BWW Reviews: NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT National Tour at North Carolina Theatre

By: Jan. 21, 2015

Based on material previously written by Guy Bolton and P.G. Wodehouse, featuring a catalog of many recognizable songs by George and Ira Gershwin, Nice Work If You Can Get It tells the story of wealthy playboy Jimmy Winter, who meets rough female bootlegger Billie Bendix on the weekend of his wedding. Jimmy, who had been married three times before, is preparing to marry Eileen Evergreen, a self-obsessed modern dancer. Thinking that Jimmy and Eileen wouldl be out of town, Billie and her gang hide cases of alcohol in the basement of Jimmy's Long Island mansion. But when Jimmy, his wife-to-be and her prohibitionist family show up at the mansion for the wedding, Billie and her cohorts pose as servants, causing hijinks galore.

The musical first opened on Broadway on April 24th, 2012, directed & choreographed by Kathleen Marshall with a book by Joe DiPietro starring Matthew Broderick and Kelli O'Hara. The production went on to earn 10 Tony Award nominations (including Best Musical), and a run of 478 performances after closing on June 15th, 2013.

The current national tour playing at North Carolina Theatre through January 25th is a actually a re-staging of the Broadway production consisting a cast of mostly non-equity actors, lead by Alex Enterline as a very charming playboy Jimmy Winter and Mariah MacFarlane as a very fierce bootlegger Billie Bendix. MacFarlane also displays some very glorious singing in her vocal performance. Scene stealers include Reed Campbell and Aaron Fried as fellow bootleggers Cookie McGee and Duke Mahoney respectively; and Stephanie Harter Gilmore as Duchess Estonia Dulworth. Also rounding out this very talented cast of non-union actors are Rachel Scarr as Eileen Evergreen; Stephanie Gandolfo as Jeannie Muldoon; Benjamin Perez as Senator Max Evergreen; and Thomas Schario as Chief Barry.

Director/Choreographer David Eggers (who was an associate to Kathleen Marshall for the Broadway production) really knows how to stage a good old-fashioned musical comedy. From the late-great Martin Pakledinaz's costumes re-created by Amy Clark; Derek McLane's sets re-conceived by Shoko Kambara; Peter Kaczorowski's colorful lighting re-created by Paul Toben; and Brian Ronan's sound designs re-created by Keith Caggiano.

Whether you grew up with the music of Gershwin or not, anyone who decides to visit Nice Work will no doubt have a S'Wonderful, Marvelous time!


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