musical theatre. Truly capturing not only the essence of their music but a Broadway musical, Crazy For You has tapped its way into people’s hearts across the nation since it premiered on Broadway in 1992. With tap dancing, big company numbers and a fantastic love story – Crazy For You scores in all categories. This is now something this new Gershwin musical has to live up to. Many people I fear will easily compare this upcoming production to this other perfect Gershwin musical we all already know to exist. This is just yet another reason why producers of this musical have to make Nice Work If You Can Get It Broadway’s old fashioned musical in the newest fashion.

What do you think? Should Nice Work If You Can Get It go for an old fashioned Broadway approach? Or would you like to see this old fashioned musical born in a new century? Tell us what you think!

And who knows, maybe I could be entirely wrong. This production could absolutely be headed in this new direction and we could simply have no idea from the artwork and logo released from the producers. And trust me, I understand that main point of this article was me saying make old new again. Despite how many times I found myself mentioning that point, I think it is truly the most important for this production. However, producers should make smart and wise choices while launching this new musical in New York. With the talent placed behind this production both on and off the stage, I only hope to see Nice Work If You Can Get It succeed in New York. However, old choices in a modern world will make the nice work if you can get it hard work to keep around. Luner on Theatre will continue to bring you all the Broadway news you need to know about Nice Work If You Can Get It and more as it’s Broadway debut approaches.

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