The Metropolitan Musical Theatre Company of SA Inc (aka “The Met”)
The Arts Theatre
Until 23 Oct 2021

Review by Doug Phillips

The Met’s latest offering is a reasonably new musical (premiering on Broadway in 2012), that has all the feel and charm of an old stage classic. Thanks largely to the re-working of George and Ira Gershwin’s most famous and well-loved tunes, “Nice Work If You Can Get It” is a trip back to the 20s with all the glitz and glamour you’d expect.

Trying to weave together songs from different shows with a new storyline can’t be easy, and this fell short of the mark for me. Some songs and characters felt like they were shoe-horned into the story – but the songs’ timeless appeal made it easy to look past this.

The length of some numbers also felt unnecessary, and you’ll want to make sure your bladder is empty before the curtain goes up on a very lengthy first act. Act 2, while much shorter, contains reprises to songs that already felt too long in the first act.

The cast were brilliant, and this didn’t look like an opening night to me. Every character had depth, and no one seemed to be unsure or unprepared. Our two leads didn’t appear to have a lot of chemistry, but they made up for it with good solid performances. The supporting cast aren’t outdone either. In a show that feels like it’s written to give everyone possible a solo, all players grabbed their moments with both hands.

I loved the set. Depth, levels, colour, functionality. Easily one of the best amateur sets I’ve seen in years. The orchestra sounded great, and the technical departments were flawless, bar some troublesome audio issues.

This seemed to me to be a show that lovers of Gershwin would go nuts for. At 41 years old, I was very much one of the youngest members of this audience, and everyone around me was into this in a big way – so maybe that says something.