Nice Work If You Can Get It


Music samples provided courtesy of Shout! Factory, George Gershwin Music, Ira Gershwin Music and Warner/Chappell Music Inc.

  • Synopsis
  • Credits
  • Orchestration
  • Rehearsal Materials
  • Cast List
  • Brief History
  • Upcoming
  • ACT I

    It is 1927, and we are in the midst of a riotous bachelor party for the oft-married Jimmy Winter (SWEET AND LOWDOWN.) Outside, a trio of bootleggers—Cookie, Billie and Duke—are trying to figure out where to hide the 400 cases of gin they have stashed on their boat. As a stranger approaches, Duke and Cookie rush off. A drunken Jimmy staggers on and comes across the pants-wearing Billie and is immediately smitten. He explains his plight—he must marry someone respectable or his mother will disinherit him, so he’s marrying a woman he doesn’t truly love. Billie isn’t all that interested in his tale of woe, until he reveals that he has a huge Long Island beach house that he never uses, so she swipes his wallet to discover the address. Jimmy assumes Billie is falling for him, but Billie insists that love is for suckers. Jimmy vehemently disagrees (NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT.) Jimmy passes out, and Billie reflects on this interesting man unconscious on the ground before her (NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT-reprise.) Cookie and Duke rush back on, and Billie tells them that she found a place to store their bootleg—a Long Island beach house! A police whistle pierces the air, and the bootleggers scatter. Senator Max Evergreen and Chief Berry enter, along with Duchess Estonia Dulworth, who has brought along her Vice Squad and vows to rid society of its greatest evil (DEMON RUM.)

    The next morning, Billie, Cookie and Duke have stored their 400 cases of gin into the cellar of Jimmy’s ritzy beach house. Eileen Evergreen, the finest interpreter of modern dance in the world, enters with Jimmy. They were married that morning, and they are on their honeymoon, though Eileen has yet to allow Jimmy to touch her.  Cookie, disguised as a butler, enters and they naturally assume he’s their servant. They send him off, and Eileen tells Jimmy that she’s ready for the honeymoon shenanigans to begin—as soon as she takes a bath. She exits into the house as Billie enters, stunned to see Jimmy. Jimmy has no memory of meeting her last night, and as Jimmy flirts with her, Billie confesses that she’s never been kissed. Strictly for educational purposes, Jimmy kisses Billie, and she realizes what she’s been missing (SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME.)

    Four and a half hours later, Eileen is still bathing (DELISHIOUS.) In the ritzy living room, Cookie and Billie devise a plan for Billie to distract Jimmy from the 400 cases of gin in his cellar. Billie runs off as Jimmy enters, followed by a gaggle of chorus girls who invite him for a group swim, which Jimmy almost accepts (I’VE GOT TO BE THERE.) Eileen enters with a flourish, and just as she is about to let Jimmy touch her, he receives a telegram revealing that his last wife refused to sign their annulment, and an irate Eileen storms off to get her father. That night in Jimmy’s ritzy bedroom, Billie breaks in and tries to seduce him, badly (TREAT ME ROUGH.) Chief Berry, who has been pursuing Billie, barges in to arrest her. But Jimmy convinces him that Billie is actually his newest wife (LET’S CALL THE WHOLE THING OFF) and Billie and Jimmy are forced to spend the night together in his bedroom.

    The next morning, Jeannie, a happy-go-lucky chorus girl, comes upon Duke, a lug from New Jersey, and mistakes him for an actual English duke. Duke, who is perpetually nervous around women, tries to escape, but Jeannie does everything in her power to get him to notice her (DO IT AGAIN.)

    In the ritzy living room, Jimmy and Billie realize that they are hopelessly in love (S’WONDERFUL.) But Eileen returns with her father—the ultra-conservative Senator Evergreen—and her aunt—the Duchess Estonia Dulworth—to demand that Jimmy and Eileen have a legal wedding. Jimmy has no choice but to marry Eileen, and Billie pretends to be a cockney maid so she can stick around and guard the bootleg. As Eileen beelines towards the cellar to get the wedding china, Jimmy and Cookie frantically distract the wedding party away from the basement (FASCINATING RHYTHM) as the curtain falls.

