Playing at the Broadway Imperial Theatre located at 249 West 45th Street. It opened on April 24, 2012 and has an opened-ended run. It runs two hours forty minutes with one intermission.
The music was written by George Gershwin, the lyrics by Ira Gershwin. The song "Nice Work If You can Get It" was written by George for the movie "A Damsel in Distress" performed by Fred Astaire, The song was published in 1937.
A work shop was performed in November 2007 featuring Harry Connick Jr. and Erin Dilly. The show was called "Heaven on Earth". It was suppose to open in the spring of 2009 but it was "officially postponed". A new reading was scheduled for October 8, 2010 starring Matthew Broderick and Sutton Foster.
This production stars Matthew Broderick and Kelly O"Hara.
Matthew Broderick has won two Tony Awards for "Brighton Beach" (1983) and "How to Succeed in Business Without really Trying" (1995). To date he is the youngest winner of the Tony Award for Best Feature Actor in a play.
Kelli O' Hara was nominated for a Tony Award for "The Light in the Piazza" (2005), The Pajama Game" (2006) and "South Pacific" (2008).
Estelle Parsons received four Tony Award nominations for "The Seven Descents of Myrtle" (1968), "And Mrs Reardon Drinks A Little" (1971), "Miss Margarida's Way" (1978) and "Mornings at Seven" (2002). She won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actress in 1967 for "Bonnie & Clyde" and a nomination for "Rachel, Rachel" (1968).
Judy Kaye won a Tony Award for "Phantom of the Opera" (1988) and a Tony nomination for "Mama Mia" (2001).
Michael McGarth was nominated for a Tony Award and Drama Desk Award for "Spamalot" (2005). He won a Theater World Award and a Drama Desk nomination for "Swinging on a Star" (1996).
Jennifer Laura Thompson was nominated for a Tony Award for "Urinetown" (2002).
The musical was directed and choreographed by Kathleen Marshall. She received a 2011 Tony, Drama and Outer Circle Award for choreography and a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Critics Award nomination for direction for "Anything Goes".
Joe DiPietro did the book. He won a Tony Award for Best Book and Best Score for "Memphis" (2010). Which was also received a Tony, Drama Desk and Outer Circle Award for Best Musical.
Martin Pakledinaz did the costume design. He did "The Normal Heart", "Anything Goes" (Tony nominated), "The Glass Menagerie" (Lortel nomination), "Lend Me a Tenor" (Hewes Award, Tony & Outer Critics nomination), "Blithe Spirit" (Tony nomination), "Kiss Me Kate" Tony winner) and "The Pajama Game" (Tony nominated).
The play takes place in Long Island, New York in July 1927.
The story opens with Jimmy Winter (Matthew Broderick) a playboy celebrating his up coming wedding to wife number three. This is prohibition era. The next scene is on Fulton Street with three bootleggers Billie Ben (Kelli O"Hara), Duke Mahoney (Chris Sullivan) and Cookie McGee (Michael McGrath). Jimmy comes on the docks drunk trying to dance with Billie, she steals his wallet. It seems he doesn't use his home on Long Island. Billie decides to use his place to hide her booze since the heat is on to the group. As it turns out Jimmy comes to the house with his new wife Eileen Evergreen (Jennifer Laura Thompson). Cookie becomes the butler, Duke the cook and Billie the maid.
When Eileen finds out Jimmy's second wife did not give him a divorce she calls her father. Her father Senator Max Evergreen (Terry Beaver) threatens to put him in jail. The senator sister the Duchess Estonia Dulworth (Judy Kaye) is a temperance leader.
Jimmy finds out he is free man again. The senator insists he marry his daughter. Jimmy does not want to he's fallen in love with Billie.
Duke fall for a chorus girl Jeannie (Robyn Hurder).
Chief Berry (Stanley Wayne Mattis) comes in and out of the house threating to arrest someone.
Jimmy's mother Millicent Winter (Estelle Parsons) shows up for the wedding and saves day.
Boy gets girl. What can I say except that this is one marvelous musical.
The story is based around the Gershwin's music with such songs as "Nice Work if you Can Get", "Some One to Watch Over Me", "Let's Call the Whole Thing Off" and "Fascinating Rhythm".
Not only is the music great, the show is funny too. The choreography reminiscent of the 1930's movies and is outstanding. The ones between Matthew and Keri were breathtaking.
The scene "The Ritzy Bathroom" is hilarious. Eileen is admiring herself in a bubble bath with numerous mirrors. Male and female cast members came out of the bath tub and do a dance routine.
Another is when Cookie slips the Duchess some booze in her lemonade. She gets drunk dances on the table and hangs from the chandelier.
Judy and Michael work well together. Michael has some great lines and he works them well. He is so good the audience couldn't stop laughing. Judy has a great voice.
Kelli did a incredible job. What a beautiful voice.
Costumes remind you the old musicals that were so popular in the 1930's.
Estelle Parsons is not on the stage long. But she steals the show. She's outstanding as usual. The one thing that distracted me from her performance was she had to much rouge on.
Matthew has a nice voice, he can carry a tune and dances great. However from where I was sitting his facial expressions did not seem to change much. I saw people in the ensemble have better expressions.
If your are making a list as to what to see on Broadway, this show should be on the top of your list. Not only is the music and dancing good enough to make you want to sing along and tap your feet but you will laugh your head off.
Review by Rozanna Radakovich
Photos by Annazor.