Producing Partners of Nice Work Musical Part Ways; Marshall Is Out, Connick Remains

News   Producing Partners of Nice Work Musical Part Ways; Marshall Is Out, Connick Remains In Gershwin parlance, one party said "tomayto" and another said "tomahto," so they parted ways.
Harry Connick, Jr.
Harry Connick, Jr.

Broadway Across America announced June 2 that it has assumed the role of lead producer on the Gershwin-scored Harry Connick musical comedy vehicle Nice Work If You Can Get It, and that director-choreographer Kathleen Marshall is no longer attached to the Broadway-aimed project.

"The previously announced producing team for Nice Work If You Can Get It, of which Broadway Across America was a member, has disbanded due to irreconcilable differences," according to a statement from Broadway Across America. "Kathleen Marshall, who was previously announced to direct and choreograph, has since stepped down. Broadway Across America is happy to announce that Harry Connick, Jr. will remain with the project in the starring role."

Using songs from the catalog of composer George Gershwin and lyricist Ira Gershwin, the musical has a new libretto by Joe DiPietro (I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change) and is inspired by the fizzy Gershwin musical from the 1920s, Oh, Kay!

"This is a fantastically funny and romantic show with two of the most thrilling things you could ask for in a new Broadway musical — a Gershwin score and Harry Connick, Jr. We're proud to be producing this show," stated John Gore, owner of Broadway Across America.

A new director is in negotiations to take on the project. A pre-Broadway engagement at Boston's Colonial Theatre Dec. 16, 2008-Jan. 11, 2009, remains scheduled, followed by a spring 2009 Broadway opening. Further details of the breakup of the originally announced producing partners were not revealed.

In earlier developmental presentations (including a full production by Goodspeed Musicals at Goodspeed Opera House), Nice Work If You Can Get It was known as They All Laughed. Nice Work's plot elements (like Oh, Kay! and They All Laughed before it) include a Long Island playboy, bootleggers, golddiggers, disguise and mistaken identity and smash Gershwin tunes.

On May 5, the announced producers for Nice Work If You Can Get It were Scott Landis, Broadway Across America, Ira Pittelman, Tom Hulce, Roy Furman, Maberry Theatricals, Ann Marie Wilkins and Emanuel Azenberg.

The announced creative team was Rob Fisher (music arranger/supervisor), Derek McLane (scenic designer), Martin Pakledinaz (costume designer), Kenneth Posner (lighting designer) and Acme Sound Partners (sound designers).

Harry Connick, Jr. made his Broadway acting debut in the revival of The Pajama Game, earning a Tony nomination for his work. Kathleen Marshall was director and choreographer. He also provided the Tony-nominated score for Thou Shalt Not. A winner of three Grammy Awards, Connick has also appeared in the films "Hope Floats" and "Independence Day," and he received an Emmy nomination for his performance as Dr. Leo Markus on "Will and Grace" and an Emmy Award for the PBS special and "Harry Connick, Jr.: Only You in Concert." A New Orleans native, Connick has been active in the Hurricane Katrina relief efforts.

Marshall is currently represented on Broadway with the revival of Grease. She directed and choreographed the recent revivals of The Pajama Game and Wonderful Town, winning Tony Awards for her choreography for both productions. Marshall served as artistic director of City Center's acclaimed Encores! series for several seasons.

DiPietro penned the books for Broadway's All Shook Up and Off-Broadway's I Love You, You're Perfect, Now Change; and The Thing About Men (the latter two with Jimmy Roberts). His other theatre credits include Over the River and Through the Woods, Memphis, O. Henry's Lovers, The Kiss at City Hall and The Art of Murder. He also wrote the new musical Memphis.

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