The Queensland premiere of Nice Work If You Can Get it, produced by Savoyards Musical Comedy Society Inc, opened last weekend at the Iona Performing Arts Centre.
Nice Work If You Can Get It premiered of Broadway in 2012 with the tagline, “a new musical comedy”. The musical showcases the classic music of George and Ira Gershwin with a biting book by Joe DiPietro. Set in 1927 Long Island, New York, it follows rich playboy Jimmy Winter, who is preparing to marry for the third or perhaps fourth time. When Winter attends a speakeasy which is raided, he runs into tough bootlegger, Billie Bendix, and her gang who have just arrived in the city with 400 cases of illegal gin to store and sell. After Winter lets slip his mansion is hardly occupied, Bendix and her gang decide to set up base in the home, however, Jimmy brings his new wife to his unused home. With some quick thinking, Billie and the gang pretend to be the house staff in order to cover up the gin; but with such a web of lies being woven, it is a given that not everything goes according to plan.
Clay English as Jimmy Winter played the perfect spoiled womaniser with his charming grin and smooth voice with moves to match.
Playing opposite English as bootlegger Billie Bendix, Emily Vascotto had the audience in stitches with her brilliant comic timing and beautiful voice. Vascotto and English carried the show with pure talent and grace.
Grace Clarke as Eileen Evergreen stole hearts with her hilarious show stopping performance of the song Delishious.
Warryn James as Cookie McGee delivered a hilarious performance from start to finish, James was born to play this role and was a true delight to watch.
Kyle Fenwick, Jacqui Cuny, Caroline Bird, Alec Raymond, Stephen Daniels and Johanna Toia were all brilliant in their supporting roles. I have not seen a community theatre production in a very long time where every single supporting and leading actor carried themselves with such ease and skill.
The choreography by Desney Toia-Sinapati was everything one would expect from a classic musical comedy, however, the execution from the chorus at times was not as in sync as I had hoped it would be.
The set design by Sherryl-Lee Secomb was true to the art deco style of the 1920’s and transitioned between scenes effectively. The lighting design by Allen Nutley greatly complimented the set in helping to make slight changes with lights that changed the location of the scene completely.
Sherryl-Lee Secomb’s direction was smart and effective. It was refreshing to see a good old-fashioned musical comedy that left you humming the tunes, tapping your feet and your stomach a little sore from a performance full of laughter and entertainment.
To book tickets head to to http://www.savoyards.com.au
Written by Jackie Turner