Nice Work if You Can Get It comes packed with
high-spirited, gaudy, speak-easy era (1920s) songs and dance. The
opening chorus bursts on the stage and dazzles with George and Ira
Gershwin’s stylish and urbane music and lyrics. Chorus girls from the
Jazz Age open the show at a relentless pace, tapping, high-kicking, and
filling the house with raucous rhythm. Emily Botnen as a beautiful
boot-legging criminal is hilarious at turns as she attempts to attract
her man, Bronson Vanderjack, by acting womanly with gymnastic skill.
Emily is also wistful and warm when she sings “Someone to Watch Over
Bronson Vanderjack struts on stage, a
natural rich playboy with a few too many women wanting to marry him.
Bronson and Emily sing and dance together in fast-paced numbers with
flare and precision. Their rendition of “Let’s Call the Whole Thing
Off,” in which one says “tomato,” and one says “tomaato,” captures young
love as it develops. The number which showcases the talented Bronson,
Carson Sloan and Company is “Fascinating Rhythm.” They sing and dance
this fast-paced number with delightful precision.
Carson Sloan as Cookie, aka, the butler, is a riot.
And his Brooklyn accent “ain’t bad neither.” Carson is fun to watch, to
listen to, and side-splitting when he reveals his true feelings.
The orchestra, led by Peter Kagstrom, vocal and music
director, performs George Gershwin’s music with irresistible, infectious
vitality. The dance numbers, thanks to the talent of choreographer,
Cassie March, magically enlarge the stage to grand music-hall scale.
Nice Work If You Can Get It is an exuberant gem.