You say potato, I say performance

Broadway’s Nice Work if You Can Get It at Schuster

By Janell R. Ward

Photo: Alex Enterline (Jimmy Winter) and the female ensemble of the Nice Work if You Can Get It national tour will perform Feb. 10-15 at the Schuster Center; photo: Jeremy Daniel

Leap into the 1920s with the extraordinary musical Nice Work if You Can Get It, playing at the Schuster Center Feb. 10-15, 2015.

This Tony-winning romantic, musical comedy is about a well-to-do 1920s playboy, Jimmy Winter, played by Alex Enterline. Jimmy’s friends join him in New York for his extravagant wedding day. But problems arise when the young, snazzy punk gets swept off his feet by the beautiful and spirited Billie Bendix, played by Mariah MacFarlane. Witness the hilarious, awkward and sentimental encounters that accompany relationships.

This musical premiered on Broadway with stars Matthew Broderick and Kelli O’Hara, according to Diane Schoeffler-Warren, the Public Relations & Promotions Manager for Victoria Theatre.

You will not stand alone in loving this musical; from 2012- 2013 this show was performed 478 times. You might just be tempted to jump on stage and join the phenomenal and full dances performed by the cast, choreographed by Kathleen Marshall, a three-time Tony winner. The musical is teeming with spectacular tunes, edged with the classics including “Let’s Call the Whole Thing Off,” “Someone to Watch Over Me,” “I’ve Got a Crush on You” and “But Not For Me.” This zany romance will have you humming all week long to additional tunes such as “Sweet and Lowdown” sung by Jimmy, Jeannie, Chorus Girls and Society Guys; “Delishious” by Eileen, Bubble Girls and Boys; and “S’Wonderful” performed by the growing lovers, Jimmy and Billie.

“The song ‘Do Do Do’ is a wonderful, fun quartet number that is perfectly sung by Jimmy and his three school buddies,” Thomas Schario, who plays Chief Berry, said. “Every time I hear it a smile comes across my face and I start tapping my feet.”

It takes a team of talented performers, designers and managers to bring together this fabulous show. Some additional performers include Stephanie Gandolfo as Jeannie Muldoon, Aaron Fried as Duke Mahoney, Benjamin Perez as Senator Max Evergreen, Stephanie Harter Gilmore as Duchess Estonia Dulworth and Reed Campbell as Cookie McGee.

“The audiences will definitely enjoy the songs but most of all they will enjoy the antics of bootlegger Cookie McGee,” Schario said. “I have seen this show so many times and he cracks me up every time.”

Thomas Schario has also been a part of Damn Yankees, The Producers, The Foreigner, Kiss Me Kate and The Great American Trailer Park Musical.

“Chief Berry is part of the morality trio that consists of chief Berry, the senator and the duchess. He is the Braun of the group,” Schario said of his role in the show.

Schario also noted the fabulous experience of teamwork in rehearsal: “My journey of being cast was a quick ride. I got a call to audition for the role, and when I showed up I was expecting just Scott Wojick and Gayle Seay to be there and when I walked into the room I was greeted with the site of about 15 people including Kathleen Marshall herself and producers. It was a very surreal experience. Auditioning for Kathleen Marshall and being coached by her was an amazing experience.”

The creative team includes Shoko Kambara in charge of scenic design, Martin Pakledinaz overseeing costume design, Amy Clark as the costume coordinator, and Keith Caggiano on sound design. The musical staff includes David Chase overseeing music arrangements, Shawn Gough the music supervisor, Charlie Reuter the music director and Bill Elliott leading the orchestra.

“My favorite part in the show has to be the bedroom scene with myself, Jimmy and Billy,” Schario said. “There is a lot of back and forth in that scene and the comedic timing between Jimmy and Billy is unbelievable.”

Due to the lush, lust and liquor, the age recommendation for the show is 13 years old and up. Ages six and under will not be permitted.

Nice Work if You Can Get It will be performed Tuesday-Sunday Feb. 10-15 at the Schuster Center, 1 W. Second St. Show times are Tuesday-Friday at 8 p.m., Saturday, at 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. and Sunday, at 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Tickets are on sale now, via phone at 937.228.3630 or 888.228.3630 and online at ticketcenterstage.com. For more information on the show please visit victoriatheatre.com.

Reach DCP freelance writer Janell R. Ward at JanellRWard@DaytonCityPaper.com.

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Janell R. Ward

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