    ACT II

    On the ritzy terrace, the Vice Squad and Chorus Girls revel (LADY BE GOOD-instrumental.) Billie enters and realizes she’ll never be as happy as the dancing revelers around her (BUT NOT FOR ME.) Cookie and Duke enter and since they’re all now disguised as servants, they plot how they can get the impending wedding luncheon over and done as quickly as possible. The Duchess barrels on to instruct Cookie in the finer points of luncheon preparation. She insists on hiring a string quartet for entertainment, but Cookie has other ideas (BY STRAUSS/SWEET AND LOWDOWN-reprise.)

    As Billie sets the ritzy luncheon table, Jimmy makes one last attempt to appease her (DO, DO, DO.) But Billie will have none of it. As the luncheon begins, Cookie and Duke are frantically serving the luncheon guests, and the Duchess continues to annoy Cookie, who spikes her lemonade with gin. Billie entertains them all with a cockney song (HANGIN’ AROUND WITH YOU) which mainly serves as an excuse to keep pouring hot soup on Jimmy’s lap. But Billie accidentally pours some steaming soup on Eileen, who immediately fires her. The Duchess, now happily drunk, defends Billie and reveals a deep secret as she grabs onto Cookie, climbs on the luncheon table, and swings from a chandelier (LOOKING FOR A BOY.) After Cookie drags off the Duchess, an angry Jimmy calls Billie a common criminal, and they realize that they can never be together. Jimmy goes to prepare for his wedding, as Jeannie enters looking for Duke, who Billy accidentally reveals isn’t a real duke. Jeannie is furious, so Duke tries to win her over with a poem (BLAH, BLAH, BLAH.) But Jeannie rushes away.

    In the ritzy bedroom, Cookie is dressing Jimmy for his wedding as Billie enters to return his wallet. Jimmie and Billie both realize that this is the last time they’ll ever see each other (WILL YOU REMEMBER ME?) but Cookie has this idea…

    The Chorus Girls and Vice Squad set up the wedding (I’VE GOT TO BE THERE—reprise.) As Senator Evergreen presides, Eileen makes her very grand entrance (I’VE GOT A CRUSH ON YOU.) But just before vows are exchanged, Cookie and Duke rush in, pretending to be Prohibition Agents, though Chief Berry quickly enters and reveals their true identities. As they’re about to be arrested, Jeannie rushes in and proclaims her love for Duke, then the now-sober Duchess proclaims her love for Cookie. Still, Senator Evergreen insists the bootleggers must be arrested, but Jimmy’s mother, Millicent, makes an appearance, revealing the true nature of her son’s heritage—Senator Evergreen is Jimmy’s father. The Senator proclaims the day a joyous one and all are free to pursue their new and surprising loves. Jimmy realizes that Billie has rushed to the boathouse to sail away forever, and he rushes to swear his devotion to her. Millicent follows and reveals that she happens to be the biggest rum runner on Long Island, and she’d like Billie to marry her son and take over her business. Billie happily accepts (SOMEONE TO WATCH OVER ME—reprise.) And on the ritzy terrace under a starry night, love has blossomed, the bootleg is opened and the company celebrates their new-found joy (THEY ALL LAUGHED!)

    Music and Lyrics by George and Ira Gershwin (50%)
    Book by Joe DiPietro (50%)
    Inspired by Material by Guy Bolton and P. G. Wodehouse (25%)

    The names of the songwriters and book writer shall be equal in size, type, coloring, boldness and prominence. No billing shall appear in type larger or more prominent than the billing to the songwriters and book writer except for the title of the PLAY. No person (including without limitation the producer of any presentation) shall be accorded possessory credit (i.e., “Director’s Production of” or “Producer’s production of”) with the title of the PLAY.

