Theatre Review: Nice Work If You Can Get It

The Met take a journey back to the 20s and 30s in this fun musical

Presented by Metropolitan Musical Theatre Co of S.A. (aka The Met)
Reviewed 14 Oct2021

The Met take a journey back to the 20s and 30s in this fun musical, inspired by the works of Guy Bolton and P G Wodehouse, complemented by the music of George and Ira Gershwin. Tony award winning author Joe DiPietro has brought all these elements together, resulting in a tongue-in-cheek comedy filled with prohibition bootleggers and chorus girls. The set by director Selena Britz and Leonie Osborn works well with smooth scene changes. The orchestra lead by Musical Director Jesse Budel seemed a little shaky to start but soon settled to deliver some fine jazz tunes.

Hannah Saxon as Billie Bendix the very unfemale female lead is pitted against Joel Amos as Jimmy Winter, a feckless playboy. Saxon’s rendition of Someone To Watch Over Me was lovely and Amos does a fine job with the title number. They worked well together and sang the Gershwin songs with just the right pizzazz. Barry Hill as Billie’s boss Cookie McGee, was a lot of fun, aided and abetted by Iman Saleh as Duke, both getting every ounce of comedy out of the script. Kristel Dally was larger than life as Eileen Evergreen, Jimmy’s fiancé especially in the Delishous number, and Barbara Nutchey shone as the typical dumb chorus girl. Her duet Blah Blah Blah with Saleh (Duke), was great, as was the Strauss/Sweet and Lowdown combination by Hill and Carolyn Adams.

Playing Eileen’s father, Senator Max Evergreen, is the always reliable Ian Rigney with Adams as his sister Estonia Dulworth, the leader of the prohibition movement, both characterising well. Jamie Wright makes a welcome appearance as the Chief of Police and joins Amos and Saxon in an amusing version of Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off. Kaye Hamilton makes a commanding Millicent Winter, Jimmy’s mother.

The chorus added colour with their bright costumes, all beautifully in keeping with the era, the work of coordinators Britz and Osborn, constructed by Carmel Vistoli, Sue Watson, Lina Centrone and Jo Potter. They added punch to the light and bouncy choreography by Vistoli. Unfortunately, the chorus harmonising was not as tight, missing the mark in places. Also, it was a shame to see the uneven lighting leave the leads in shade at times. However, despite these minor hitches, the show was good and will certainly settle now first night nerves are over.

Go see this fun musical and have a good laugh.

Reviewed by Fran Edwards
Twitter: @franeds

Venue: Arts Theatre
Season: 14 – 23 Oct 2021
Duration: 2hrs 45 mins
Tickets: $28 – $36

Bookings:  metmusicals.com.au or phone 0407 457 821

Photo Credit: Tim Allan

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