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Nice Work If You Can Get It


skynyc
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I am so torn about posting this review because I wanted to love this show, and found it lackluster at best. Gershwin songs, Marshall-choreographed dancing, Kelli O'Hara, what's not to love? I greatly enjoyed Crazy for You a number of years ago and expected this to be similar.

 

Well, Ms. O'Hara didn't disappoint, but sadly, for me, I found the book to be forced, Marshall's direction to be uninspired and Broderick's performance to feel like it was being phoned in.

 

The supporting cast are all pretty terrific, particularly Michael McGrath and Judy Kaye, but the classic wrap-up/pairing off in the second act takes forever because there are five, count them, five couples to connect. Not only the leads, the expected comic pairing and the genre-friendly Octogenarian duo, but also a second low-brow comedy match and a rather random-toss together of the show's villainess and the local cop.

 

Perhaps it was just my mood; the crowd around me seemed to be enjoying, but I will see what others here say before I decide to go again.

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My reaction was like yours. Saw this in previews. Thought Broderick came across as stiff and unengaged. Kelli O'Hara is a wonder, and the Gershwin songs are treasures. Nice to hear them performed live on stage. But the creaky show they've put together is no more topical or engaging than the originals, so why not just revive a Gershwin original and cast the male lead with a genuine song and dance guy?

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My reaction was like yours. Saw this in previews. Thought Broderick came across as stiff and unengaged. Kelli O'Hara is a wonder, and the Gershwin songs are treasures. Nice to hear them performed live on stage. But the creaky show they've put together is no more topical or engaging than the originals, so why not just revive a Gershwin original and cast the male lead with a genuine song and dance guy?

 

thats why they're previews. see the show once it's set. sorta unfair to judge an unfinished product.

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Unless major surgery is done to the script in the last few days before opening, I don't think big improvement is in store on that front. Maybe Broderick gets more comfortable in his role by opening night. O'Hara was ready already. The rest of the cast was superb and, as I said, the music is fantastic.

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thats why they're previews. see the show once it's set. sorta unfair to judge an unfinished product.

 

I don't agree with this. If you invite people in and ask them to pay then you have a right to judge it. Period.

 

I agree with the original poster. There is just no spark to get this thing going. I adore Kelli O'Hara but she's not given much direction here. Broderick just seems out of place. Really disappointing.

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Opening night is at hand, and we will see if the critics think Mathew is dogging it. Tuesday night is the gala opener, and the show will be competing for attention with A Streetcar Named Desire, opening tonight, The Lyons and Ghost opening on Monday, The Columnist on Wednesday, and Leap of Faith on Thursday.

 

On Tuesday of next week we get the Tony nominations.

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A lukewarm review from the Times, and this said about Broderick's performance:

 

Mr. Broderick’s comic persona in recent years has solidified into that of an abstracted, inhibited, adorably passive nerd,

Such droll, straight-faced passivity doesn’t match up as neatly with the philandering hedonist he plays here. He sings and dances pleasantly and competently, but rather vaguely, too, as if his thoughts were elsewhere. And when he proclaims that he’s possessed by “fascinating rhythm” — in a first-act curtain number that places him in the center of a bevy of lascivious flappers — you’re inclined to doubt it.

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/theater/reviews/nice-work-if-you-can-get-it-at-imperial-theater.html?hpw

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I just saw the Post review. On Broderick: "

and you have nearly all the basics for a tasty Broadway show.Except for one.You see, Billie’s love interest is a hapless, womanizing “wealthy playboy” named Jimmy Winter. And he’s played by Matthew Broderick, in his first musical outing since “The Producers.”It’s hard to say this delicately, so let’s just rip off the Band-Aid: This is one of the most unappealing performances of the past few years.For us to buy Billie’s love, Jimmy has to be goofily charming. But Broderick keeps a frozen half-smile pasted on his face the entire time, so his Jimmy just looks semi-idiotic. What a catch!And while his thin, reedy singing voice has an appropriate period feel, the star isn’t enough of a mover to pull off Marshall’s dance numbers.Unfortunately, he has quite a few of them, including an extended pas de deux with O’Hara where you can almost see him count beats in his head, like a Week 1 contestant on “Dancing With the Stars.”

 

Read more: http://www.nypost.com/p/entertainment/theater/hardly_seems_like_work_w6xpwER90xyH5uwqEuF1xL#ixzz1t70zw8Ht

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A lukewarm review from the Times, and this said about Broderick's performance:

 

Mr. Broderick’s comic persona in recent years has solidified into that of an abstracted, inhibited, adorably passive nerd,

Such droll, straight-faced passivity doesn’t match up as neatly with the philandering hedonist he plays here. He sings and dances pleasantly and competently, but rather vaguely, too, as if his thoughts were elsewhere. And when he proclaims that he’s possessed by “fascinating rhythm” — in a first-act curtain number that places him in the center of a bevy of lascivious flappers — you’re inclined to doubt it.

http://theater.nytimes.com/2012/04/25/theater/reviews/nice-work-if-you-can-get-it-at-imperial-theater.html?hpw

 

What was that you said to me once about "don't want to hear someone else's opinion, I want to hear yours?"

 

Pot, kettle, perhaps black? :cool:

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Opening night is at hand, and we will see if the critics think Mathew is dogging it. Tuesday night is the gala opener, and the show will be competing for attention with A Streetcar Named Desire, opening tonight, The Lyons and Ghost opening on Monday, The Columnist on Wednesday, and Leap of Faith on Thursday.

 

On Tuesday of next week we get the Tony nominations.

 

I expected to hate Streetcar especially with the leading man being 20 years too old for the role but it really worked for me. It's a very muscular, strong approach to the work. Perhaps not the last word but a really interesting interpretation. I'm going to see it againg before I post a more comprehensive review.

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  • 3 weeks later...

Saw this show as part of my NY theatre week and totally agree with those who have said that Matthew Broderick is miscast. His perfomance is embarassing and detracts from some other members of the cast who give their all to make this mediocore show somewhat enjoyable. The school eacher in me says this show just barely merits a "C-"

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I grew up liking Mathew Broderick. But now, no way. He is one celebrity that you can see in New York from time to time, always badly dressed whether walking on the street or in a restaurant. He just conveys the lackadaisical attitude that he doesn't care anymore. So to see him doing that on stage is doubly disappointing.

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I grew up liking Mathew Broderick. But now, no way. He is one celebrity that you can see in New York from time to time, always badly dressed whether walking on the street or in a restaurant. He just conveys the lackadaisical attitude that he doesn't care anymore. So to see him doing that on stage is doubly disappointing.

 

I tend to feel that somehow Broderick has never made it out of his film/schoolboy days (i.e. War Games, Ferris Bueller) - I have yet to see him really play a role as a MAN. (Did anyone suffer through that horrible TV version of The Music Man with him totally miscast as a boyish Harold Hill?) Even in The Producers (which generally got him rave reviews), I feel that he's more like Nathan Lane's son than his partner in crime (Gene Wilder in the film was loonier but a bit more grown up).

 

Maybe he should do a revival of Torch Song Trilogy?

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I grew up liking Mathew Broderick. But now, no way. He is one celebrity that you can see in New York from time to time, always badly dressed whether walking on the street or in a restaurant. He just conveys the lackadaisical attitude that he doesn't care anymore. So to see him doing that on stage is doubly disappointing.

 

Following a performance of Rabbit Hole, Cynthia Nixon, Sarah Jessica Parker and Broderick were gathered at a local bar. The girls were very nice to fans, and it really looked like a Sex in the City episode. Broderick stood there awkwardly, wearing a backpack, and staring down people like he was threatened.

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