    The title page of the program shall contain the following announcements in type size at least one half the size of the credits to George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin:

    “The worldwide copyright in the music of
    George Gershwin and Ira Gershwin for this presentation are licensed by the Gershwin Family.”

    is presented by arrangement with
    560 Lexington Avenue, New York, New York 10022″

    The following credit shall appear on the title page of all programs and in all advertising and publicity wherever and whenever the full production credits are given, in a type size not less than 25% of the type size used for the non-logo title of the PLAY, in substantially the following form:

    “Originally produced on Broadway by
    Scott Landis, Roger Berlind, Sonia Friedman Productions,
    Roy Furman, Standing CO Vation, Candy Spelling, Freddy DeMann, Ronald Frankel, Harold Newman, Jon B. Platt, Raise the Roof 8, Takonkiet Viravan, William Berlind/Ed Burke,
    Carole L.Haber/Susan Carusi,
    Buddy and Barbara Freitag/Sanford Robertson,
    Jim Herbert/Under the Wire,
    Emanuel Azenberg and The Shubert Organization”

    The following credits shall appear in all programs (immediately below the listing of scenes, if any) and in all advertising and publicity for the PLAY wherever and whenever the full production credits are given, in a legible type size in substantially the following form:

    “* “Do It Again,” music by George Gershwin,
    lyrics by Buddy DeSylva

    Excerpts from Rialto Ripples (1916), Novelette in Fourths (ca. 1919), Rhapsody in Blue (1924), Impromptu in Two Keys (ca. 1924), Prelude I (1926), Prelude II: Blue Lullaby (1926) Prelude III: Spanish Prelude (1926), The Three Note Waltz (ca. 1926), Prelude: Sleepless Night (ca. 1926), Concerto in F (1927), Second Rhapsody (1932), Cuban Overture (1933, Promenade (Walking the Dog) (1937)”

  • Full Orchestration

    1 Reed I: Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed II: Piccolo, Flute, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Alto Saxophone
    1 Reed III: Oboe, English Horn, Clarinet, Soprano Saxophone & Tenor Saxophone
    1 Reed IV: Clarinet, Bass Clarinet, Tenor Saxophone & Baritone Saxophone

    1 Trumpet I (doubling Flugelhorn)
    1 Trumpet II (doubling Flugelhorn)
    1 Trumpet III (doubling Flugelhorn)
    1 Trombone I
    1 Trombone II
    1 Tuba (doubling Bass Trombone)

    1 Keyboard I: Registrations for Piano, Celeste & Harmonium
    1 Keyboard II: Registrations for Piano & Accordion
    1 Guitar (acoustic and electric, doubling Banjo & Ukulele)
    1 Drums: Bass Drum, Snare Drum, Tom-toms, High-Hat, Cymbals (Crash, Splash, China), Woodblocks, Cowbell, Triangle & Bongos
    1 Percussion: Timpani (3), Xylophone, Vibraphone, Glockenspiel, Chimes, Gran Cassa, Brake Drum, Triangle, Temple Blocks, Suspended Cymbal, Piatti, Bell Plate, Anvil, Mouth Siren, Sandpaper Blocks, Mark Tree, Mouth Siren, Cork Pops, Ratchet, Pipe & Castanets

    1 Solo Violin (doubling Viola)
    1 Bass

    (Piano-Conductor’s Score sent with rehearsal material)

  • 1 Prompt Book-Vocal Parts
    1 Piano-Conductor’s Score
    22 Prompt Books-Vocal Parts
    1 Original Cast CD

  • Principals

    Jimmy Winter — A wealthy and handsome playboy, dripping with charm and charisma.
    Billie Bendix — A tough, feisty and street-wise young woman. Partners in rum-running with Cookie and Duke.
    Cookie McGee — A fast-talking, wise-cracking bootlegger.
    Eileen Evergreen — Thin and lovely, she is the self-proclaimed finest interpreter of modern dance in the world.


    Duke Mahoney — Cookie’s sidekick. Not the brightest guy around.
    Senator Max Evergreen — Eileen’s father. A humorless career politician. Serious, stern, judgmental.
    Duchess Estonia Dulworth — Duchess of Woodford. A noted prohibitionist and bejeweled dowager.
    Jeannie Muldoon — A lovely chorus girl from Brooklyn.
    Chief Berry — Chief of the Long Island Police Department. Fiercely dedicated to his job.
    Millicent Winter — A wealthy matron with great élan. Jimmy’s mother.


    The Chorus Girls:

    The Vice Squad:

    The original Broadway production had a cast of 22 performers, including chorus. Some doubling was employed in the minor parts.

  • NICE WORK IF YOU CAN GET IT opened on Broadway at the Imperial Theatre, April 24, 2012, and played for 478 performances starring Matthew Broderick and Kellie O’Hara as Jimmy and Billie.

    Awards (2012)

    2 Tony Awards for Featured Actor and Featured Actress
    3 Drama Desk Awards for Outstanding Book, Featured Actor and Featured Actress

  • Find upcoming performances near you.

    Search for performances near you
    Organization City, State First Performance Last Performance
    Footlite Musicals, Inc. INDIANAPOLIS, IN 09/25/2015 10/11/2015
    Weber State University OGDEN, UT 10/09/2015 02/29/2016
    Fort Findlay Playhouse FINDLAY, OH 10/15/2015 11/01/2015
    MacEwan University EDMONTON, AB 10/28/2015 11/07/2015
    Northland Players, Inc. CHEBOYGAN, MI 10/30/2015 11/07/2015
    Mount Saint Joseph Academy FLOURTOWN, PA 11/06/2015 11/14/2015
    West Valley Light Opera Assn. LOS GATOS, CA 11/07/2015 12/05/2015
    Minnetonka High School MINNETONKA, MN 11/07/2015 11/21/2015
    Warner Theatre TORRINGTON, CT 11/07/2015 11/15/2015
    White Bear Lake High School North WHITE BEAR LAKE, MN 11/13/2015 11/21/2015
    Cypress Lake Center for the Arts FORT MYERS, FL 11/19/2015 11/22/2015
    Markville Secondary School MARKHAM, ON 01/08/2016 01/09/2016
    Columbia Stage Society COLUMBIA, SC 01/15/2016 01/31/2016
    San Mateo High School SAN MATEO, CA 01/29/2016 02/07/2016
    Kingwood High School KINGWOOD, TX 02/04/2016 02/08/2016
    Erie Playhouse ERIE, PA 02/05/2016 02/21/2016
    Oak Lawn Park District OAK LAWN, IL 02/12/2016 02/21/2016
    Severn School SEVERNA PARK, MD 02/18/2016 02/20/2016
    Blue Valley Northwest High School OVERLAND PARK, KS 02/18/2016 02/20/2016
    Westminster School SIMSBURY, CT 02/19/2016 02/21/2016
    Miss Hall's School PITTSFIELD, MA 02/19/2016 02/21/2016
    Montclair Kimberley Academy MONTCLAIR, NJ 03/04/2016 03/06/2016
    Virginia Musical Theatre, Inc. VIRGINIA BEACH, VA 03/04/2016 03/06/2016
    Newburgh Free Academy NEWBURGH, NY 03/10/2016 03/13/2016
    Theatre At The Center Inc. MUNSTER, IN 03/10/2016 04/10/2016
    Henegar Center for the Arts MELBOURNE, FL 03/11/2016 03/27/2016
    Arlington Players ARLINGTON, VA 04/15/2016 04/30/2016
    Barrow Civic Theatre FRANKLIN, PA 04/29/2016 05/07/2016
    Music Theatre Wichita WICHITA, KS 06/15/2016 06/19/2016
    Valdosta State University VALDOSTA, GA 06/24/2016 07/17/2016
    Lyric Arts Company ANOKA, MN 07/08/2016 08/07/2016
    Garland Summer Musicals GARLAND, TX 07/22/2016 07/31/2016
    The Barn Players Theatre ROELAND PARK, KS 11/04/2016 11/20/2016